Ryan Ritchie 2016-09-01 12:30:37
Chefs are updating and elevating one of the most luxurious delicacies in the world: caviar. Caviar, a staple on fine dining menus across the globe, is undergoing a makeover. Using innovative pairings to amplify the dish’s bold flavors, chefs are transforming this classic spread into dazzling new menu options. Though blinis and creme fraiche will always be worthy complements to caviar, chefs are stepping outside the box to craft updated tasting experiences. One such restaurant where the salt-cured fish eggs have shattered the mold of traditional pairings is television personality and cookbook author Richard Sandoval’s Masa 14. Located in Washington, D.C., the eatery serves caviar on a chef’s tasting menu alongside a live scallop with lemongrass, celery and sea urchin, offering a well-balanced and refreshing ocean flavor with floral notes. According to Masa 14 Chef de Cuisine Ryan Ratino, caviar “lends itself to being experimented with,” which is why so many chefs are utilizing it in new and unprecedented pairings. Ratino believes caviar is merely in the beginning stages of its culinary renaissance. Traditionalists are jumping on the trend, too. Petrossian, a caviar and Champagne bar with multiple locations, is challenging the caviar status quo: At the West Hollywood cafe, caviar pasta and caviar-topped Napoléon tartare grace the menu as well as pizza-like caviar flatbread with creme fraiche, chives, red onion, capers and chopped egg. The cafe also educates patrons on the ingredient’s delicacy by offering Caviar 301, a tasting of all the caviar species available at the restaurant and boutique. The experience includes a sevencourse dinner with caviar as the centerpiece. One of the meal’s dessert options is vanilla panna cotta cardamom shortbread, generally served with espresso caviar, a tantalizing mix of innovative tastes. As chefs continue to reinvent caviar dishes and find new and compelling pairings, one thing is certain, enjoying caviar with its ultimate complement, a fine glass of Champagne, will never go out of style. Contemporary Caviar The evolution of this delicacy can be found throughout Montage properties—here are a few highlights sure to please longtime caviar lovers and those indulging for the first time. THE CANOE CLUB MONTAGE PALMETTO BLUFF PALMETTO BLUFF, S.C. Prepared with smoked steelhead roe caviar, the jumbo lump blue crab served at The Canoe Club blends sweet, fresh and smoky flavors to craft a sensory and indulgent chilled dish. Grilled pineapple, pickled shallots, cucumber, mini croutons and a sweet pineapple-basil vinaigrette are paired with the caviar. CANE & CANOE MONTAGE KAPALUA BAY LAHAINA, MAUI At Cane & Canoe, the signature vanilla panna cotta and lilikoi gelee—made with coconut espuma, macadamia nut shortbread and basil pearls—is a sweet dessert topped with basil “caviar.” Small pearls add a floral nuance while the basil puree “keeps the dish fun and exciting,” says Executive Chef David Viviano. STUDIO MONTAGE LAGUNA BEACH LAGUNA BEACH, CALIF. With two dishes featuring caviar, Montage Laguna Beach’s Studio is a must-try destination for anyone looking to enjoy the fish egg-based delicacy with a twist. Created by Executive Chef Craig Strong, the golden Ossetra caviar on the dinner menu features traditional accompaniments, while the warm lemon chawan mushi with caviar boasts a delectable combination of Okinawan sweet potato and creme fraiche. GEORGIE OR THE GARDEN BAR MONTAGE BEVERLY HILLS BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. At either Georgie or The Garden Bar, caviar lovers can enjoy the The Georgie Ossetra Caviar Service featuring traditional garnishes such as buckwheat blinis and creme fraiche, as well as nontraditional sides such as pancetta walnut marmalade and smoked deviled quail eggs. Guests who would rather lounge in bed may enjoy in-room service that includes the nutty, buttery Alverta President, the fruity and juicy Royal Ossetra or the nutty, rich Ossetra President, which captures the eggs at their peak size, flavor, color and texture. Each in-room option comes with toast points, blinis and creme fraiche. THE APRÈS LOUNGE MONTAGE DEER VALLEY PARK CITY, UTAH The Après Lounge is home to the Tsar Nicoulai Caviar Tasting with traditional accompaniments and blinis. Roasted eggplant “caviar” with red pepper confit is also available as well as Veuve Clicquot Champagne.
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