If you read our blog, you know we haven’t ever reviewed a restaurant. However, we recently stumbled upon a restaurant that we think that would make the heart of food truck freaks aflutter. It’s called Two. Not gonna lie, we’re a little obsessed. We feel the need to disclaim that we were not compensated in any form for this review, but you’ll probably doubt the honesty of that statement the more you read. Honestly, we just dig it. A lot. As much as Honey Boo Boo Child digs her Go Go Juice.
Driving down Grand Avenue, we passed this restaurant that opened up (soft launch) weeks ago. And we ate there twice within 72 hours last week. For the first visit, we went with more meat-and-potatoes kind of eaters. The second time, we brought a
foodie friend. Everyone we went with was as smitten with this place as we are. We haven’t heard a peep about this restaurant in blogs nor word of mouth from fellow foodies. However, it was one of the best restaurant meals we’ve had in a hot minute.
Two is reminiscent of Girl & the Goat, especially when it comes to the vegetables. Much like Chef Izard, we didn’t grow up loving veggies. However, the veggies on Two’s menu are more thoughtful than a newlywed on Valentine’s Day. There was clearly a lot of time and love spent on the part of the chef making the vegetable dishes as compelling as the nom-worthy meats. Brace yourself for this next sentence: one of our favorite dishes was brussel sprouts. Yes, brussel sprouts. They are made with housemade chorizo (!) and parmesan. Our other favorite dish? Oxtail atop fried cheddar grits, sprinkled with scallion pesto. Other honorable mentions include duck fat fried potato croquettes with a chili and herb aioli, and lemon-herb brine chicken thigh (generally we shy away from ordering chicken when eating out because, well, it’s chicken, but this was outsanding). Also, celery soup (see below).
The menu structure is also reminiscent of Girl & the Goat: the portion sizes and pricing are similar, and dishes are intended to be ordered tapas style (if you dine any other way at Two, you’re missing out. Don’t be a fool, sharing is caring). You get farm-fresh food that is sustainable and scrumptious (at 8pm on a Saturday, we saw a farmer deliver what looked to be a 15 pound ham, and the farmer even bro-hugged the chefs in the kitchen). We’re reluctant to get too attached to any menu item because they are severely seasonal. That said, we’re pretty confident a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey approach to picking your dishes seems like a safe approach since everything that we had was delicious.
Okay, enough comparisons. Two stands out from many restaurants in the meat department as well. A decent chunk of the menu includes bacon and/or is fried in duck fat. While one might say, “nah, I prefer my arteries to be fully functioning, not clogged,” the bacon and duck fat dishes are not to be missed. However, there are plenty of dishes that are certainly sexypants-friendly and balance out the heavier dishes. For example, the celery root soup is made with honey crisp apples and a few bits of house lamb bacon. We also tried the heirloom tomato dish. Brief backstory: we hate tomatoes. *GASP* Yeah, yeah. But really, this tomato dish rocked our socks. We were 2 for 2 in terms of foods we generally avoid like the cast of Jersey Shore, but loved at Two.
The cherry on top was that Two offers an impressive list of craft beers and modestly priced high-quality wines. The one minor miss was that our Dark & Stormy cocktail (ginger beer, dark rum and lime juice) wasn’t quite right; it wasn’t ginger-y enough.
The atmosphere is such that you can go for a romantic dinner with your significant other, or with a group of family and friends. The staff is incredibly sweet and attentive but don’t helicopter. The more you look around, the more one starts to think that these guys were incredibly green and resourceful in the furnishing phase of this new restaurant, but it doesn’t come close to looking like a “look look- we’re restoring old things to decorate” kind of place. Even the seating in the bar area is restored wooden bowling alley seating.
Since Two hasn’t officially had their hard launch, it’s pretty easy to get a seat (though we do recommend making a reservation on their website). Clearly, we highly recommend this restaurant. Get there before it they have a 2-month wait list…and tweet us when you’re there so we can eat vicariously.