Trend Report 2006 - Restaurants
Hiro Urasawa at Urasawa in Beverly Hills mixes salted water and seaweed, lets the moisture evaporate, then grinds the newly formed crystals into a fine briny powder. In Manhattan, Ian Chalermkittichai at Kittichai crusts white hamachi sashimi with black squid-ink salt, while Josh DeChellis at the just-opened Jovia mixes Maldon sea salt with tartrates (the crystals that form inside wine barrels) to make Merlot-flavored salt.
In New York City, Marc Murphy at Landmarc serves smoked mozzarellaandricotta fritters with fried zucchini, and, at the just-opened Barça 18, Eric Ripert has salt cod fritters on the menu. David Myers at Sona in Los Angeles cooks mussels tempura and Jennifer Jasinski at Rioja, her new restaurant in Denver, deep-fries preserved lemon.
At the Ventana Room in Tucson, Philippe Trosch sends out a flight of four kinds of peppercorns (freshly ground every half hour). At Waldy's Wood Fired Pizza & Penne in New York City, diners can snip their own basil and sage from an herb planter. Co-owner and mixologist Audrey Saunders stocks the tables at Manhattan's Pegu Club with dropper bottles filled with fresh juices, Angostura bitters and simple syrup.
Mixologist Todd Thrasher at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia, makes an intense martini topped with pickle-juice "air." At the new Eldredge Room in Chatham, Massachusetts, Toby Hill offers pickled shallot and beet sorbets as palate cleansers. Gabriel Frasca at Spire in Boston serves pickled heirloom cranberries with braised lamb shoulder and pickled red grapes with terrines.