The Old Crow is a small, Southern American style restaurant located on Newcastle Street, Northbridge. The venue is a typical converted Northbridge house. The front yard is a cool deck area for drinking cocktails after work and the inside feels warm and homely. Bookings are recommended due to its size.
The drinks menu is outstanding. There are several very good Southern American inspired cocktails and a first rate selection of Scotch and American whiskey. However, the presentation of the cocktails themselves was uninspiring.
The wine list featured many obscure wines and I was pleasantly surprised by my choice, a glass of Margaret River Alchemist chardonnay 2010. The downside was the service. There was only one person working the bar. A restaurant focusing on cocktails should have enough staff to cater for the demand.
The menu provides a choice between traditional dining or Tapas style sharing. Friends who had recommended the Old Crow had warned about generous portion sizes. On the helpful recommendation of the waiter, we decided to share a few plates. We ordered Spicy Hush Puppies, the Mushroom Rag Pasta with Breadcrumbs and the Beer Braised Pig Butt with Red Cabbage.
We received complimentary breads with sweet fennel butter, which was very tasty. The Hush puppies were crispy deep-fried balls of polenta with spicy salsa and sour cream dip. They were a great entry into Southern American cuisine that went well with our cocktails.
The Mushroom Rag Pasta with Breadcrumbs was delicious homemade pasta cooked in a buttery sauce served with three types of mushrooms. The Beer Braised Pig Butt was a let down. As much as like slow-cooked meats, I was disappointed with the total lack of flavor. It had no smokiness or spiciness typical of Southern American cuisine.
The poor presentation of food was disappointing. Every dish just had the food piled into the middle with a simple garnish sprinkled on top. It is a real shame that so little effort went into presentation.
The highlight of the night was the Pecan pie with vanilla ice cream. The smoky taste of the pecan filling combined with the authentic maple syrup and crisp pastry was a real treat.
My dining experience at The Old Crow was uneven. Slow drink service and flavorless Mains undermined the first-rate drink menu, good entrée and dessert.