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Live Oak - Low Country American in the Former Monroe's Space, Commonwealth Avenue in Del Ray


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Running by the former Monroe's location at the corner of Commonwealth and Monroe, kinda in Del Ray, I saw a sign hanging out front for the forthcoming restaurant "Live Oak." Don't have any more info. I was surprised not to see any info here!

Hope they do well!

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Thanks for the info. Just what we need: more pricey "southern cuisine." Very disapointing. NRG seems to think that's a good direction. We lost all the Austin Grills to southern-inspired incarnations. Now this. Meh. 

This trend cannot end soon enough. 

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5 hours ago, jondagle said:

Thanks for the info. Just what we need: more pricey "southern cuisine." Very disapointing. NRG seems to think that's a good direction. We lost all the Austin Grills to southern-inspired incarnations. Now this. Meh. 

This trend cannot end soon enough. 

Note who the chef is: Justus Frank was, I believe, Chef de Cuisine at Fiola.

Live Oak's website isn't operational yet, but their Facebook page says they're open until 1AM this evening (even though I don't think they've opened yet) - so at least for starters, they're planning on staying open late. This often happens during an opening, only for reality to set in after a few weeks or months, but we'll see - if they can keep it open late with two employees, it might be worth it, but Del Ray is not a jumping nightspot.

 

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one of the other owners is a guy named Tim Irwin whose primary experience is behind the bar. As well he worked for quite some time at the Evening Star Cafe back in the day before the NRG empire. I can only imagine he will do whatever he can to make a late night bar crowd. Now the question will follow 'will the Del Ray business association allow a late last call?' From what I can recall the neighbors really put a limit on hours at The Evening Star. It used to be 12:30 last call.

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On 7/13/2016 at 3:49 PM, jondagle said:

Thanks for the info. Just what we need: more pricey "southern cuisine." Very disapointing. NRG seems to think that's a good direction. We lost all the Austin Grills to southern-inspired incarnations. Now this. Meh. 

This trend cannot end soon enough. 

Live Oak is in no way affiliated with NRG. This is a family owned and operated business, and we can't wait to win over your heart, and stomach for that matter. We will be a neighborhood restaurant that serves low country cuisine, and we strongly believe that we will be able to provide our guests with an experience that they cannot get anywhere else in Del Ray. We are very appreciative for the opportunity to become a part of the neighborhood, and we strive to provide guests with the best hospitality imaginable.  We look forward to seeing you in early August. 

Sincerely,
Justus

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@justusf81I am very sorry; I am well aware of that. I meant to say "NRG seems to think that's a good direction, too." That was careless of me.

I look forward to visiting Live Oak and wish you all the best. But, I also wish this "southern inspired" trend passes soon. 

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This place will be great. The team behind it is rock solid, but I am biased. The three main operators all spent time together at Eventide. Tim Irwin managed the bar, Jeremy Barber was our GM and Justus was the opening Executive Sous. They all left and went on to better things, but we were a better restaurant for having them when we did. Now, they've reunited, and I am confident they will kill it.

 

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I went Sunday evening for an early dinner at the bar. Enjoyed a terrific Old Fashioned sweetened with maple. Per the bartender's suggestion, I tried the hay-smoked oysters. Normally I don't care for cooked oysters but these were an exception. They were lightly smoked, but not cooked through and came with a brown butter mignonette and a homemade cocktail sauce. Both sauces were excellent, but the mignonette was my favorite. It was thick enough that you could put a few drops on the oyster without accidently dumping a tablespoon on and killing the brininess.

Next up was the brisket chips, homemade potato chips topped with braised brisket, chive crème fraiche and pimento cheese. The components here were all delicious but the execution could be improved. It's served in a small but deep bowl, which results in the chips on the bottom getting soggy. Also, the pimento cheese was stone cold on the top and thus difficult to incorporate into the dish. The brisket was shredded and very juicy. The country fried steak was not round steak, but appeared to be a sirloin or strip steak. It was served medium rare and tasted good, but more like a steak than a country friend steak. (And to be fair, the bartender did explain that before I ordered).

I took some peanut butter bars to go, but wound up eating one on my way out. These were the big disappointment of the meal. They were just doughy and bland, without much peanut flavor.

Went back on Monday night for their fried chicken special. This was great fried chicken. Three legs with greens and grits for just $12. The breading is thick but crisp, and is well-seasoned. The grits were creamy enough to be mistaken for mashed potatoes, and tasted wonderful. The greens were very good, though seemed to have a lot of grit in them.

Overall a very strong performance for a place just open a couple of weeks.

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Went on Sat night and look forward to going back. Between the three of us, we had the fried pork chop, the strip loin, smoked oysters, arugula/peach/goat cheese salad, fried green tomatoes, buttermilk pie and strawberry shortcake. We loved that the fried green tomatoes were thick cut and really tasted of tomatoes because the crust (which I think was cornmeal) wasn't too prominent; not greasy at all. The salad was well dressed and I liked that the goat cheese was more of a humboldt fog type. There were plenty of peaches, but there was too much frisée for a salad advertised as arugula. The meats were stars. My husband said it was a perfectly cooked and juicy pork chop and the apple butter had a deep flavor. The chimichurri on the strip loin was delicious and the meat was cooked on nose. The bartender also did a great job. The Old Fashioned was made with a pecan-infused syrup (I think) that gave a true pecan flavor. And the version of the daiquiri made with pepper-infused moonshine was spectacularly balanced.  

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Was here twice last month.  Kind of miss Monroe's for certain things, this is certainty different, which is good.

Once for Brunch on a Saturday.  It was not busy until the tail end, and service was kind of slow.  I was in no rush, but it was noticed.  One watron doing too much.  Sat in one of the old booth areas.  The reno is nice, it's the same but also different.  Well done.

I had this thing, it was quite tasty.  Pork Roll, Egg, Cheese Pumpernickel, Taylor’s Pork Roll, Cheddar Cheese, Arugula Salad $8.

Friend had this, also tasty.  Corned Beef Reuben Rye, Gruyere, Fried Farm Egg, Celery Root Slaw, Cucumber Salad $13.

Second time was with a group of 5-6 on the weekend as a late night thing since they stay open, which is nice.

This time we were up front neat the bar.  Fantastic service in all areas, it was late, but not crowded.  Great cocktails.  Mix of starters and entrees.  A good time was had by all.  An excellent watron.

Will definitely be returning and I wish them success.  Even though I don't understand the latest trend in this area for everything to turn "Southern".  Only so much of that to go around one would think.  What is next, more gourmet burgers?  Maybe BBQ!!!

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Just now, Simul Parikh said:

Hmm.. just having a beer and a snack here.

The deviled eggs sounded good. $7. Guess how many? 3 eggs/6 halves? No. 2 eggs/4 halves? No. 3 halves! 1.5 eggs! 

Now that's ballsy.

Consider this foreshadowing ...

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I have gone about three times.  I like brunch the best- and enjoyed the bloody mary.  I think Southern style food suits well for a brunch though.  Dinner is fine, but wasn't special, but it does serve dinner fairly late compared to some other places.  About the same pricepoint and satisfaction of Northside 11, but I like the atmosphere better.  The bartenders are nice.  I can't remember what I ordered any of the times.  I am surprised I didn't write reviews, sorry.

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