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Restaurants, Contemporary American Prospect Heights
4 out of 5 stars
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczCarrot crepe at Olmsted
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Paul WagtouiczChawanmushi at Olmsted
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Paul WagtouiczFalafel at Olmsted
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Paul WagtouiczWatermelon sushi at Olmsted
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Paul WagtouiczGuinea hen at Olmsted
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Paul WagtouiczChef Greg Baxtrom at Olmsted
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczOlmsted
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczOlmsted

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

This Prospect Heights blow-in from Greg Baxtrom (Per Se, Blue Hill at Stone Barns). On paper, Olmsted’s partiality for hyperfresh produce isn’t exactly a distinctive quality, but its sheer dedication to freshness sets it apart. An urban minifarm behind the modestly dressed restaurant provide Baxtrom’s kitchen with radishes and lovage; a bird coop coos with quails laying eggs; and a repurposed claw-foot bathtub sloshes with crayfish. Servers ask if you want to wait for a table on a cushioned bench in the backyard garden, with a cocktail and crayfish crackers, say, beneath strung lights—answer yes when they do.

Only snacks are available outside; the real good stuff is within the 50-seat den, such as a gorgeous bowl of charred-fennel chawanmushi. Baxtrom levels the dreamy, delicate egg custard with a crush of crispy artichokes and the umami punch of Burgundy truffle. Torn scallops—often discounted, usually discarded—are dry-rubbed, skewered and grilled until tender, the charcoal singe and pop of pasilla chile in the rub acting as a smoky foil to the summery pool of creamed corn and stewed blueberry that accompanies the mollusks, the pool itself a balancing act between savory and sweet. These are fine-dining ambitions wrapped in neighborhood-spot environs, where the most expensive entrée doesn’t exceed $25, impromptu happy birthday sing-alongs occur between strangers, and you can openly curse over just how fucking good a dish is. And it is.


Address: 659 Vanderbilt Ave
Cross street: at Park Pl
Price: Average main course: $23
Opening hours: Mon–Thu 5:30–10pm; Fri, Sat 11:30am-2:30pm, 5–10:30pm; Sun 11:30am-2:30pm, 5–9:30pm
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