Magazine article The New Yorker

Allswell

Magazine article The New Yorker

Allswell

Article excerpt

It's hard not to feel like you're preparing for hibernation when you eat at Allswell, the latest gastropub to be helmed by Nate Smith, formerly of the Spotted Pig. As temperatures dropped in late fall, the menu, which changes daily and takes cues from British classics, seemed designed to bulk diners up for winter. The rillettes in a potted-duck appetizer were packed tightly into a small glass jar and sealed with a thick layer of creamy, peppered lard for spreading on toast triangles, while a mammoth pork chop, marbled with luscious fat, tasted of buttered popcorn. A veal potpie, densely packed with cubes of tender chuck, carrots, and peas, was big and rich enough to feed three people--"or one giant," quipped a wide-eyed young woman. "Do you think they'll let us sleep here?" she asked after a few too many bites, slumping into her seat.

These dishes were tasty enough--as was, particularly, a happy-hour sandwich piled high with fried calamari slathered in chunky tartar sauce--and felt appropriate in the restaurant's shire-inn-style setting: the decor, marked by exposed wooden beams, leather banquettes, and vintage wallpaper depicting British leisure-time activities like cricket and foxhunting, is as heavy as the food. …

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