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Open: Red Feather Kitchen

As if Oakley wasn’t buzzing already with the recent opening of Sleepy Bee Café, it’s now also home to the upscale Red Feather Kitchen. Childhood friends Brett Crowe and Brad Bernstein have combined their culinary talents to produce a restaurant with a modest sized, meat-centric menu that allows them to focus on running their “Scratch Kitchen” (meaning that everything is made from scratch). Crowe is an alumnus of the Maisonette and has worked for the Jean Georges Vongerichten restaurant group. Bernstein, also a trained chef, is part of the family who owned the former Mike Fink’s riverboat restaurant. The name Red Feather is in fact a reference to the feather Mike Fink wore regularly in his hat.

I ducked in last week for a quick snack and a drink with a friend. The Charcuterie platter, priced at $14, included cured salami, outstanding house-made chicken liver mouse, and a well-marbled slice of country terrine. Coarse-grained mustard, red onion marmalade, house made pickles, and assorted crostinis garnished the wood plank presentation. Next time, I plan to try the Lamb Hatchet with blackened mint chimichurri or the beef short rib served with celery root mash. Vegetarians should try the Sweet Potato Agnoloti with brown butter, sage, and cranberry.

The wine list, overseen by General Manager and Level II Sommelier Devon Barrett is extensive at more than 200 bottles, and offers some delightfully non-traditional choices by the glass. I was thrilled to find Couly-Dutheil Chinon (Rouge) for $11—such a fresh change from the middling Merlots and Malbecs that show up on most glass pour lists. The craft cocktails also benefit from the “in house” mentality. My companion enjoyed the East Sider, an $8 bourbon-and-basil-based cocktail that proved quite food-friendly as well. Service was upbeat and attentive, but will need extensive training to do justice to such an ambitious beverage program.