Thief, a new bar in the Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood of Williamsburg, is named for a tool used to draw wine from a barrel to taste it as it ages, but at the moment it’s marketing the name as an effort to steal back some of the good times lost to COVID. One tool for doing that is this cocktail by head bartender Victor Everitt. “Sonic” is a term for a Gin & Tonic in which half of the tonic is replaced by soda. This version is augmented by a long, beautiful ice cube made out of cucumber that’s blended with water and frozen. The ice cube is placed in a highball glass, 1.5 ounces of gin are added and then the glass is filled with equal parts soda and tonic. It’s finished with 4 drops of celery shrub and garnished with a lime wedge and shaved celery.
Andrew Thomas Lee
Executive chef Dave Stockford says the key to this dish at No. 246 restauarant in Decatur, Ga.,is the “piccata butter” for which butter is whipped with the classic veal piccata ingredients of lemon, capers and parsley. That’s placed on top of flounder fillet — which Stockford chose because it’s tender, moist and cooks quickly — and then placed in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven. As the fish cooks, the butter browns, becoomes frothy and arrives at the table still sizzling.
Black Bean Tempeh
For this dish at The Lobby at the Ace Hotel in Chicago, sous chef Akilah Vidale makes tempeh out of black beans instead of the typical soybeans by soaking, hulling, cooking and fermenting the beans and shaping them into blocks. The tempeh is sliced, fried and salted and then topped with charred romanesco, braised summer squash and sautéed watercress, providing the dish with a wide variety of flavors and textures. It’s finished with salad greens tossed in lime juice and olive oil, a hazelnut-matcha blend and whipped tofu
At Tin Plate in Breckenridge, Colo., chef Megan McKeary uses a sourdough crust that includes Turkey Red wheat from Moxie, a flour mill in Boulder, Colo., along with olive oil that she says gives the crust a nice color. This particular pizza was conceived of by owner James Harris. It starts with fatty ground beef from Eagle Rock Ranch near Fairplay, Colo., that is cooked with mirepoix and tomato and then puréed with an immersion blender. That’s the sauce for the pizza, which is topped by house-made mozzarella, baked and finished with parsley, Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
Grilled peaches with whipped ricotta, watercress and chive oil
Executive chef John Castellucci of Cooks & Soldiers in Atlanta uses savory elements to add complexity to this dish, whhich he makes by grilling peach halves over a bed of smoldering charcoal just long enough for them to get some char marks. They’re served over ricotta that has been whipped with a little cream, salt and lemon zest and dressed with a gelée of Port cooked with red wine vinegar and a little sugar, set with agar agar and then blended until smooth.
Also on the dish is watercress dressed with extra virgin olive oil and salt, and a chive-parsley oil, which Castellucci said works really well with the char on the peaches.