yogurt + rhubarb
No. 9 Park, Boston, MA. Why go to that Barbara Lynch restaurant when you (and by you, I don’t mean me—unless I start a collection fund) can experience the tasting menu at newer, more daring Menton? But I assure you this old special-occasion standby is still turning out perfectly executed plates. Although the food is inspired by classics, each dish is still inventive—its fresh flavors shocking in their clarity. Each bite somehow manages to be simultaneously delicate and packed with flavor.
One of my favorite recipes on this blog is last year’s Honey-Cardamom Panna Cotta with Roasted Rhubarb. The tangy, fragrant yogurt panna cotta is a beautiful bed for tart, almost floral roasted rhubarb, a condiment I make and use until those long, ruby-pink stalks disappear.
Great minds think alike, methinks. OK, I know, I know. I should never utter my name in the same sentence as No. 9 Park’s Pastry Chef, who was nominated in 2012 for Food and Wine’s “Best New Pastry Chef.” So I guess the real point is simply that yogurt panna cotta and rhubarb taste damn good together. Jamie’s version:
squares of goat’s milk yogurt panna cotta set in agave syrup, accompanied by rhubarb sorbet, dehydrated goat’s milk tuile, lilac angel food cake, diced rhubarb, rhubarb gelée, candied lilac petals.
And because the plates were so damn pretty, there are some others below.
Chilled Jumbo Green and White Asparagus (perhaps the best dish of 2013 for me)
asparagus, earthy mushroom vinaigrette, quail egg, crab aïoli, asparagus gel.
Prune-Stuffed Gnocchi (an iconic Boston dish that’s still rich, still pillowy, still heart-stopping, still divine) (not pictured)
gnocchi stuffed with Vin Santo–soaked prunes, topped with seared foie gras slices, floating in foie gras–butter–Vin Santo glaze.
East Coast Halibut
meaty seared halibut, sweet little rock shrimp, fermented sunchoke–lemon purée, green garlic consommé, poured on at the table.
chicken breast mousse–filled roulade of dark meat, wrapped in smokey, cripsy bacon, served with broccoli rabe, vol au vent stuffed with spring vegetables and braised leg meat, topped with yolk.
Pain de Gênes
chocolate pain de Gênes, topped with a light ganache and sea salt, served with sassafras sorbet, pretzel clusters, peanut crumble, vanilla ice cream, chocolate bark, caramel.
mango mousse–fllled sponge layers, chai tea ice cream, fresh mango spheres, honeycomb, yogurt spheres, and yogurt sauce.