Exclusive first look: Old Major, Justin Brunson's "elevated farmhouse cuisine" restaurant, is now open in Highland
Desserts, often an afterthought, are sublime, thanks to young pastry magician Nadine Donovan, whose sugar finales literally had me stealing plates -- and nearly licking them clean -- from our neighbors at the bar. Her baked Alaska reveals an impossibly perfect meringue, the blood orange glacé, a subtle jolt of citrus, and her malted chocolate cream pie...well, let's just say that I experienced what can only be called euphoria.
Considering the (near) perfection of the kitchen and the bar program, the space is required to follow suit, and it does with its beautifully crafted farmhouse tables and chairs, prominent meat hooks that support the conversation-piece light fixtures, high, wooden beamed, sloped ceilings and even the plateware -- stark white -- and glassware have been given careful consideration; hand-sewn linens are forthcoming, as is Brunson's front-and-center meat-curing room, which is currently in the process of solidifying its HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points principles to ensure effective food safety) plan.
Are there improvements to be made? Few. In fact, the only noticeable taint are the lights above the bar tables, which are just a bit too bright, and those, I'm told, will be quickly corrected. And speaking of the bar, a bar-only board will be available in the coming weeks, as will lunch. For now, dinner is served seven nights a week.
The expectations for old Major are pressingly high -- but if my dinner on Saturday night is any indication of what this city can expect in the future, it doesn't seem a stretch to say that we've just been bestowed with a restaurant that should be on everyone's bucket list.
Herewith, a photo gallery of the finished space, the food, the cocktails, the menus and the revelry.