The 50 Best Restaurants 2012: A Closer Look
For six of the restaurants on our 2012 list, we go a step further by showing you what makes them outstanding. Check out all of our 50 Best Restaurants 2012 coverage.
Each bite from Tim Cushmanâ€™s elaborate contemporary-Japanese menuâ€”every painstakingly calibrated micro sea bean or watermelon pearl that garnishes the fresh slices of sashimi and nigiriâ€”warrants a moment of silent appreciation. So, then: Shhhh.
Order the $175-per-person omakase, and your meal might look a little something like this (one plate at a time, of course).
All photos by Bruce Peterson / Styling by Kara Butterfield
|1.Â Kumamoto oyster with watermelon pearls and cucumber mignonette|
|2.Â HamachiÂ with spicy banana-pepper mousse|
|3.Â Wild Ivory King salmon with lemongrass-curry sauce, toasted garlic, and sesame|
|4.Â Warm eel with Thai basil,Â kabayaki, and fresh KyotoÂ sansho|
|5.Â KinmedaiÂ withÂ umeÂ vinaigrette andÂ shiso|
|6.Â â€śLegs and Eggs,â€ť petite Maine lobster legs with white-sturgeon caviar and tomalley aioli|
|7.Â Squid withÂ uniÂ butter,Â uniÂ powder, micro sea beans, andÂ shiso|
|8.Â Wild bluefin tuna with â€śRepublic of Georgiaâ€ť herb sauce|
|9.Â Salmon with Vietnamese dashi caramel and spicyÂ rau ramÂ salsa|
|10.Â ShimaÂ ajiÂ and Santa Barbara sea urchin with ceviche vinaigrette and cilantro|
|11.Â Sea bass with spicy cucumber vinaigrette, avocado,Â benitade, and cilantro|
|12.Â Tasmanian ocean trout with smoked salmon roe, wasabi vinaigrette, and cucumber bloom|
|13.Â Shiso-leaf tempura with grilled lobster, charred tomato,andÂ ponzuÂ aioli|
|14.Â Mushroom sashimi with rosemary-garlic oil, sesame froth, and homemade soy sauce|
|15.Â Seared petite Wagyu strip loin with bone-marrowÂ chawanmushiÂ and toasted-garlic sake-soy sauce|
|16.Â Miso-marinated Delice de Bourgogne cheese (paired with Harpoon Rye IPA)|
|17.Â Foie-gras nigiri with balsamic-chocolateÂ kabayaki, raisin-cocoa pulp, and a sip of eight-year-aged sake|
|18.Â Chocolates (three varieties): SaltedÂ hojichaÂ caramel; pomegranate, rosewater, and elderflower; andÂ yuzu kosho,Â gianduja, and sesame brittle|
Chef Jason Bond specializes in high-style fare with a dose of quirkâ€”much of it owing to the unusual ingredients he sources. Hereâ€™s a look at some of the oddities that have appeared on the menu.
Just of Few of Jason Bond’s Favorite Things
|1.Â Bronze fennel seed|
|2.Â Romanesco broccoli|
|3.Â Cascade hops|
|4.Â Entoloma mushrooms|
|5.Â East Indian lemongrass|
|6.Â Birch root|
|7.Â Mexican sour gherkins|
|8.Â Husk cherries|
|9.Â Cherry bark|
|10.Â Autumn olives|
|11.Â Lemon-basil flowers|
|13.Â Heirloom purple carrot|
|15.Â Chicken mushrooms|
|16.Â Waldoboro Green Neck turnip|
There are endless examples of this restaurantâ€™s creativity and sophistication, perhaps none as simple as â€ścarrot, several ways.â€ť The dish, which occasionally appears on the vegetarian prix fixe, arrives overflowing with fallâ€™s bounty in every imaginable preparationâ€”from a flat carrot ribbon to cool carrot-yogurt ice cream to a crisp carrotâ€“yuzuÂ koshoÂ slaw.
Journeyman’s Tasting of Carrots
|1.Â Greek yogurt foam|
|2.Â Shredded carrotâ€”yuzuÂ koshoÂ slaw|
|3.Â Roasted Minicor carrots|
|4.Â Hazelnut terrine|
|5.Â Carrotâ€”Greek yogurt ice cream|
|6.Â Roasted Thumbelina carrots|
|7.Â Carrot ribbon|
|8.Â Nasturtium sauce|
Fromager extraordinaire Louis Risoli has overseen Lâ€™Espalierâ€™s storied cheese cart for more than three decades, and being guided through his 30 or so hand-selected offerings remains one of this cityâ€™s decadent pleasures. You can enjoy them off the custom-crafted $6,000 cart, of course, but also during the Cheese Tuesday tastings that are held in the restaurantâ€™s salon.
Louis Risoli Selects Five Great New England Cheeses
|1.Â Adaâ€™s Honor:Â A tangy goatâ€™s milk from Ruggles Hill Creamery in Hardwick|
|2.Â Coupole:Â A creamy, dense goatâ€™s milk from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery in Websterville, Vermont|
|3.Â Lakeâ€™s Edge:Â A soft, ash-rubbed goatâ€™s milk from Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury, Vermont|
|4.Â Harbison:Â A tree-bark-wrapped herbal cowâ€™s milk from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont|
|5.Â Timberdoodle:Â A semisoft, raw cowâ€™s milk from Woodcock Farm in Weston, Vermont|
Itâ€™s not enough here to serve the butteriest seared foie gras, earthiest escargot, and most tender buttermilk-braised chicken. A variety of molecular powders and extracts keep the dishes as texturally and visually intriguing as they are delicious.
A Peek Into Clio’s Toolkit
|1.Â AguniÂ Sea Salt:Â An obscure Japanese finishing salt, used rather thanÂ fleur de selÂ on meats like Wagyu beef.|
|2.Â Honey Powder:Â Melted, stretched, and pulled like sugar for a striking garnish.|
|3.Â Chicory Granules:Â Infuses stocks, sauces, and flavored sodas.|
|4.Â Agar-Agar:Â A seaweed-derived substance ideal for sheetlike â€śnoodles.â€ť|
|5.Â Menthol Crystals:Â Reinforces and intensifies fresh mint flavors.|
|6.Â Pectin:Â Used for chewy gummies, jellies, and pĂ˘tĂ© de fruit.|
|7.Â Carrageenan Iota:Â Helps to mold and set custards.|
|8. Licorice Extract Sticks:Â Ground down to flavor licorice-roasted duck and other meat-based sauces.|
|9. Low-Acyl Gellan Gum:Â Used to create gels.|
This brasserie simply excels at everything, from expert charcuterie to porky mac â€™nâ€™ cheese to, best of all, agenda-setting cocktails produced in astonishing consistency and volume.
By the Numbers
The number of cocktails (at least) that an Eastern Standard bartender will have shaken and stirred by the conclusion of a busy Friday-night shift.
The number of cocktails that a new bartender at ES will have memorized after two weeks of training.
The number, on average, of whiskey smashes, ES’s top-selling cocktail, sold on average per night.
The number of whiskey smashes that ES will have sold since opening in the next eight or so months.
The max amount of time in minutes, on average, it takes an ES bartender to produce an order of craft cocktails.
Number of minutes in prep drills performed by ES bartenders to test their skills.
* Eastern Standard: By the Numbers has expanded content for the web that did not appear in print. All information courtesy of Eastern Standard bar director Jackson Cannon.
Check out all of our coverage forÂ 50 Best Restaurants 2012.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/10/50-best-restaurants-2012-closer-look/