The Little Owl

photo by Jon Selvey

An owl is a wise and mysterious bird. See one in your daily travels and it feels magical, like an omen. Sometime circa 2006, as chef-owner Joey Campanaro was prepping his yet-unnamed new restaurant for opening, he stepped outside, looked up at the building across the street, and saw a little owl perched on the threshold. So he named the place after it, and it fits well enough: The Little Owl is small in size, and it’s also wise. Campanaro says he knows he’ll “never be all things to everyone, so we just ‘do us,’ in the best way we know how.” “Doing us,” to Campanaro, means being a neighborhood place locals can depend on night and day. It means serving fresh, responsibly sourced, seasonal foods, taking the time and trouble to prepare them well, and hiring caring people who will make you smile. The menu here changes often, but a couple of favorites are untouchable: gravy meatball sliders served on chewy housemade garlic buns and pork chops with butter beans deepened with ham hock. The list is rounded out with homey salads, soups, and sides, and it’s accompanied by a wine list that means to be accessible in price and flavor.