Above: The Kingman burger takes the oft-sung Big Mac formula upscale at the new Teddy Maroons on Ingersoll. The serving tray recalls those used in school lunchrooms—including at Roosevelt (“Teddy”) and Dowling (“Maroons”), the inspirations for the restaurant’s name.
By Wini Moranville
Earlier this year, Tag Grandgeorge was named executive chef for the upcomingTeddy Maroon’s, and everyone who knew Grandgeorge’s work was happy to hear it. Alas, Grandgeorge and Teddy’s parted ways earlier this month. Yet there’s good news nonetheless: Judging from a preview visit, the restaurant is off to a great start
Call this new venue “bar-grill-plus.” The dashing, ultra-modern interior does a neat trick feeling both cozy and high-energy. The comfy booths—with their brown leather seats and pinstripe backs, pictured below, add a tongue-in-cheek preppy vibe; the way the booths are arranged in a kind of serpentine maze brings a cozy, nook-and-crannied feel. If you want to be where it’s at, head to the more open bar area, with its high-top tables, TVs, floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the avenue, and expert bartenders stirring and shaking up cocktails (mules are a specialty).
The appetizer, salad, and burgers we tasted all traveled well beyond the rote. We especially appreciated the starter of oven-roasted cauliflower with almonds, feta, and romesco sauce ($8.95). Anyone who (like me) secretly adores a Big Mac will enjoy the Kingman burger ($11.95)—with its two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion on a sesame seed bun—all elevated, of course. And co-owner Chris Diebel made good on his promise not to “sleep on the salads”—the Teddy Maroon’s Chopped Salad ($12.95), with lettuce, tiny ditalini pasta, bacon, boiled egg, chickpeas, green onion, pecorino cheese and sweet-onion vinaigrette, proved expert and satisfying.
It was all impressive for a venue that lost its executive chef just over two weeks before opening. But then again, overseeing the kitchen, at least for next quarter, is Orchestrate Management’s corporate chef Matt Howard. Kingpins at making high-volume restaurants veritably purr along, Orchestrate is the umbrella organization of Django, Centro, Malo and others. Combine that with Diebel’s hospitality expertise (he also co-owns Bubba – Southern Comforts), and it was uplifting, though not surprising, to encounter no kinks.
Find Teddy Maroon’ at 2301 Ingersoll Ave.; 515-212-4900.
Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.