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Forward Momentum

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Wow! As you can see in the picture gallery below, lots of progress has been made since my last cyber photo delivery. (Thank you, Cassandra.)

The bar is (almost) open. (More photos below, courtesy of Carrollton Development Group)Looks like Firecreek executive chef Carlo deMarco has a lot to be excited about, too: check out the kitchen. This will be the self-professed micro-manager’s first experience working in front of an audience, but he’s confident that his affable persona will counterbalance the more intense mindset he dives into when he’s in work mode. And, it will afford him the ability to read customer’s reactions as they’re sampling the fare. As hinted at last week, there’s a high-top community/chef’s table that seats 16 and has an excellent view of all the action in the kitchen.

That reminds me: I have menus in hand—and a new favorite moniker. “Between the Buns” is indeed a clever way to highlight the four sandwiches’ offerings, and it gives a little pizzazz to a menu that’s as straightforward as they come—void of any hard-to-pronounce or hard-to-find ingredients, and loaded with a fair amount of familiar foods (calamari, tuna, mussels, quesadillas for apps, etc.).

There are a half-dozen salads (three designed as starters and three as entrées), including the can’t-be-a-steakhouse-without-it Wedge and a hearty, fire-grilled chopped chicken Cobb. And deMarco’s signature black bean soup is also in the house.

“From the Grill” features a quadruplet of steaks (filet, strip, rib-eye and tenderloin), two pork options (yes, deMarco’s java pork tenderloin is there), another quadruplet (this time from the sea), rack of lamb, and a chicken and St. Louis rib combo. The underappreciated, somewhat-outdated prime rib also makes an appearance and sounds tempting dressed up with a rosemary, black pepper and garlic rub, and served with a traditional side of au jus and horseradish.

The menu’s all-American simplicity is a sure sign of the times when comfortable beats out precious, and pretentiousness is as unwelcome as salmonella. (Entrées hover between $18 and $29, so I’m not saying this is a budget spot.) In deMarco’s words, “People want great, simple food. They don’t want to be challenged, and they definitely don’t want blueberry beurre blanc.”

Heard that.

And if you create a hip, relaxing ambiance that takes them out of their hectic or ordinary day and allows them to feel like they’re on vacation for a few hours, they might just be willing to pay for it.

Some décor notes for you savvy interior types: The banquettes shown in several of the images are upholstered with a camel leatherette and a plush, burgundy fabric mimicking the illuminated panels in the back bar. The bar is crafted from walnut and inlaid with steel mesh panels—or in designer speak, fiery illuminated panels inlaid with bamboo rings—lending art deco flair and tying the whole look together.

I haven’t gotten my hands on the beer, wine and spirits menus yet, but deMarco did hint at wines from North and South Americas “for more flexible pricing.”

Tune in next week for another preview of Firecreek and the also-in-progress burger joint.
 

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