Truth be told, I never managed to make my way into The Annex, Epic Brewing’s take on a gastropub, when they initially opened a year or so ago. I never heard reviews compelling enough to sway my meal choice in their direction.
However, Annex shifted gears this Fall, bringing in chef Craig Gerome, who cut his teeth cooking at Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia and Spruce in San Francisco. Chef Gerome completely revamped the menu, basically stripping everything from the old menu and starting fresh with his take.
I was invited as a guest of Annex to try out the new menu and to meet Craig, and all I can say is that he is doing amazing things. You can tell this guy cares about his food, crowing about the fact that his mussels are FedEx’d daily from a lady named Jan in Maine, and she only sends him her very best, biggest mussels.
We tried the grilled octopus with salsa verde, lime bean and kale brodo, Bouchot mussels with Berliner weiss, poutine with braised cheek, and deviled eggs as starters. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but I’d especially steer you to the mussels.
For the mains, we tried the herb fried chicken with fried green tomatoes and buttermilk risotto, and the stout braised pork shank. Of the two, I would definitely recommend getting the fried chicken, which was perfectly crispy, moist, and seasoned well. But other items on the menu such as the buffalo short rib pie and steak frites certainly caught my eye.
Dessert was a nice take on the traditional s’more, using house-made marshmallows and Amano chocolate, giving it extra depth and richness.
Sugarhouse continues to evolve, and the recent development occurring on and near the sugarhole continues to impress with new fantastic eateries popping up. There is a fun, electric vibe happening in this area that has been missing for quite some time.
I’m glad that Annex chose to locate here, and can’t wait to come back.
Disclaimer: I was an invited guest for dinner at The Annex by Epic Brewing.
Kale Brodo. Yes, I ate kale. And it was amazing.
Grilled octopus with salsa verde
Steamed Bouchot mussels
Poutine with braised cheek
Herb fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, buttermilk risotto
Stout braised pork shank
S’mores with Amano
Chef Craig Gerome