What would Waldo look like today if the Great Waldo Fire of Twenty Aught Seven had been averted — if that mischievous cow hadn’t kicked over a deep fryer at Kennedy’s, igniting a day-long conflagration consuming a half block of aging retail space?
We wouldn’t have the 75th Street Brewery beer garden. We wouldn’t have Coffee Girls Cafe. And we wouldn’t have Remedy, a much-needed infusion of culinary arts in this neighborhood defined by burgers and spin dip. (We would, of course, have Bobby Baker’s Lounge. And we will always have Bobby Baker’s Lounge. Always, I say.)
When it was announced that Kennedy’s was closing and a new “gastropub” would soon open in its place, I was dubious. I envisioned quesadillas, made “gastro” by goat’s cheese, artichoke hearts, and roasted red peppers (which, to be fair, were quite “gastro” in 1996). I imagined servers saying things like, “You HAVE to try our sweet potato fries. They are THE BEST sweet potato fries in the ENTIRE city.”
So when I went to Remedy for lunch the week it opened, I was pleasantly surprised (nay, shocked) by the focused, yet playful menu. And, indeed, there are fries that you just HAVE to try. Eggplant fries: crunchy and soft, savory and sweet. So good I’ve had them each of the four times I’ve been to Remedy.
Max Watson, formerly of The Rieger and Port Fonda, runs the show and not surprisingly (considering his pedigree) puts out some of the best food in the city.
Every dish I’ve had at Remedy has in some way surprised me, which is why I’ve returned so many times. (Not surprisingly, The Rieger and Port Fonda are two of the few places in town I frequent frequently.)
Remedy’s greatest strength is its focus on quality ingredients and simple presentations. That, and they know how to sling some mighty potent cocktails (any bar with Old Overholt gets the feed me kc stamp of drunken approval).
I still don’t really know what “gastropub” means. Its constituent parts combine to mean “stomach drinky place,” and I think that’s an apt description of everything Remedy aspires to, and succeeds in being. Thus, I do not hesitate to say that that Remedy is undoubtedly Waldo’s finest stomach drinky place.