If I were sending you to just one new restaurant, this would be it. Located in the old Central Trust Bank in Walnut Hills, right on the corner of Madison and Woodburn, this incredible space that sat empty for years is once again alive and open to the community.
Paying homage to its original purpose, Branch is a really unique space with lots of old bank details, including the restaurant name, a menu organized by Shares (think appetizers) and Stocks (main dishes), and dessert cocktails like the Frozen Account. That attention to detail also includes lots of fun nods to the prohibition era with a Temperance Map above the bar, water served in an old gin bottle, and the Night Drop, an “underground” bar.
And if that isn’t enough, the staff is welcoming and the food is bright, complex, rich, and cozy. Open my account because I plan on being a loyal customer at Branch!
Let me give the rundown on what I’ve tried so far:
From the Brunch Menu
Beignets: Holy smokes! These are not the average every day beignets (well, if I were to ever actually make beignets); no, these are pistachio praline beignets served with pistachio praline to add a little something extra extra! Delish!
Challah French Toast: In an attempt to not look like we were ordering the entire brunch menu, we got a half order of french toast. I loved the warm butter and maple syrup. As with everything we ordered, every plate is beautiful and intentional, including this one.
Shrimp and Grits: I will be straight up honest. This was my husband’s pick and the last thing I wanted him to order. I tried to nudge him in a different direction, but man I’m glad it didn’t work. I literally kept reaching for his bowl because I could not get enough. This dish is super creamy and cozy and rich . . . from the homemade chicken stock to the cream, butter, and mushrooms, it’s perfection.
Steak, Egg, and Potatoes: Think juicy flank steak cooked a perfect medium and topped with an over easy egg and chimichurri sauce. Unbelievable. And, I don’t even care about potatoes, but these smashed, roasted, and then deep fried red skin potatoes are out of this world.
If you’ve read my blog, you know I have a love affair with coffee, especially when it comes from a local roaster. So the cherry on top of this amazing meal was the perfectly brewed cup of Urbana coffee! Keeping it local! It’s all in the details at Branch. And speaking of details, owls happen to have a special place in my heart because my grandmother loved owls, be sure to look for them around the restaurant.
Don’t forget this is a two-in-one spot: Branch restaurant up top and the Night Drop bar below. Two completely different spaces, two different feels, two different purposes- both worth a visit (or two or three)!
P.S.- I’m looking forward to trying the dinner menu next. Thank you, Branch for having us!
GO THERE (Branch)! TRY THAT (Beignets, Shrimp & Grits)!