Sunday, 28 June 2009


Mom and I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of OneSpeed, since it has been billed as a neighborhood restaurant, and it's right in our neighborhood!

The owner, Rick Mahan, owns the successful downtown restaurant the Waterboy, which I actually don't like. Not that I didn't have good food there -- quite the opposite -- I just didn't like the atmosphere. It felt cold and stuffy. But as I read interviews with Mahan about his plans for OneSpeed, it sounded like he was really focused on fresh, local. slow food, and on a friendly neighborhood atmosphere.

It appears to be a success so far! On a few occasions, my mom has driven by and seen lines out the door. We ate there tonight at 5 o'clock and left at about 6:20, by which time every table and every seat at the bar was taken.

On to the food: Mom and I decided to order a number of small plates. Part of the reason was that none of the pasta entrees appeared to be vegetarian, but part of it was that the small plates just looked delicious!

We had a selection of olives, which were quite nice Then our server brought us our salads, mixed greens to which we added blue cheese and hazelnuts. They were refreshing little salads that also included tomatoes and thinly sliced radishes in a nicely balanced vinaigrette. Then we got marinated pequillo peppers, artichokes, and fennel. The plate also included cauliflower, and all of it was nicely seasoned with oregano and chile oil. The peppers had just the slightest bite. Everything was done to perfect tenderness. We also got our bufala mozzarella salad with tomatoes and basil. It was nicely seasoned and the tomatoes were perfectly fresh and ripe. Then our crostini came out. They were perhaps my favorite dish of the night. They included Bellwether crescenza (a soft, melty cheese that tasted a bit like fontina crossed with brie), pepperonata, olive tapenade and basil. I had thought about ordering the focaccia instead, but I'm glad we went with the crostini. We also got roasted beets with feta, pickled onions, orange, and mint. I am not the world's biggest beet fan, but I enjoyed these, especially the mix of flavors with the fresh mint.

And the atmosphere? Very friendly and welcoming. We had great service. I even liked their high chairs. I can't wait to go back and try their pizzas! They have two vegetarian pizzas -- the margherita (a classic favorite) and a four cheese that includes blue cheese, apples, and radicchio. I also noticed another table near us who asked for substitutions and the kitchen was accommodating. The other vegetarian small plates included gnocchi (which could be ordered either with browned butter, sage, and parmesan or pesto and cherry tomatoes), green beans (with walnuts, lemons, and goat cheese), and herbed french fries.

They also deliver, and if you're within a 1.5 mile radius, they'll deliver by bike! I love that option, and I fall in that area.

As a final note, I used to go to Cafe Milazzo pretty regularly (for pastries on the way to work), and they've really done a lot to change the interior. It's very warm and open, and it's a completely different space. Theyr'e going to start offering breakfast sometime soon, so keep an eye out. I would definitely recommend OneSpeed to my vegetarian friends, although I will have to update you after we've tried the pizza.