Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oak 63: 408 E 63rd St

Tuesday, April 14, 2009
oak63_3 This place was inhabited by Cafe Maison until recently. It was a nice, if somewhat granny-ish lunch and dinner spot just far enough away from Brookside proper to fail. But I liked Cafe Maison and was glad to see another restaurant open in its place. Oak 63 has been in operation for months now and seems to be doing decent business.

For some reason I imagined this as more of a dinner joint, so I was surprised to see it open one day recently and decided to stop in for lunch. This was a good decision for the food is quite tasty, slightly upscale but not stuffy, and can satisfy unadventurous carnivores, dainty Brookside ladies, and pompous food douches alike.

Charles Ferruzza was right: these guys have a damn good reuben. And now that New York Bakery and Delicatessen has been closed by the Health department until it can clean the place up, it may very well be the best in town.

Reuben at Oak 63

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The salmon BLT was likewise delicious, served with bacon, avocado (do you even need the rest?), tomato and arugula.

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The menu is small but features fresh, seasonal ingredients and doesn't suffer from pretentiousness like other restaurants of its ilk. Yes, you can get seared duck breast on arugula salad, but you can also get mac & cheese, or the delicious sounding hand-chopped chuck burger. This is a perfectly good place to have a casual meal, or a work lunch with clients.

The dining room is pleasant and casual--doesn't seem too different than its previous incarnation. That being said, I really like old storefront restaurants like this. There are nice windows, occasional foot traffic, and the place isn't too sprawling.

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The service on my visit was a tad strange. The place was virtually deserted but the staff was furiously talking, listening to music and doing dishes in the back room. I use the term "room" lightly because the back of the house is barely separated from the dining room by a wall that does not stretch to the ceiling. Diners can hear everything that goes on back there, and this may not be a good thing for the management of Oak 63. The server was very friendly but seemed to be involved in other things.

Nonetheless, this is a very good option if you want a slightly fancier midday meal. Items are fairly priced between 8 and 12 bucks. Moreover you get to eat like a grown-up with a tablecloth and real china instead of a plastic basket and a paper cup.

Read more:

Yelp

10 comments:

JH said...

Joining the theme of 63 on 63rd, have you tried 75 on 75th (former Cafe Song) yet?

The DLC said...

No I didn't even know about it-have you been? Haven't been up that way recently but it is fairly close to work so I'll check it out. Thanks for the tip.

JH said...

I haven't been over there yet, but I'm hoping to soon. I need something new in the area. Here is a link to an article about it.

http://economy.kansascity.com/?q=node/1564

Cate said...

I miss Cafe Maison. Loved the chicken cordon bleu.

Will need to check out this new place. I wonder how dinner is.

Faith said...

I loved Cafe Maison, but the one time Leo and I went we had the same issue you had with lunch: the sounds of the back of house traveled easily and unpleasantly to the front of house. As we were the only patrons the night we went there, our food was delicious and carefully prepared for us, but we haven't been back since because the cost and the atmosphere didn' really match up in our book.

They really need to figure out that back of house being too noisy thing. It's a major turn off, regardless of food quality.

m.v. said...

Looks like a great Reuben, I need to try it sometime

JH said...

Just an update - I went to 75 today. It was pretty good, although it was $9 for a sandwich, chips, and a Coke. The the sandwich was nice sized, th chips were homemade, and the Coke was in a can. Shockingly, they allow you more than one can for no additional charge.

CityBluz said...

Try the brunch at Oak 63 - it's different from the rest.

Richard said...

I work nearby and look forward to peaceful lunches there while it snows.

coolmom said...

Best reuben I ever had - I could only eat half. The art on the walls was genius, the staff was friendly, and the owner/chef (JB)was the BEST! Will definitely come back!

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