Last month, a local blogger reported that a cheeky sign advertising "Wanted: Rad People" had gone up on the historic 1940 Windsor Court building at Central Ave. and Oregon set to house Postino founder Craig DeMarco's new culinary ventures, The Windsor and Churn.
This week, both eateries opened to the public, and the verdict is already in: Clearly, DeMarco found some rad people. We popped into The Windsor for dinner last night and found the service to be attentive, the staff friendly, and the vibe chill. The mix of locals that stopped here -- from dreadlocked hippie chicks and bike-riding hipsters to retirees and thirtysomething owners of nearby historic homes -- proved that the concept has wide appeal.
We agree it has huge potential. The digs are funky and eclectic: exposed brick walls, vintage-looking zigzag wallpaper, plush pleather booths, a center bar and huge dining patio, and a wall of shiny cassette tapes (many of which we reluctantly admit to having owned, including Culture Club's Colour By Numbers).
The Windsor and Churn are definitely worth a visit, though with the pair not even being open a week there are still a few kinks to work out...
Once we found parking and the entrance (which is an adventure in itself), we were immediately seated.
Food was hit and miss. A fondue plate with savory pork, delicious summer sausage, tart apples and over-the-top amazing pretzel bread from MJ Bread made for an excellent start, but the Arctic air conditioning blew the pitiful candle under the cheesy dip out every time we re-lit
it. Picnic Kebobs of pork, chicken and shrimp were juicy, with a nice charbroiled flavor.
Our server's recommendation, the Crab Cake BLT, was piled high with succulent white meat crab. No krab with a "K" here, and no piles of bread crumbs mixed with mashed-up seafood. Eaten with a fork, the crab and crisp Tenderbelly bacon were overpowered by the horseradish flavor of the aoili, but downed two-fisted the ingredients came together in perfect harmony -- unlike the music sitch, which needs a little attention.
On our visit, the volume level on the music was so inconsistent that one person at our table swore the servers must've been popping cassette tapes from the wall into an old-school tape player. Songs would cut off midway or the volume would skyrocket for a verse and then hush to a whisper. While we appreciate the eclectic soundtrack, there are no drapes or fabric in the place to dampen the sound. So louder definitely isn't better.
Leave room for Churn, the adjoining ice cream parlor that provides after-dinner dessert. Fresh red velvet and "Kitchen Sink" cookies were ok, but the peanut butter ice cream, made in-house daily, was downright sinful. It was the perfect balance of salty and sweet, with a rich, silky mouthfeel that left us forgetting about any of those little kinks next door.
Click through for bonus pictures of The Windsor and Churn.
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