Casual American dining with a twist

Author: Nicole Manikas
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010

After enjoying a sunny Saturday lounging around outside, my friend Danielle and I thought that an early dinner at Twist, located on Albany Post Rd. in Hyde Park, might provide a fun dining experience. We did not know what to expect as we drove by the small, inconspicuous eatery, located in a strip mall. Patrons can enter through the front of the restaurant, walking by a sidewalk adorned with brightly colored umbrellas and tables, or through the back, adjacent to the parking lot, as we did. A friendly host greeted us inside the small vestibule.


A sophisticated welcome


The interior was calm and comforting, yet there was a modern twist to it as well, which may be what the former Culinary Institute of America graduate and owner was going for. At one end is an accent wall, painted with a brightly colored mural. The vibrant hues reach out to every corner of the room, providing an air of sophistication and welcome at the same time. The wall of windows facing out onto the street allowed in enough natural light to make the small space appealing, while hanging wire light fixtures added a soft ambiance.


We were having an early dinner, so the restaurant was not crowded. Our host asked us where we would prefer to sit as he pointed out the different seating options: booths, small square tables, round booths for bigger parties, high top tables, and a bar-like area with a kitchen view. We chose the last option, and while our host escorted us to our table, he assured us that they were the best seats in the house. Although the restaurant is small in size, the kitchen is out in the open, so diners can watch their food and drink being prepared.


This feature was my favorite part of the Twist experience. The chefs bustled about directly in front of us, so close that they leaned over the bar during our meal to ask us how we were enjoying our food. The interactions with people who are normally behind the scenes made our meal feel up-close and personal.


I ordered the roasted chicken breast, which was accompanied by spring carrots, bread pudding, and a delicious grain mustard-ale sauce. The sauce provided the perfect blend of flavors to accompany the tender meat of the chicken breast. Danielle decided on the sautéed black cod, with Spaetzle (a soft egg noodle), sautéed spinach, pine nuts, and topped with a kalamata olive tapenade. The presentation of the food was beautiful, and I couldn’t wait to dig in.


Danielle and I tasted each other’s meals, and although I am not a huge seafood fan, the cod paired with the kalamata olive tapenade pleasantly surprised my taste buds. We were too full after eating our entrees to indulge in the dessert menu, but we were brought two spoonfuls of mint sorbet. The mixture of flavor and coolness was a refreshing way to cleanse our palettes and end a memorable meal.


Twist is located at 4290 Albany Post Rd. in Hyde Park and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5pm to 9pm, and 5pm to 10pm on Friday and Saturday.

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