At the Beard House, 2015 arrived full of promise, bringing us delicious, thought-provoking flavors from Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Kansas City, Missouri. Here are our editors' favorite dishes from January.
Périgord Black Truffles with Farm Egg, Farro Verde, and Sunchokes / The New Classic
Layers of umami-packed, freshly shaved black truffles? Check. Luxurious egg yolk? Trendy grain with an ancient pedigree? Perfect balance of texture and flavor? Check, check, and check. Just one look at the menu description of this beautifully composed dish from Kansas City’s Michael Corvino told us it had the makings of a home run, and just one bite confirmed it. The nutty flavor and delightful crunch of the crispy farro was the perfect foil to the elegant truffles and earthy sunchokes, beating out caviar, lobster, and Pacific black cod as the most satisfying dish of the entire night.
—Elena North-Kelly, Senior Editor
Bitters-Poached Gulf Shrimp with Toasted Oats, Honey, and Candied Pecans / Life in the Big Easy
As a cocktail neophyte, I have to admit that I couldn’t tell you what a bitter is, nor whether my drink has any in it. But thanks to this inspired hors d’oeuvre at Josh Boeckleman’s recent Beard House dinner, I now have a real appreciation for the magic they can work on shrimp. These delectable bites featured a crunchy, nutty exterior that highlighted the natural sweetness of the shellfish, but the herbal quality of the bitters (developed by Boeckleman’s twin brother) rescued the dish from entering cloying territory. An elevation of everyone’s favorite game-day beer-poached shrimp, this canapé just might motivate me to take a closer look at my next Manhattan.
—Maggie Borden, Assistant Editor
Venison Carpaccio with Flavors of the Pine Barrens / Philly Star
Eli Kulp, who helped conceive the New York City–themed tasting menu at Torissi Italian Specialties, is now exploring the culinary history of the Delaware Valley at Philadelphia's Fork. His research has led to his "Our Terroir" tasting menu, featuring dishes like sunflower seed risotto with Kennett Square mushrooms, as well as an homage to Philly's unsung roast pork and broccoli rabe sandwich. For my favorite dish, inspired by the Pine Barrens, a densely forested and largely undeveloped coastal area in southern New Jersey, Kulp blanketed an unfathomably delicate venison carpaccio with charred cabbages, pine nut crema, and spruce-tip tea.
—Anna Mowry, Senior Editor
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