Imagine: A tasting menu without pretense, pressure, or pocket-picking. For $40, you buy the Experience, an eat-what-you-want selection drawn from some twenty small courses. (Desserts, larger, are an additional $9 each.) You can share or not; our group of three not-ravenous diners was perfectly satisfied after five protein courses and a couple of vegetables, plus a dessert. But you’re welcome to have more. The menu leans Southern and Texan, with a strong Mexican accent and random international notes. Highlights were the perky grilled okra pods with a deep green, herbal chimichurri; the fried brussels sprouts, their crisp feathery leaves sided by candied pecans with rum-spiked cherries (sounded weird, was in fact wonderful); and pearly pink sous vide–cooked pork tenderloin on polenta-like blue corn grits, with a fabulous sweet-sour grilled-peach mostarda. A couple of dishes were just so-so (e.g., fried chicken fingers with old-fashioned flat biscuits, not redeemed even by slathering on maple butter). But we’re very eager to come back. This is the shot in the arm that venerable Café Josie—with its brick floors, airy courtyard-like rooms, and white tablecloths—has needed. Thank you, chef Todd Havers. By the way, a regular menu is available too.
Cuisine: New American
Drinks: Beer & wine