out at bauer

There is nothing I love more than trying a new restaurant and putting myself in the hands of those who know.

With that, Kenny and I found ourselves at Bauer Farm Kitchen one blustery, before-Christmas, weekday night. We were there to try it out, and like we like to do, we had a few menu items in mind, but ultimately took the lead and recommendations of those there in charge taking care of us. And in doing so, we were treated to one of the most warm and enjoyable meals that we had during the holiday season.

Bauer’s MO is to put a modern twist on European cuisine, with locally sourced meat and produce. And if unfamiliar, Bauer is located in what used to be Jimmy G’s, and it was only a matter of months that the subterranean space went from the moody old to the rustic new. However even through the closing of Jimmy G’s, much of the staff stayed on and was able to work and help transition the former steakhouse into the European kitchen that it is today.

So for dinner, we started in seemingly the best and only way possible – with babushka pierogies. These little puppies were stuffed with confit duck, flavored with chestnut and caramelized shallots, and topped with a plum mustard jus. They were as savory and as sweet as the day is long, and when diving into a central European dinner, the only way to start is at the very center – pierogies. The pierogies set the stage for what was to be a real soulful dining experience.

Then it was right into our main course, and what a main course it was. It did seem like the only choice to make, and while it was the one both Kenny and I were interested in, it was also the one that came the most highly recommended as the best example of what Bauer is there to offer. With that, we agreed to the Choucroute Garnie (for two). This was a breathtaking butcher block of smoked pork belly, currywurst, and pork shank. Of the three, the currywurst was particularly flavorful and while curry is not normally something that I love, I was all over this one. It was subtle enough to add some spice to what could have been just another sausage. But not to be outdone, the pork shank plus rutabega and turnip kraut bite was also flavorfully forward, as well as the smoked pork belly piece with a swipe of mustard. If ever there were a dish that embodied and symbolized the hearth of its restaurant, this would be it.

And then as if a trio of meats were not enough, we were treated to a trio of desserts. At this point in my evening, I am riding such an enjoyable wave that I cannot honestly discern or recall the decadent different between each sugary splurge, so I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves. But if you need a recommendation on dessert, my recommendation is yes.

In the end, our evening at Bauer was exactly what I hoped it to be – one of good company, hearty food, and that homey feeling that seems to so effortlessly and naturally accompany European cuisine. I’d love to go back with others that I love, to share in on all the savory that Bauer is serving.

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