Hungry for some new dining options? A trio of menu changes has introduced hearty new brunch options at Steuben's, a spiffed-up happy hour and bar menu at Panzano, and a completely updated dinner slate at the intimate Black Pearl that looks forward to spring weather. Keep reading for the details:
A cast iron skillet of monkey bread at Steuben's.
Kari Cummings Photography
Brunch at Steuben's
523 East 17th Avenue
Seventeenth Avenue's all-American diner rolled out its new brunch menu last weekend, featuring several new dishes. Along with standards like smothered breakfast burritos and Joe's breakfast (nothing more than eggs, toast, hash browns and a choice of breakfast meats), you'll find New Orleans-inspired etouffe and eggs made with the same etouffe that's been on the dinner menu since Steuben's opened; skillet-baked monkey bread doused with bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup; a healthy Greek yogurt bowl served with housemade granola, caramelized citrus fruits and basil; and the Traffic Jam: a dangerous collision of green-chili cheese fries, sausage gravy, bacon and eggs.
For heartier appetites, there's a $12 all-you-can-eat buttermilk pancake deal.
Panzano's New Bar Menu and Cocktail List
909 17th Street
Panzano revealed its new bar makeover last week, which modernized the design for customers but also added behind-the-scenes elements for the first time in seventeen years to improve drinks service for the whole restaurant. That's good news for bar manager Derek Lovell, who's a self-admitted "ice nerd." Now his innovative cocktails will come properly chilled with crystal-clear cubes, thanks to a new ice-making system. What else is new? How about nine mixed drinks concocted with housemade elixirs — like chocolate-tangerine bitters, black-pepper simple syrup and vanilla-fennel shrub — as well as infused spirits and a signature barrel-aged Manhattan. And if you're not a drinker, there are also five alcohol-free cocktails made with similar attention to detail.
On the food side, new happy-hour dishes have been added, including rabbit porchetta on a bed of polenta, pancetta-wrapped shrimp (because bacon is still bacon, even if it's Italian), osso buco ravioli and truffled gnocchi. Along with bite-sized favorites from the standard dinner menu, Panzano's happy hour is still one of the best deals in town — especially since it runs from 2:30 until 6 p.m. seven days a week. A full bar menu is also available all day.
Insider tip: If you're a fan of amari (Italian herbal digestifs), Lovell stocks eighteen different brands from Europe and Colorado, all of which are available in flights of three or five pours.
Black Pearl has become a neighborhood go-to for Platt Park residents.
Courtesy of Black Pearl
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Black Pearl's New Dinner Menu
1529 South Pearl Street
One of Old South Pearl's favorite destinations this week rolled out a new winter-into-spring menu from chef Calvin Reynolds, who's captained the kitchen for the past year. He has completely swapped out the entrees and salads with new seasonal items and also added a few fun new appetizers. To start, check out the prairie butter: creamy bone marrow served with fig jam, miso and ciabatta. Or how about the duck braunschweiger (a German sausage typically made with pork liver) served with onion and celery root on pumpernickel bread.
Mains range from vegan "chicken" and waffles utilizing cauliflower and butternut squash to a porcine trio of speck, ham hock and tenderloin. Lamb, bison short rib and duck-leg confit contribute to the range of proteins, culminating in an oxtail and squid-ink pasta "surf n' turf." Prices range from $17 to $29 for entrees and $6 to $12 for first bites (unless you're in for a full bowl of mussels and very good frites, which runs $21.)