"These are the things that Matt Janke likes, according to his menu at Lecosho: duck, potatoes, potatoes cooked in duck fat, beans and legumes as a starch (when he isn't using potatoes soaked in duck fat), rustic presentations of grilled and roasted chicken that remind the careful observer of those French farmhouse classics without actually being French (or really all that classic), sardines, olives, rillettes with fat caps on their ends, and lentils.
Janke likes lentils a lot, apparently. He uses them with some frequency, in varying preparations on two or three or four different dishes depending on the night and what's on the specials board. Not only that, but he (or someone on his crew) is a master of lentils.
"Master of lentils" is one of those phrases that I honestly never thought I would write in my life. Certainly not outside some creepy and rattletrap mega-vegan cafe where everything smelled like wheat germ and feet. But "master of lentils" is the only title I can bestow which gives appropriate gravitas to the masterful lentil-making abilities of whoever prepped the bowl of sharply flavored, wine-dark and savory little buggers that ended up sitting before Peter and I, mounted with a single link of housemade sausage and half a soft-boiled egg."
From this week's review of Lecosho, Matt Janke's new restaurant on the Harbor Steps.A restaurant serving Stuff I Like would include pork barbecue, tacos, shrimp cakes, cheap lager, cassoulet, salami sandwiches, corned-beef hash, har gow, Cuban coffee, pancakes, maguro sashimi, chocolate-covered cherries, and Bavarian pretzels smeared with goat cheese. It would be open all night, showing spaghetti Westerns, old sci-fi movies, and any of those black-and-white classics from the '50s about good girls going wrong on TV's hung above the bar, and have a killer jukebox with a robotic arm that came out and slapped you if you tried to play anything by the Dave Mathews Band. There would always be a table waiting just for me, in the front room with a good view of the door. And every time I walked through the door, there would be a waitress there waiting with a cold Corona and an order of fried cheese curds, or maybe a gigantic bowl of proper shoestring pommes frites drizzled with hot Chinese mustard.
Lecosho offers precisely none of those things; is more concerned with Stuff Matt Janke Likes and Stuff Matt Janke's Cooks Like, but that's OK. The good thing is, a lot of the stuff that they like, I like too. Pig, in particular. Lots and lots of pig.
And you can read all about those things that the Lecosho crew likes (along with how I felt about them) when the review of Lecosho hits newsstands all over this fair city and appears online as if by magic tomorrow.