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Our Favorite Beard House Dishes in February

JBF Editors

March 10, 2015

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Chef Richard Hales in the Beard House kitchen

Last month's stand-out Beard House dishes came from a Bon Appétit Best New Restaurant nominee, a JBF Award–winning Southerner, and former Top Chef competitor Bart Vandaele. Below, our editors' picks for the best of February.

Dan dan nooles at the Beard House

Dan Dan Noodles / Chinese New Year Celebration

Richard Hales’s interpretation of dan dan noodles gets an assist from sesame paste, its creaminess providing some relief from the scorch of Sichuan chili oil. This dish is ridiculously easy to make at home, though, depending on where you live, some of the seasonings may be a little tough to track down. But once you have everything in your pantry, you can whip this up whenever the craving strikes. Watch this instructional video to see just how simple it is.

—Anna Mowry, Senior Editor

Lamb neck ragù at the Beard House

Lamb Neck Ragù with Carrot Agnolotti, Turnips, and Black Truffles / Bottega: Italy to Spain with a Southern Accent

When Southern dining icon and JBF Award–winning chef Frank Stitt and his talented chef de cuisine, Paul Yeck, brought their Italian-inflected cuisine to the Beard House, we once again learned that there may be nothing more satisfying than a warm bowl of handmade pasta topped with luscious, meaty ragù. What happens when you tuck a silky carrot –ricotta filling into airy pockets of pasta dough, add ribbons of fork-tender lamb, and shave a generous helping of black truffles over the top? Pure heaven.

—Elena North-Kelly, Senior Editor

Hay-smoked lobster at the Beard House

Hay-Smoked Lobster with Coffee-Braised Carrots, Ardbeg Whiskey Perfume, and Black Garlic / Belgian Chic

Most lobster dishes don’t come with a skillet of smoldering hay, but chef Bart Vandaele likes a little bit of theater with his dinner. Flair aside, the dish itself was striking, the delicate and deliberate placement of each component belying robust flavors. It was also an exercise in balancing bitter and sweet: the smoke in tandem with the lobster, the black garlic against the whiskey perfume, and especially the coffee and carrots, a combination that caught me off guard but became one of my favorite bites of the whole meal. I could take a crack at those carrots at home, but they might not be up to snuff without the smoke and mirrors.

—Maggie Borden, Assistant Editor

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View all upcoming Beard House events at jamesbeard.org/events.

For more from these authors, find @maggbo, @annamowry, and @enorthkelly on Twitter.