Review: Young Augustine’s (1)

Southern pub food in Grant Park

One day, people will talk about Young Augustine’s without mentioning the Standard. Specifically, they’ll think about the pub without feeling the shudder of violence its building retains. Right now, it’s still too fresh — bartender John Henderson was murdered here, and that murder, along with the economic downturn, led to the Standard’s closing. But if there’s a positive to come out of this whole tragic situation, it’s Young Augustine’s.

Opened last February by some of the Standard’s owners and some former employees who bought out the other owners, Young Augustine’s is a much different place than its predecessor. There’s no smoking allowed. It’s prettier — dark wood, large blackboards and an open room replace the fractured feel of the Standard’s dining room.

The real difference, though, is in the food. The new management includes Andy Gonzales, a chef who’s worked at Bluepointe South City Kitchen, Steinbeck’s and Spice Market. Gonzales’ diverse background shows in the Southern- and Asian-tinged pub food that comprises Young Augustine’s menu. For the most part, the influences stay to their own plates, but even when dishes do cross cultures, the mishmash works.

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(Photo by James Camp)