Browntrout – from secret-rooftop-garden-to-plate

By Jennifer Olvera


Jennifer Olvera

Sean Sanders’ sustainable New American checks pretension at the door with simple, punchy small and large plates, drawing from a secret rooftop garden that brings local about as close as it gets. Look for menu standouts as pleasantly chewy wheat berry and corn risotto with hunks of lardons and pickled garlic scapes; and smoky Canadian walleye on top of sweet fennel-apple puree, wild mushrooms, and corn, with apple-fennel slaw. The casual, come-however setting exudes neighborhood charm with wood seating at bare wood tables and a warm glow from fern-embossed pendant lighting. Browntrout is worth the trip, local or not.

sweet seats

A long, central communal table runs the length of the dining room, while tucked away seats up front allow views of passersby on
Lincoln Avenue.

chew on this

Sanders’ small rooftop garden—though not open to the public—grows all manner of herbs, peppers, and tomatoes when weather allows. That’s supplemented by atypical eats from local farms, such as these recent gems: so-juicy-they-pop cherry tomatoes, revived from Darwin-era Galapagos seeds.


dinner: Sun., Wed.–Thu. 5 PM–10 PM; Fri.–Sat. 5 PM–11 PM
brunch: Sun. 11 AM–3 PM
closed Monday and Tuesday

price range

$15 (Q7 Ranch bacon burger) to $25 (Gunthorp pork porterhouse)