The Paupered Chef: Worth the wait
We just braved the gauntlet balcony, which is, yes, still sweltering. You can barely move out there; only Higgins’ dry-cure Berkshire ham is sweating more that the rest of us. We went out there for the cocktails, but we’re going to come back to talk about the food. We’re a little stunned. After waiting all night for some samples, we have feasted.
First off was the Osteria Mozza, the one that we tried to get a peak at earlier. They were in full swing slinging out big, pillowy mozzarella with a beautiful artichoke stuck on top. The artichoke was slightly sweet, and perfectly tender. It’s probably the best artichoke Nick had ever had.
We finally had a taste of that 43-ingredient, 6-chili, blackberry mole we were eyeing earlier. It lived up to expectations, deep, complex, and in possession of a beautiful bitterness. Jaime Martin Del Campo once again went into the passion he had for the dish, and it showed.
Nostrana from Portland, Maine, were serving olive oil-poached tuna with wood oven-baked Zofino beans. They were the best beans Blake has ever eaten–creamy as ever, the skins perfectly formed. Of everything we ate, this was the quiet, subtle star.
We did finally get our hands on that Back Forty cocktail: tequila, lime juice, and fresh strawberries. It’s like a fancy, slushy daquiri, and they mix in black pepper with the sugar for the rim. Definitely worth waiting for.