Photograph by Jeremy Kramer
Historically peasant-grade cuts of meat get the full Pygmalion treatment at Red Feather in Oakley. With minimal froufrou, chefs and co-owners Brad Bernstein and Brett Crowe show deep respect for the time and tending necessary to bring a short rib, pork chop, or hanger steak to its full potential. After a quick sear to lock in juices, the steak takes a turn in the wood-fired oven. While primal cuts play a leading role, the supporting cast is just as captivating. The hot snap of fresh ginger in the carrot soup was especially warming on a winter evening and the crispy skin on the Verlasso salmon acts as the foil to the plump, rich flesh. Service here only improves the experience. A staff of familiar faces has clearly racked up knowledge since the restaurant opened in late 2013, and our server was especially warm yet calm, with a thorough understanding of both the extensive wine list (they regularly cellar 400 bottles) and a well-rounded beer selection—a notable 46 bottles and three taps rotate weekly. When dining in digs this swell, craft beer drinkers are usually better off settling for wine. But general manager and Level II sommelier Devon Barrett clearly appreciates that beer can be as nuanced and pair just as well with food. That’s as refreshing as a glass of saison in the summertime.
3200 Madison Rd., Oakley, (513) 407-3631, redfeatherkitchen.com