Somehow, I have not posted about eating out in quite some time. I promise I have had some good meals – the crab roll at Tamari, a veggie filled dinner at 17th Street Cafe, sushi at Chaya, a lovely meal at Elements, brunch at the new Elbow Room.
A cute little place that has finally got me back in the saddle is E2 (E Squared) – the Enrico’s (of the strip district) outpost located at 5904 Bryant Street in Highland Park. I have heard all types of good things about the blossoming food scene over on Bryant Street – Park Brugge, Smiling Banana Leaf, E2, Food Glorious Food, Joseph Tambellini. I also heard E2 had an event space. I am in the process of planning about 16 bridal showers so any (unique, delicious) restaurants with space are worth visiting.
Last Friday night I made my way over Penn Ave and into Highland Park. At first glance, I can’t exactly say Bryant Street is bustling. This isn’t a Walnut Street or a Carson Street by any means. It was cold and rainy and gray and the street is mostly residential homes. Parking was pretty easy though and we walked right into E2 and were seated immediately (I don’t believe E2 takes reservations for parties under six). This rarely happens at a tiny BYO in the ‘burgh. I imagine maybe this won’t last long but it sure was nice.
The space is cozy but loud. Particularly if there is a large or louder party in the room. This was slightly offputting at first. However, once our bottle of wine was opened and we were munching on a gorgonzola dip and grilled focaccia appetizer, the noises seemed to fade. Grilled focaccia is good stuff.
For dinner, I ordered spaghetti with mussels ($20). My dining companion ordered spicy rock shrimp risotto ($18). The server took time to check on the spice level of the risotto and was all around very accomodating.
My dining companion raved about her risotto. To be honest, I am not sure I was blown away by my dish. It was a very simple preparation of spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flake, and mussels. It was certainly tasty and garlicky and I ate every last mussel – but maybe I just wanted something more for the price point? Not sure. In the end though, E2 won me over with their atmosphere and vibe. Kinda farmhouse-y, kinda chill, BYO, good service, no wait. I really want to return for brunch.
A note on the event space – I did check out the event space at E2, located below ground level. I am not sure this is a spot to have a bridal shower but I suppose it could be nice for a party or night time event.
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