It doesn’t necessarily take much to add your own spin to something that can be found practically anywhere, turning something basic into a signature item.
That’s what Armando and Cinda Palacios do at Armandos in Houston, a 45-year-old restaurant that just added brunch. They put their own spin on avocado toast by making an avocado tostada.
And at Denae’s Diner at The Delhi Hotel in Los Angeles, an Espresso Martini gets an earthy boost through the use of Scotch.
Want to have fun with a Caesar salad? Maybe use squid ink instead of anchovies like chef Andrew Smith does at Ristorante Per L’Ora, also in Los Angeles. Actually, he does a lot to mix it up, using baby gem lettuce instead of romaine, black garlic instead of regular garlic, Parmesan frico, and cotija cheese. At that point is it still a Caesar salad? Well, that’s what he calls it, at any rate.,
At Nemesis, a new Southeast Asian Restaurant in New York City, chef Francis Tanrantana serves a fried fish in a pretty traditional format, but she uses skate. And at Spain Wine Bar in Ocean City, Md., chef Oscar Benitez gives a boost to a swordfish skewer with the use of the Peruvian chile aji amarillo.
Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]