Charlie Hallowell’s new restaurant oozes with money and Old World charm — from the molded-plastic Eames dining chairs to the eye-catching Parisian-inspired scalloped glass awning that juts out over the open kitchen. The place is loud, buzzy, and completely over the top. The daily-changing menu skews heavily toward small plates with North African and Middle Eastern flavor profiles — lots of preserved lemon, yogurt, and cilantro. Some dishes, like grilled polenta with braised pork ragu and chermoula — a North African take on Mexican pozole — have a rollicking, improvised quality. Mostly, though, high-quality ingredients are just allowed to speak for themselves, as in a plate of sweet roasted carrots or a perfectly executed grilled skirt steak with brightly acidic chimichurri sauce. If it’s available, don’t miss out on the bright red, coarsely hand-chopped lamb tartare, which is the closest thing Penrose has to an iconic dish.
Hours: Thu.-Mon. 5:30-11:30 p.m.