Hundreds of piranha bare their b-movie teeth on the south wall. Near the open kitchen, a plus-sized octopus tentacle cradles a massive light bulb. Zen bathroom profanity gets its name in Hollywood lights. And over the bar, local designer Paul Basile welded what appears to be the metal rib cage of an old ship.
Ironside Fish & Oyster is nearly open.
It’s the most ambitious production yet from Consortium Holdings. That’s saying a lot for the group who’s earned a national reputation among cocktail, craft beer and design nerds for hangouts like Neighborhood, Noble Experiment, El Dorado, Craft & Commerce, Polite Provisions, Underbelly and Soda & Swine.
The cavernous, light-filled Ironside will continue their cocktail movement with 50 that dip deep into fortified wine (Sherry, Madeira, Port). But with two-star Michelin chef Jason McLeod and former Searsucker/Herringbone chef de cuisine JoJo Ruiz, Consortium’s never been more serious about the food.
It’s seafood, a nod to Little Italy’s past as the waterfront. A raw bar—where diners eat off refrigerated metal—will boast nine types of oysters (the Kusshi are even better than the mighty Kumamoto), plus clams, uni, crab, shrimp, lobster and mussels. The kitchen will do lobster a few ways (a roll, with biscuits), plus salmon pastrami, seafood chowder and a fish sandwiches. There’ll be land proteins and vegetarian stuff, too.
There’ll be plenty of time to eat when it opens on April 16. This is going to be big. They’re taking reservations online right now. We suggest makine one. For now, we present the first photos of Ironside…