All words: Riley Croghan
All photos: Jason Dixson
For a restaurant named after a swaggeringly masculine president, the menu offerings at Teddy & The Bully Bar are surprisingly delicate, whimsical, borderline-frou-frou. Or at least, I have to presume that’s the case. I have yet to taste any on-menu dishes at the restaurant, though I did recently sample some specialty experimental plates when Executive Chef Demetrio Zavala (also of LINCOLN) flexed his modernist cooking muscles at a media dinner.
Zavala dreamed up fairly daring dishes that often looked as much like an art installation as a dinner: viz. the Tree Nest Morels that could have been assembled by a particularly restaurant-minded quail— a quail egg, roasted fiddlehead, and honeycomb-esque mushroom quite literally nested in the branches of a “tree”. While the trick to describing exotic foods is often as simple as relating it to more familiar fare (tastes like chicken, say) I honestly can’t think of anything else quite like this slightly sweet, slightly savory meal.
An equally canny creation came in the form of purple potato gnocchi. You’ll often find that doughy pasta in a light cream sauce; here was the first time I’ve experienced it in a briny broth, served with mussles and nettle dashi.
One last dish that absolutely deserves mentioning: Zavala prepared softshell crabs crowned with wisps of what he called bacon aioli avocado rocks, but which might be better recognized as bacon cotton candy, which looks and tastes exactly as it sounds.
A quick glance at the standard menu shows you might find some similarly fanciful fare on offer, though none as far as I can tell served in a tree. I’m therefore in the odd position of recommending the restaurant without being able to recommend any particular dish. Let your stomach, and your regularly scheduled food porn, below, be your guide.