Located at a 15-minute drive from campus, Old Fourth Ward recently added a new restaurant to the neighborhood on Dec. 11, 2019. Field Day is a small, vibrant bar owned by actor and restaurateur Rob Bouton. The joint offers an eclectic menu to satisfy every need of its customers. The restaurant stands next to Everyday Market, which Bouton opened a year prior.
Field Day’s menu is small, yet varied. It features two types of burgers, a couple of salads, several small plates and sharing options, and side dishes. The menu’s Asian flair can be attributed to co-owner and executive chef Mike Pitts’ prior experience working at Nobu and Momofuku in New York City.
Six friends and I decided to venture to Field Day on a Thursday night a little over a month after their opening. As we drove through Old Fourth Ward, the street bustled with other restaurant-goers waiting outside the various restaurants. In contrast to the lively buzz just down the street, Field Day is situated in a quiet part of the neighborhood that allows it to offer a comparatively tranquil dining experience. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were the only customers. The restaurant was decorated with funky, pear-shaped tables, twinkly lights and bright wall designs. The atmosphere, despite us being the only customers, was fun and inviting, which made us excited to try the food.
Two of my friends and I ordered Field Day’s classic burger, which comes topped with cheddar cheese and a “champ sauce” that seemed to consist of ketchup, mayo and largely chopped pickles — not unlike the Big Mac sauce from McDonald’s, our waitress explained. The tangy and vinegary sauce was slathered on both halves of the toasted sesame seed bun and added a kick of flavor to the patty and contrasted well with the sharp cheddar cheese. You could say that we were satisfied, as we finished our burgers within three minutes. One of my friends immediately exclaimed, “Mmm! Really good!” as she took her first bite. Although certainly filling and delicious, the $12 burger did not come accompanied by any free sides. For a burger worth that much, $4 for a side of french fries was slightly disappointing.
Another one of my friends ordered the winter citrus salad with a side of cauliflower. When it arrived at the table, we were immediately drawn to the bright, flower-like slices of citrus laid on the top. She noted the freshness of the oranges, satsuma and grapefruit, and the savory flavor brought by the vinaigrette dressing. The charred cauliflower, on the other hand, was drenched in a brown butter sauce, feta cheese and capers, making it unpleasantly soggy.
The chicken yakitori roll arrived next. The sandwich consisted of shredded chicken thighs and a generous helping of scallion aioli packed into an untoasted hoagie roll. My friend was slightly disappointed in the chicken’s lack of flavor and the sogginess brought by the overwhelming amount of sauce.
Another one of my friends ordered the steak frites. Although the menu stated that the steak would be cooked medium, it came out rather rare. The steak’s pungent herb rub left a distinct aftertaste in our mouths. The fries that accompanied the meal were covered in a sweet and salty “field spice” that seemed to consist of onion powder and paprika. Our initial reaction was that the french fries were interesting in an unexpected, unconventional way. My friend who had ordered the steak frites noted that the fries with the spice were delicious and she could’ve eaten a full plate of them.
We all agreed that everything packed a punch in terms of flavor and that each dish offered a distinct flavor. We concurred that the plates were slightly overpriced, with main dishes amounting to $10 minimum and $25 maximum. Everything came on small plates with no free sides and we were all still hungry after the meal. We likened this to be a new restaurant still trying to figure itself out.