Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Omaha Yummy Nom Noms - Lot 2

The Benson area located in north midtown Omaha is truly becoming the place to be for entertainment. WO + SF have been visiting the area for years now, seeing countless shows at The Waiting Room, The Sydney, and Barley Street Tavern (Dim Light is playing here tonight – come to the show, only $5!). We’ve also had countless memorable, yet sometimes blurry, times at Jake’s Cigars & Spirits, in fact we were just there last night burning the midnight oil after our wonderful meal.

This last summer was an interesting one for the Benson neighborhood as new developments in the area brought even more people to this small stretch of Maple Street, the most noticeable addition being the beer and bloody mary bar Krug Park. With over 50 brews on tap and even more bottles available, Krug’s nod to the nostalgia of the Benson area is reflected in the vintage photos on the walls, the original brick work across the east wall and the gorgeous custom made bar which fills the room with the smell of thick, rich wood and days of yore.
It was only a matter of time until a new establishment challenged the high standard that Krug Park set. Lot 2, located right next door to Krug Park, uses a modern aesthetic with simple light grey walls, low and romantic track lighting, and light wood fixtures which give a clean and streamlined feel. Owners Brad and Johanna Marr are already established Omaha restaurateurs in their own right coming from managing M’s Pub. Their refined American cuisine has always been held in high regard by residents of Omaha.

We waited and waited and, finally, Lot 2 was ready to open. The soft opening happened over the weekend. Unfortunately our reservation couldn’t be accommodated on Friday night, but we were happy to rebook for the official opening Monday. Once seated, our party talked about how much we loved the simplicity of the environment and the menu. For a menu which isn’t that large, Lot 2 offers an abundant amount of diverse plates. We ordered a bottle of wine, a $30 Argentinian Malbec which was one of the least expensive on the menu. Our dining party was filled with different kinds of eaters. Sly Fox has been, and will always be a pickier eater. Not a fan of meat or anything with a coarse texture, she was drawn to the sandwiches and flatbreads on the menu which were more cheese and vegetable based. For her next Lot 2 dining experience she looks forward to trying their ½ pound L2 burger. Wise Owl and our other dining friend are much more daring and open with their cuisine choices, which Lot 2 really caters to. Items like the Seiaen Kabob, the grilled cheese sandwich with pork, bangers and mash, and steak and frites made their entrée decision much more difficult.

We settled on an appetizer which was butternut squash, fennel sausage and cheeses all rolled into delicious fried balls with a pesto sauce underneath to give a little added lemon flavor. For our entrees we actually all settled on trying the two types of Flatbread available. The first flatbread was composed of prosciutto, fingerling potatoes, and creamy ricotta cheese, and the second flatbread was bacon, mushrooms, and stilton cheese. Both of these flatbreads burst with flavor. The meat was cooked to perfection and the cheese was neither bland nor overpowering. Once we had finished our meal, we took a peek at the dessert menu, but unfortunately nothing really called to us.

Ricotta, prosciutto, and fingerling potato flatbread.
Overall, the food was fantastic. Between three diners who shared essentially all of the same courses, we each individually paid $30 toward the bill before tip. We would definitely recommend spending the money on a bottle of wine, especially if you’re dining with more than 2 people as individual glasses of wine were approximately $10 and doesn’t provide the selections the full wine menu does. 

Our Appetizer, after we ate most of it
Inside of our delicious appetizer
The only critique of Lot 2? The service isn’t up to the par that it should be. Our waitress struggled to open our bottle of wine, unable to cut the foil from the top. She stood in front of our table for about a full minute trying to get it off. Next, the staff was simply ill-educated regarding the menu. When asked how big the hamburger was or whether the chicken still had the bones in it, the staff was unable to ask our questions, but were more than willing to go ask for the answer. It simply seems like the owners didn’t sit down with the staff and have them try any of the food before the opening. Unfortunately this really hinders the experience as we typically rely on the waiter to provide a recommendation, especially when dining in a new place. Last but not least our waitress got our order wrong!! She brought out the dishes, and Sly Fox noticed she was not given what she ordered and the waitress tried to convince her that she was wrong. We’re sorry, but that’s just a bad move. Sly Fox asked to see the menu again and sure enough, the waitress admitted she put in the order wrong. We realize that issues like this occur and were more than fine to keep dining, but typically we do expect to receive some apology from a manager or possibly a dessert for the error. Instead we got nothing; no owner even came around asking us how our experience was.

Stilton, bacon, and mushroom flatbread.
Our overall recommendation is to definitely give it a try. Hopefully, you’ll have a better service experience than we did. The food is fantastic and the service will get there. Did we mention Lot 2 will also be serving a Sunday brunch? We had a sneak peek at the brunch menu and it looks to die for.

There’s no doubt that Lot 2 is a great addition to the Benson area and will bring a level of fine dining that the area needed. Both Wise Owl + Sly Fox look forward to many more delicious dining experiences there.

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