Brunson doesn’t cook dainty food—many dishes feature house-butchered pork from Brush and Hotchkiss—but there are delicate nuances such as soft poached eggs, and pomegranate demi-glace that elevate dishes so they befit the urban dining experience.
Proof can be found in the deeply flavorful rosemary lamb collar with kabocha squash and griddled plancha bread or the cast-iron dish of pierogies and Brussels sprouts tossed with Frank’s RedHot butter.
Thanks to two days of marinating in red wine and beef stock, braised beef shanks are unctuous, while tasting slightly smoky from a bacon-y sauce. Pierogies sit like pillows next to jewel-tone pieces of salmon garnished with baby frisée.
The Maine lobster sits on creamy, lardon-flavored grits, and the trio of sliders includes beef, Colorado bass, and vegetarian patties. This is food that, like the restaurant’s congenial vibe, combines everyday appeal with fine-dining finesse.
The menu—inspired by the culinary traditions of the lower 48 states—continues thoughtfully as you move on to items like braised octopus bathed in a sweet onion broth with rancho gordo butter beans, clams, and sourdough croutons.
There are a handful of dishes that hail from the mother ship—namely, Oak’s kale salad, shrimp and grits, and tomato-braised meatballs—but the rest of the menu is original and complements Acorn’s urban and contemporary vibe.