I was excited to eat at the Brick Cellar, as I had met the chef around town, and because I used to be the chef of a similar restaurant. The meal was severely disappointing, only made worse by the service.
The bartender was also serving tables, and seemed strangely shocked that I had come in to eat dinner. I ordered a beer, but would have preferred sparkling water, which is not available. Half of the menu is crossed out, and the bartender said they were sold of three additional items. I wanted to get a few small plates and a salad, but since the smallest salad is $9, I opted just for the small plates. Starting out with sweet potato fries, I was amazed at how much the chef had missed the mark. First, the "fries" are not fried, but rather roasted strips of sweet potato tossed in a molasses reduction. Either the chef was trying to approximate the feel of crispy fries, or my sweet potato strips were simply undercooked. Whatever the case, they were not palatable, too sweet, and NOT FRIES! Calling a menu item "fries" requires use of a fryer, or at least an oven-roasted approach that lends a crispy outside. Furthermore, AFTER ordering I was informed that the chipotle mayo I was supposed to get with the fries was sold out, so I was offered a red pepper coulis, which was a poor accompaniment. Second course, I ordered a crab cake, which was available as a special. I asked for a half order and was brought a full order, but luckily was not charged for the full order. Normally I would have been excited for a free crab cake, but not this time. The cakes, although cooked technically perfectly, were bland and tasteless. Warm on the inside, crispy on the outside, I had high hopes because crab cakes are sometimes an issue, but it wasn't the technique, it was the flavor. I could not pick out a hint of crab, so it ended up being a big ball of herb-y mush. Then, the chipotle mayo which they supposedly didn't have for my "fries" was served with my crab cake (in a cheap, disposable plastic ramekin). The mayo was so powerfully spicy that it left my mouth coated in a spicy oil that made a futile effort of trying to taste the crab. I ended with a bacon mac and cheese, although at this point I was regretting having ordered my courses ahead of time. I gladly would have called it quits after the crab cake. The mac and cheese was good, flavorful, and colorful, but the menu calls the mac "loaded" with bacon, and I found about 5 miniscule pieces scattered throughout the dish. There was a good bit of chicken, but frankly I was already so turned off by my previous courses that I had to call the whole thing a failure because of the lack of bacon.
Gunnison is in dire need of a place like this, but Brick Cellar is doing nothing to fill that void. Perhaps they are able to skate by based on a lack of competition, but the entire experience was an "F" and I would never go back, unless to drink a beer, but only if dragged by friends. Without work on the flavors, menu, and service, Brick Cellar will never make it into my rotation. I can't believe how bad it was.
The atmosphere is lovely, and I do enjoy the look of the place.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.