7 Things to Know About Pax Americana

By Marcy de Luna  |  August 5, 2014
Credit: Pax Americana/Facebook

Pax Americana recently opened in Montrose bringing modern American cuisine and a high-energy vibe to the quaint space formerly occupied by Thai Sticks. Here are seven things to know before you go.

1. There's lots of talent here. The team behind Pax includes restaurateur Shepard Ross (also of Glass Wall and Brooklyn Athletic Club) and business partners Dan and Mark Zimmerman (whose family owns La Colombe d'Or Hotel and Zimm’s Bar). The kitchen is run by not one, but two respected chefs: Adam Dorris (Stella Sola, Revival Market, Ghetto Dinner pop-up series) and Plinio Sandalio (Gravitas, Carillon in Austin, Textile).

2. It's about quality not quantity. Still a work in progress, the small menu includes sixteen dishes: six small plates ($10-$16), six specialty items ($17-$19) and four desserts ($9 each). Standouts include the grilled canary melon (pictured below), gulf shrimp, pork belly and yogurt panna cotta. On the way: Roughly a handful of entrees centered around the restaurant’s dry-aging program. Expect the likes of rib chops and a hearty porterhouse for two ($25-$50).

3. Whiskey, rum and gin cocktails abound; wines and beer are all-American. The beverage program, a collaboration between general manager Chris Fleischman (Fairmont Hotels, Roost and Lillo & Ella) and Ross, showcases eleven specialty drinks. Our favorite is the Beet-Nik (gin with lemon juice, Caraway syrup and housemade beet syrup).

4. There’s a legit Andy Warhol on the wall. Works by Keith Haring are peppered throughout the space. A giant map of the U.S. cut from a single piece of steel hangs in the dining room. The modern art collection will rotate as the restaurant evolves.

5. It's loud. Be forewarned, the volume can get high between a full house (there's seating for 80 inside and 80 outside) and piped in tunes. A sound buffering solution is in the works and the system allows for volume tweaks by room. For now, appreciate the solid playlist (think David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Al Green) — and speak up. A vinyl collection is on the way for the soon-to-be installed turntable.

6. Walk-ins are welcome. Half the tables are for reservations; the others are up for grabs. Wait at the bar (originally a way station for Wells Fargo coaches in the 1800s), or pop over to Zimm's Bar next door (your hostess will alert you when your table is ready) to snack on bites from Pax, including meat and cheese paired with bread from Common Bond bakery.

7. There’s a secret menu. Inquire, but don’t get your feelings hurt if you’re denied. You'll have to make your way through the regular menu before earning rights to off-the-menu creations. There may even be a password or handshake involved.