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Otway is the successor to Tilda All Day, a brunchy cafe at the corner of Fulton and St. James in Clinton Hill that was highly regarded. Tilda was co-owned by Chef Claire Welle and backers Samantha Safer and Daniel Nusbaum. The two women got into a dispute with Nusbaum, the place closed, reopened in a different form without him or Welle, closed again, and now has become this new venture with Welle back in the kitchen backed by Safer. FWIW, the kitchen is staffed entirely by women. But the big news is Chef Welle, who had her highest previous kitchen position at Mas(Farmhouse) but had also worked at Gwynnett St., Picholine, and Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. She is, on the basis of one dinner, an excellent chef, producing straightforward but imaginative New American food with clear, forthright flavors, very compelling.

 

The menu is small but appealing. I started with the fried tripe, and that's just what it is: a bowl of cleanly fried tripe sticks, with a nice tart dipping sauce. Then the squab with mincemeat and a root vegetable tart: also just what it says it is, and delicious. Burnt nut pudding for dessert.

 

This is a neighborhood place. Not necessarily worth a journey. But you'd be nuts not to consider trying it if you're in the neighborhood.

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Should've gone to Chez Ma Tante.

excited for her.. i liked she and Danny.. Safer has a really interesting background with Valley Shepard and helping at Peck's and a few other places.. She is also very sweet and it's in my neighborhood.. We were supposed to go last night but, Jax got sick.. I will be heading there this week at some point.

 

Excited for them. What did you eat? Also, i think it went Tilda and this place.. I didn't realize there was something in between are you sure about that?

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A second dinner here gives me the impression that this place is even better than I initially thought. I really love this style of cooking, which manages to be simultaneously forthright and refined. The menu is short, sure. But what's there is cherce.

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Irrelevantly, the name has two connotations for me. John Otway, of course, of "Really Free" fame, and George Otway, who I think was the first schoolmaster at my alma mater, circa 1558.

 

ETA: I did forget Thomas Otway, the playwright.

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The smoked tongue is really good (and really smoked).

 

So, for that matter, was the pork in "blood" sauce last week (good, I mean -- not smoked).

 

COMP DISCLOSURE: A beta test of a crisped kale with raw beef dish.

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