Tuesday night is Game Night at Kau, the neighborhood steak hall built into the old carpenter shop at Revolution Mill.
But instead of Trivial Pursuit or Settlers of Catan, Kau’s patrons dine on wild boar ramen, elk chops, venison sliders, ostrich nigiri, kangaroo medallions and any other off-the-menu pieces the in-house butcher can get his hands on. Game Night at Kau is literally wild.
“It’s the only game in town,” says Kayne Fisher, who owns Kau with his wife Jill.
Fisher, of course, came to this venture after divestment from the Natty Greene’s craft-beer empire, which he founded with Chris Lester all the way back in 2004.
Just as Natty’s brewpub pioneered a burgeoning downtown Greensboro, Kau makes its home in the Mill District, where Revolution has become the first of the area’s repurposed textile mills. It’s situated at the base of a rolling plain, where the waters of Buffalo Creek rise and fall along Kau’s outdoor Deck and dining space. Its interior is broken into chambers: an upstairs lounge for casual dining and events, a long bar with communal tables, standard dining tables by an open kitchen window, a row of booths. And then there’s the Market, where anyone from the neighborhood can buy everything that’s on the menu, and a whole lot more.
Even the elk chops.
The walk-in cooler — there is no meat freezer at Kau — teems with carnivore’s delights: boar bones awaiting the stock pot, short ribs arrayed like tiny city blocks, bacon chops from the smoker, cases of Black Angus Prime beef awaiting the butcher’s blade to be cut into human-sized portions.
On Wednesday mornings, the seafood arrives for From the Water Wednesday, when giant prawns, boutique oysters and mussels, Scottish salmon, calamari and tuna find their way to the menu — fried, skewered, ceviche-d or, sometimes, raw in the shell.
By the bar, a meat and cheese case holds the week’s charcuterie selections, also available in the market, and a slate of salads, sandwiches, small plates and formidable burgers can accommodate every taste in the crowd. A Mac and Cheese menu adds chiles, brisket and even lobster to the classic dish. A rotating cast of cheesecakes anchors the dessert menu: mango/habanero, bacon caramel and butterscotch pretzel, to name a few. The upstairs loft is perfect for private events — catering is always available.
But Kau’s proposition appeals most to those at the top of the food chain. That’s why there’s a butcher on the premises and a market with nothing but prime cuts, that’s why there’s a game night, and that’s why the steaks and chops feature so prominently on the menu.
The basics: Black Angus Prime beef, cut into filets, ribeyes, NY strips and the bone-in Kau-Boy ribeye. The bone-in pork chop can go straight to the grill, or spend 10 days getting smoked and cured to become a bacon chop. Chicken gets roasted or pared down into the best and freshest wings in town. Lamb chops come strictly from the loin. The only seasonings they need are salt and pepper, and the last bites always come straight off the bone.
2003 Yanceyville St. GSO