One11 Chophouse: Organic, Ethical & Local
One11 Chophouse is the latest addition to the burgeoning culinary scene in St. John’s. Occupying suite one hundred and eleven in the historic Murray Premises (hence the name), they specialize in in-house dry-aged top cuts of beef, Australian Wagyu, fresh oysters and seafood, and a top-notch wine list. I had the pleasure of joining Executive Chef Kenny Pittman and General Manager Grant Fowler for a taste of St. John’s newest premier Chophouse.
Walking into One11 is like being transported to a steakhouse in the 1950s. The copper ceilings, patterned wallpaper and mix of wood and brick finishes create a moody atmosphere that beckons you to settle in, take your time and sip a bourbon while you wait for your meal. There’s no rush here, they carefully age their prime cuts of PEI Beef in very strict conditions precisely controlling temperature and humidity. During this time the beef loses a large percentage of moisture creating a unique and concentrated flavour which is a signature of their dry aging program. Good things take time, and the One11 team is focused on delivering only the very best.
The staff and management here are highly trained and take great pride in what they do. Executive Chef Kenny Pittman is a graduate of the of Culinary Institute of Canada’s culinary arts program and focuses on sustainable, organic and ethically sourced ingredients in his kitchen. Having worked all over Canada, he’s gained quite a following – most of the kitchen staff at One11 have travelled with Kenny from kitchen to kitchen – their pilgrimage finally bringing them back to his hometown of Newfoundland. Their Sommelier received his certification at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust at the Art Institute in Vancouver and thus One11 boasts one of the largest wine selections in the city. The bartenders are well known for their ability to mix a mean cocktail and is elevating One11′s bar to a new level. So far, they have introduced a rotation of craft beers and Speakeasy Wednesdays – an evening of Prohibition era craft cocktail specials, complimentary finger foods and Jazz music.
As we chat the kitchen brings out our first dish – a beautifully plated beef tartare: Prince Edward Island beef, smoke, egg yolk, sesame, garlic, rice and local radish. Simple, organic and absolutely delicious. The combination of flavours is so incredibly fresh, I’ve never had tartare quite like it. It was light, refreshing and melted in your mouth.
Next up was the Inside Out BLT: house pancetta, greens, aioli, NL sea salt, olive oil, toast crumb. A dish so pretty I almost didn’t want to eat it – almost. The tomato was a beautiful deep shade of red and, paired with the pancetta, sea salt and olive oil – let’s just say I’ll never go back to your standard BLT again. Savoury and juicy, the pancetta added a delightful crunch to the plump tomato. Perfection.
Finally, the dish I had been waiting for – dessert. Pastry Chef Megan Adshade, another graduate of the Culinary Institute of Canada’s culinary arts program, is a self taught pastry and dessert whiz and has just started dabbling in homemade ice cream – lucky me. She brought me a treat worthy of a night at the cinema: buttered popcorn ice cream topped with caramel corn, chocolate wafers, chocolate mouse and a cheery cola syrup. While I had politely taken two or three bites of my previous entrees (content to share the rest with the staff), I simply couldn’t contain myself any longer. I proceeded to devour every last bite – the saltiness of the caramel corn paired with the sweetness of the ice cream and chocolate – I was in heaven. I sheepishly looked up from my empty plate to a smiling chef – their job was done, they had me: hook, line and sinker.
So what makes One11 Chophouse so special? I’ll give the last word to Chef Pittman: “It’s the care and time we put into our product. The time we spend seeking and training the best staff possible for the job. Sourcing the best products – local, organic and ethical is always top of mind. All those things you have to do to set yourself above and beyond what your competitors are doing.”
Don’t take our word for it, experience One11 for yourself. Visit them here to reserve your table.