Reviewer channels his angst for Brooklyn’s preciousness on ‘morally insidious’ Montana’s Trail House


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…]

Montana’s Trail House opening next week in Bushwick


Montana’s Trail House, Credit Montana’s Trail House & Bedford & Bowery


Montana’s Trail House, Credit Montana’s Trail House & Bedford & Bowery

Bedford & Bowery has a first look at the new Bushwick restaurant Montana’s Trail House. It’s at 455 Troutman Street (near St. Nicholas) and opens next week:

Come May 30, an awesomely rustic bungalow will be purveying “Appalachian east coast country food, and some black-magic inspired dishes” to the woodsmen (and -women) of Bushwick. It took a year for Montana Masback (who’s done bartending stints at The Second Chance Saloon and The Anchored Inn) to turn a former auto repair shop into Montana’s Trail House.

The buildout was very much a labor of love. Montana (who got his name after his parents blindly pointed at a map) bought a barn in Kentucky and had its timber shipped to New York, then decorated the space with effects foraged from his home, as well as friends’ houses and garages and restaurants. A Budweiser light fixture came from a friend’s dad’s bar. The “murder-weapon” taps, which look kind of like Clue pieces, were welded together by Denis Bramley, another founder.

Various rooms tucked into unlikely places give the compact space a cozy yet expansive feel. The main bar area is known as The Tack Room (as in, where you leave your horse’s gear), while a smaller side room is The Roost. An office and a storage area are ingeniously built into the rafters, accessible by inbuilt ladders, and the toilets are like stalls in a saloon. There’s also an expansive outdoor patio area, lined with edible native plants, like a blueberry bush.

Check out the menus below, c/o Bedford & Bowery: [Read more…]