Though there is some heavy civil construction down the block, The Writing Room is utterly quiet. Warm, but hushed like a library. Studded leather chairs are tucked underneath freestanding tables, almost bare, adorned with just flatware and square white napkins. A multitude of framed photos cling to the dark grey dinning room wall, illuminated by Edison bulbs and hazy summer sunlight from the front windows. Cozy.
Exposed brick and subway tile cover the bar area and the kitchen, while an expansive card catalog display hangs in a hallway leading further into the eatery. In back is what feels like a secret room, where esoteric meetings of great minds are held, comfortable amongst books.
The restaurant week prix fixe incorporates items from the regular lunch menu, just enough to tease. Tiny flaky brioche rolls and a mini mason jar of soft butter start the three course meal and rouse hunger.
Their sweet corn soup is a play on summer ingredients and warm temperatures. It’s sweet and spicy with green swirls of herbed oil and moments of jalapeno. Shrimp and lime-colored fava beans float in the warm vibrant yellow pool, while skewered cornbread bites add a crunch.
The garden salad is gorgeous with its gem-toned ingredients— jade colored lettuces, golden corn and ruby pickled beets. Every component springs to life with freshness and saturated hues.
Two large onion rings crown the massive burger, complete with runny cheese, bright lettuce and radiant tomato. Thick sweet and salty bacon onion jam is smeared on the light buttery brioche bun that condenses enough so every element is perceptible. Pickles pack a kick perfect for the burger, cutting fat and surging spice. Even the thin crisps are familiar but elevated to elegance.
Pink salmon rests on creamy smoked corn grits encircled by a ribbon of stylish olive oil. A course chopped cilantro topping studs the entrée with green, but is gratefully eclipsed by tart and sweet marinated tomatoes. They bring a sharp note highlighting the unexpected sweetness present in the grits and the purity of the fleshy salmon.
Though the cracking of the browned sugar of the crème brûlée is satisfying, the custardy middle is wet and unset. Delicious peach compote supported by a sweet crumble is reminiscent of summer, but could not carry the custard.
A peaceful retreat including refreshing chilled rose, stunning food combinations with vivid colors and many laughs.