Sure, Montana’s Trail House feels a bit like a theme restaurant, but is it really “morally insidious?” Joshua David Stein over at the New York Observer thinks so. He gave the restaurant zero stars and quite the rant [emphasis our own]:
Last month, a young New Yorker named Montana Masback opened a restaurant in Bushwick called Montana’s Trail House. In articles about the restaurant’s opening, Mr. Masback referred to the cuisine as “Appalachian East coast country food.” The chef, Nate Courtland, meanwhile, described it as “Appalachian black magic comfort food.” To transform what was once an auto repair shop into a mountain hut, Mr. Masback purchased a dilapidated barn from Kentucky, deconstructed it and reassembled the pieces in Brooklyn. Among other archly rural accouterments are a taxidermied deer head, a Betsy Ross flag, framed old timey photographs, an axe and, in the bathrooms, decoupage of mid-century nudie magazines. The waitstaff had that new antiquated look adopted by so-many seventh-stoppers—the restaurant is off the Jefferson Street stop on the L train—which combines a youthful complexion with old mountain beards for the gentlemen and Walker Evans frocks with tattooed arms and septum piercings for the waitresses.
Montana’s Trail House is a very bad place. Its rottenness is both inherent and cosmetic; it is culinarily insipid and morally insidious. It’s bad to the last splinter of its Kentucky wood. Parceling off generic objections to the ridiculous fantasia Bushwick has become, there is a deeply toxic relationship with history and with America embodied at Montana’s Trail House. [Read more...]