Chapter One: The Modern Local is one of my favorite gastropubs in Orange county, is an amazing mixture of custom drinks and amazing food. Most restaurants only have a handful of good items, a lot of just okay items and usually a few bad dishes too. I love Chapter One because almost everything on their menu is really good and a few items are just great! Above is a picture of the Potato Pear, which is a panko crusted fried mashed potato stuffed with duxelle (finely chopped mixture of mushrooms or mushroom stems, onions, shallots and herbs) served over a mushroom cream sauce. This is the ultimate potato lover dish because it elevates a simple potato into a complex multi-textured dish which screams with creativity.
My wife absolutely love potatoes, so even after ordering a Potato Pear she wasn’t about to let me not order the Duck Fat Fries. I honestly don’t think I need to sell anyone on this dish because how can you go wrong with duck fat fries? I have to say, one of the best fries I have ever eaten.
Seafood lovers, Chapter One didn’t forget about you! Their calamari is super tender on the inside yet nice and crispy on the outside. I believe their menu recently changed so the sauce might be different now, but when I last went it was a black squid ink sauce. It doesn’t look as good as it tastes, but once you get past the idea of a black thick sauce it is actually really good. One recommendation I have is if you haven’t been to Chapter One before, for your first visit go with a group of friends. That way you can order a lot of different dishes and try a little bit of everything (that is what my wife and I did).
Chapter One serves a modern twist on French Onion Soup which comes topped with fried onions. The soup was good but personally I like a more traditional French Onion Soup.
If you want a really good high end burger try their Italian Burger with Duck Fat Fries.
Now my favorite main course at Chapter One is their Duck Breast served with a sweet waffle. After eating this I don’t see how I could ever go back to eating chicken and waffles, their duck breast was juicy and so flavorful that it tastes more exciting than the plate itself looks!
One of their more refined dishes is their Beef Culotte, a premium cut of sirloin wrapped in bacon then coated with ground coffee beans and cocoa. It is served over a bed of Dijon mashed potatoes with a red wine demi-glace.
Chapter One constantly changes their menu so I am not sure if this dessert is still on the menu, but as an apple lover I have to tell you about their Caramel Apple Doughnut.
I will leave you with one of my favorite whiskey based drinks which I first had at Chapter One. If you are into whiskey you must try High West 36th Vote Barreled Manhattan.
Check out Chapter One: The Modern Local on Yelp!