Doc Gives A Full-Throated (And Bellied) Review For Davenport’s The Half Nelson
As restaurants struggle to reinvent themselves, The Half Nelson reimagines the world around it.
Walking in you’ll see a world transformed to a time when things bamboozled you. I feel completely underdressed! Maybe I should be wearing
a nice suit and slick my hair back with some Dapper Dan. Whatever the case, the Half Nelson is bringing the 1920’s to the 2020’s with a little style and panache.
I wish I could say that I found this time machine located in Downtown Davenport
towards the end of 2nd Street. Instead, I was invited and treated by Chef Philip Pridemore. This Chef emphatically wishes I could find something wrong with his dishes. No, it is not because he is a glutton for punishment. However, Chef Pridemore is a man who constantly strives to out do
himself. Almost one year ago, I met Phil as a strong cook trying to reinvent egg rolls in a bar. Last night I met a chef named Philip — a man serving elaborately thought out dishes inside a beautiful restaurant.
Deep fried crab beignets are cakes served with slaw, a house-made remoulade and a grilled lemon half. These alone should bring you in! A fresh tasting classic often over-seasoned or substandard in taste is transformed by his talents into something wonderful. The Half Nelson has found a way to pair everything on the plate to give it a sophisticated taste profile and a perfect way to start any dinner.
The New York, New York, is a classically cooked Prime New York Strip steak that is paired with garlic-herb mashed potatoes, fried brussels sprouts and a demi-glace 32 hours in the making to show you the depth of how serious they take their kitchen.
My star dish for the night might surprise you because it certainly hurts my heart to say it. Going up against a perfectly cooked medium rare steak, a vegetarian dinner punched me in the face and made me rethink
everything that I know.
The Vegetable Pappardelle is fresh hand made pasta served in a delicious garlic brown butter sauce with a roasted squash and pepper blend of fresh herbs and crostini bread. The amount of flavor this plate delivers could bring you out of a coma!
I was not pleasantly surprised. No! I was run out the door and proclaiming it to all the people walking on the streets like a Newsie Boy excited. I have always said that my motto is “Bacon makes everything better.” I think this time I may actually be wrong with that statement.
While The Half Nelson isn’t usually my go to for a night out, the dedication, brilliance and the culinary blessings coming out of the kitchen and the staff make for a truly roaring evening. If they add some smooth jazz playing over the sound system you might find me in there sipping on their incredible selection of bourbons on a regular basis.
As always, your friend in food,