by Mabel Suen
This month, Manchester Road in downtown Maplewood gets a brand-new bar and eatery brought to the neighborhood by Mike McLaughlin, the owner of the Bleeding Deacon Public House in south city. The Crow's Nest (7336 Manchester Road) will feature homey Midwestern cuisine with innovative spins which will appeal to people from all walks of life.
"Vision-wise, it's going to be as eclectic as the city and the area is," says executive chef Jimmy Hippchen. "Our food focuses on seasonality, creativity and accessibility."
The menu hits all the basics of a bar and grill, and includes standards like a burger, a BLT-type sandwich, a grilled-cheese and a chicken sandwich, all presented in new ways. For instance, the BLT features hazelnut-crusted bacon, arugula, apple aioli and tomato on grilled Companion Pugliese bread. The grilled-cheese sandwich consists of cheddar, mozzarella, an apple-rosemary compote and hazelnut-steeped honey.
Hippchen recommends frog legs ($9) made in the style of chicken wings as an appetizer. The legs are soaked in buttermilk, dredged and fried in gorgonzola puree, and served with a citrus dressing. The menu will also include four entrees, one of which will change weekly. Three desserts, including a decadent dark chocolate rice pudding with hazelnut brittle and cola-poached cherries, will be available to soothe sweet teeth.
"It's a step away from the comfort zone of the Deacon," says Hippchen. "This is going to take a step in a more adventurous direction."
The Crow's Nest plans on having its soft opening the evening of Friday, October 7. After that, it will be open for lunch, dinner and bar service seven days a week. For updates and hours, check out the Crow's Nest's Facebook page. Check back next Tuesday for a Chef's Choice profile with Hippchen.