UPDATE: Americana Mondays now has a dedicated website.
Seattle restaurants continue their love affair with Monday-night popup meals. And Hitchcock, that magical restaurant (and deli) on Bainbridge Island, is getting in on the action. And like MistralKitchen’s Arabesque and Sitka and Spruce’s taco nights, this newcomer is designed to showcase the talents of someone on staff.
On Monday nights, chef-owner Brendan McGill cedes the kitchen to his sous chef Keegan O’Brien (I think he might be of Irish descent), who arrived at Hitchcock after working at Anchovies and Olives, as well as Osteria La Spiga. This past Monday was the first time O’Brien’s “Americana Monday” completely took over the regular menu.
“I’ve been a little chicken to jump into the popup game,” says McGill. “But since we started talking about doing this, people have been so excited about Keegan’s Americana night that I’m gonna go for it.” When O’Brien’s running the show, expect dishes like fish and chips, chicken-fried steak, pork chops, cobb salad, and a duck egg–topped schnitzel, all just as endearingly local as the fare on Hitchcock’s regular menu.
There will be some cross–utilization with ingredients, says McGill. O’Brien might turn a housemade garlic and pork sausage into the centerpiece of a deconstructed biscuit and gravy, making butter from the restaurant’s cultured cream, using both buttermilk and butter to make the biscuits, then placing the whole sausage on a biscuit with a pour of black pepper bechamel. Later in the week you might see that same sausage back under McGill’s command, served with a salad of black lentils, mirepoix, local chard or kale, and an emulsified Champagne vinaigrette.
The dinners began as an inside joke about the chef and sous chef conducting WWF–style smackdowns for menu supremacy. McGill even helpfully shared photo documentation of his second-in-command vanquishing the despairing proprietor and his European-Northwest fare…at least on Monday nights. Now that’s a supportive boss.