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Midtown Reserve opens in restaurant triplex

New, reservation-only offering serves as Epic Catering’s most upscale restaurant

Midtown Reserve opens in restaurant triplex
Midtown Reserve opens in restaurant triplex
Midtown Reserve opens in restaurant triplex
Midtown Reserve opens in restaurant triplex
Midtown Reserve opens in restaurant triplex
Midtown Reserve opens in restaurant triplex
Midtown Reserve opens in restaurant triplex
The roasted bone marrow appetizer at Midtown Reserve in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)
The scallops at Midtown Reserve in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)
The filet mignon with surf and turf and mushrooms at Midtown Reserve in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)
The open faced wedge salad at Midtown Reserve in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)
The tomahawk steak with a lobster tail and bacon-wrapped asparagus at Midtown Reserve in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A new, upscale offering soon will be restaurant group Epic Catering LLC’s finest.

Midtown Reserve, a reservation-only steakhouse opening downtown at 319 Seventh St. SE, shows promise to one-up the high-end restaurant market around Cedar Rapids with an intimate, 40-person space. The restaurant tentatively plans to start accepting reservations by Oct. 19.

“This will be a place to celebrate special occasions like anniversaries, birthdays,” said Tim Smith, operations manager for Epic Catering LLC. “This is a place some folks will only come to once or twice a year.”

The food

With little competition around as a higher caliber steakhouse specifically, Midtown Reserve’s menu features all USDA Prime cuts from handpicked farms around the Midwest. Weekly specials on the menu will feature meats like porterhouses and tomahawks, and a chef’s choice selection will appear regularly, giving parties of up to four people a curated four-course meal.

Entrees will be in the ballpark of roughly $60 per person, Smith said.

If you go:

What: Midtown Reserve

Address: 319 Seventh St. SE

Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. every day

Phone: (319) 200-4389

Website: midtownreservecr.com

Details: With entrees expected to average in the ballpark of $60 per plate, this high-end steakhouse features an intimate dining room open by reservation only.

Ample free parking available across the street from the restaurant.

Midtown Reserve tentatively plans to start accepting reservations by Oct. 19.

Midtown Reserve’s tailored menu features some signature touches not offered at other restaurants. A roasted bone marrow with bourbon bacon jam headlines the appetizers, and classic salads go a step above most for a second course.

With one planned pasta dish and a portobello mushroom option, seafood also will have a place at the steakhouse, which features a colossal 14-ounce lobster tail, surf and turf add-on options, filet, Oscar crab and classics like sea bass. Seasonally, a limited selection of seafood will rotate on the menu at the chef’s discretion.

Add-ons and appetizers include well-dressed shrimp and scallop options, alongside decadent sides like lobster macaroni and cheese, bacon-wrapped asparagus and sauteed mushrooms.

Libations

Although no beer will be on the menu, the drinks leave nothing to be desired, with a small selection of handcrafted cocktails and a vast selection of wine.

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On a focused menu of about five cocktails, simple but elevated creations include the coconut lavender martini and the elderflower gin fizz.

Keeping with current social media trends, a Negroni Sbagliato with Prosecco also will make an appearance with the restaurant’s opening. The second word in the drink’s name, popularized by a joke circulating in various corners of TikTok, translates to “mistake” in Italian.

Bar manager Gabby Waltermyer, who started the bar program at Epic Catering’s Crosby’s in NewBo, said drinks will embrace upscale styles with a sense of minimalism.

“They’ll be more mind-blowing than your average bar,” she said.

Plans for hand-infused liquor flavors like smoke and habanero, similar to Crosby’s offerings, will make an appearance at Midtown Reserve.

The wine list, still in production, will include options like Silver Oak Alexander Valley’s cabernet sauvignon. Given their stature, many wines on the menu will be offered by the bottle.

The chef

Executive Chef Antonio Tilmon brings a background as a traveling sous-chef who worked his way up through hotel service at various locations in Washington, Maine, Utah and Arkansas.

A native of Little Rock, Ark., he got his start in Cedar Rapids with Epic Catering’s Midtown Station nearly a year ago. Midtown Reserve will be the 43-year-old’s first position as an executive chef.

With an eye for rich flavors, his style incorporates the influences of soul food in his home state.

All of Tilmon’s steaks will include a bone marrow butter compound, dubbed “butter of the gods.” All of his Midtown Reserve steaks will be salted at room temperature as they rest an hour before cooking, giving the salt an opportunity to bring out the steak’s moisture.

“It takes a 10 and turns it into a 15 with flavor,” he said.

Plans for a dessert menu, yet to be revealed, will include simple down-home options like banana splits and apple pie with candied bacon and a caramelize bourbon.

The space

Aside from the 40-person dining room, the restaurant offers a separate area for larger private parties.

Midtown Reserve’s location, part of a planned triplex of restaurants from Epic Catering announced in April, will feature two other casual options in partitioned parts of the building.

Tipsy Tomato will feature pizza, salads, beer and cocktails. Chapo’s Tacos will serve tacos and margaritas for carryout only. Chapo’s Tacos replaces the previously announced Siena Italiana concept.

The elderflower gin fizz cocktail at Midtown Reserve in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)
The coconut lavender martini at Midtown Reserve in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Comments: (319) 398-8340; elijah.decious@thegazette.com