Piccata is a classic Italian dish of veal or chicken cooked with butter, lemon, capers and parsley, but Dave Stockford, executive chef of No. 246 in Decatur, Ga., simplifies that by making a compound butter of all of those flavor elements and baking it over fast-cooking flounder.
Bolognese is a classic Italian meat sauce normally tossed with pasta, but in Breckenridge, Colo., chef Megan Mckeary of Tin Plate uses it as pizza sauce.
Georgia peaches are usually admired for their sweetness, but at Cooks & Soldiers in Atlanta, executive chef John Castellucci plays on other elements of the fruit by charring it and dressing it with savory elements.
At The Lobby restaurant at the Ace Hotel in Chicago, sous chef Akila Vidale makes a complex vegan dish by charring romesco, braising summer squash and sautéeing watercress and serving that with whipped tofu over fried and salted black bean tempeh.
And finally at Thief, a new bar in Brooklyn, N.Y., head bartender Victor Everitt lightens up and energizes a typical Gin & Tonic by cutting it with soda and adding a long, beautiful cucumber ice cube.
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