For weeks -- no, months -- before it opened, long before they started serving vigorously-shaken cocktails, birthday cotton candy, bone marrow dumplings, and ingenious petit fours, Gavin Kaysen's Spoon and Stable had some pretty serious expectations to live up to.
Despite admirable efforts to communicate that, no, this restaurant wouldn't be Cafe Boulud 2.0 or a Midwestern version of French Laundry, diners seemed to believe that they'd be getting food and flavors and ingredients they'd never dreamed of, let alone encountered at their grandmother's dinner table. But Kaysen's inspiration was clearly coming from a place much closer to home.
See also: 5: Heyday's Chicken Liver Mousse Tart
Much to our surprise, it wasn't the much-discussed pot roast or unctuous, spice-packed heritage pork sausage that made us swoon over Spoon and Stable. Instead, the standout dish at this hotspot is a silky, smartly-constructed crudo.
Butterfly wing-thin slices of pristine day boat scallops are dressed sparingly in a scallion vinaigrette and paired with matchsticks of tart green apple, punchy chilies, and the vaguely minty, aromatic quality that only a little chiffonade of shiso leaf can bring. It's a really amazing effect, this mingling of flavors, and an ideal way to kick off an elegant evening of eating.
Spoon and Stable is committed to changing up the dinner menu to accommodate its fast-growing crowd of regulars, but this deceptively simple dish is one that's unlikely to be phased out. It's just too fabulous.
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