Fear not, carnivores. Meatballs made of kangaroo and emu are in the works, and a trio of “game dogs”—bison, venison and gator spiced with andouille sausage—should prove popular in the extensively renovated space.There are more than a dozen signature burgers on the menu at Cambridge’s reopened Bukowski Tavern, including bison with sorachi-Sriracha ketchup and duck with truffle-rosemary cream. But chef/owner Brian Poe, a renowned game lover, says his favorite dish contains no meat at all. It’s “Chip and Dip,” a vegan variation of the dish that features celery root and cauliflower chips and creamed kefir-cauliflower sauce. “My joke was, ‘If you want to make a dish bad, call it vegetarian!” Poe says.
“Oh, we just tidied it up,” Poe says, downplaying the aesthetic of the sleek industrial design. “We didn’t want to make it too nice.”
Poe, who’s partnering with the Wilcox Hospitality Group on the refreshed Inman Square favorite, is especially enthusiastic about combining beer and food in unexpected ways. Two salads are dressed with beer vinaigrette (Cascade hop and whit beer), which was a challenge because cooking down the beer produced a strong taste of nickel. Now, Poe adds hops to a vinegar mix, resulting in incredible beer flavor. “You can do more [with beer] than a Guinness chili,” he says.
Out in West Concord, diners will have to wait till at least February for Woods Hill Table to open its doors in the former West Concord Supermarket space. Executive chef Charlie Foster (formerly executive chef at Daniel Boulud’s DBGB in Manhattan) is developing a menu that includes housemade sausages, pates and pastas—and french fries prepared in grass-fed beef tallow, served with the Woods Hill Table burger, topped with tomato preserves and Gruyere.