Garden at the Cellar POST-Gilson
Has anyone been into the Garden at the Cellar this fall? I was bummed when I heard Chef Gilson was leaving- Garden is one of my favorite spots in town, and I ate there as much as I could before he took off. I've been out of town frequently since, and relocated to Davis Square so I haven't been able to make it back. I'm a little embarrassed to admit I sort of wrote it off when Will left, or at least moved it to the back burner. I just checked out Chef Arms' new menu and, while it is barely changed, it looks great and has me wanting to go back. Has anyone been since he took over?
As an FYI, the new chef/owner, Brandon Arms, was Will's sous chef since Feb 2009, so he knows the kitchen, the staff and the clientele very well. He's aiming to stay true to the concept of the Garden while putting his own signature on the dishes and slowly making changes to improve the overall experience. The Garden will continue to offer inspired and well-executed seasonal, regional American fare with global influences in a small neighborhood restaurant, serving not only as a place to get a great burger, but as a place to connect with your neighbors.
The changes are subtle but they are there - just a couple of examples include the new (usually Formaggio-sourced) cheese plate, using Brookline's Clear Flour Bakery's Pain de Mie for the grilled cheese on the tomato soup as well as their delicious olive rolls for the table bread, increasing the focus on the plates to share, upping the number of vegetarian offerings and switching up the brunch menu just last week. Chef Arms is from Wisconsin, so you might see some regional influence coming into play as well.
I do encourage you to make the trip to the Garden 'post-Gilson', though I understand you've got quite a few new places in Davis to try as well!
Looking forward to hearing others' thoughts - we always have our ears open to the community.
Business Manager, Arms Reach dba Garden at the Cellar
As has been posted on these boards several times, the bar service could really use upgrading. This includes improving and expanding alcohol selection, as well as skill and care employed in making drinks.
Call ahead seating would be great benefit for those in the neighborhood and would certainly make us consider the Garden more often.
More vegetarian options will be welcome additions to the menu.
I know Chef Arms was sous'ing at Garden before he took over, and my comment didn't mean to reflect a lack of confidence in him- I was just said to see Gilson go and have been busy since! I was prompted to post because I looked at the new menu and did a little reading online and liked the changes I saw! Hearing what you have to say only reinforces that (Clear Flour can do no wrong) and I'll make sure to drop by soon. Thanks for the info.