- Mike Sula
- Brandade, Gather
One would think 4539 North Lincoln would be a veritable gold mine for restaurateurs who know what they’re doing, positioned as it is directly across from (and next to) the Old Town School of Folk Music. But the space wasn’t too kind to Troy Graves’s otherwise worthy Tallulah, or to Stephan and Nicole Outrequin, who launched their increasingly formulaic chain of French restaurants there, but then abandoned the location for other neighborhoods. Now there’s Gather, from Park Hyatt vet David Breo and former Trotter’s and Cibo Matto chef Ken Carter.
Carter’s put together a tight menu of sharable plates, appetizers, and entrees with a varied but not terribly adventurous array of stuff (steamed mussels, grilled flatbread, crispy pork belly, ricotta ravioli, a steak, tagliatelle, etc) geared toward casting as wide a net as possible. Its range and variety aren’t going to frighten anyone in the neighborhood, unless they happen to order two particularly discouraging sandwiches I had the misfortune to work my way through: an arid, dense bacon cheeseburger with too little fat to help force it down, and a porchetta sandwich, built like a shawarma, but with dry slices of pork eased only by a surplus of creamy sage-seasoned aioli and some pickled fennel strips. This sat on a doughy platform, called “Italian bread,” that performed like an undercooked pizza crust.