Metro takes a look into the future to see what will be on menus — and in your fridge — in 2012.
Food from Bed-Stuy
Bedford-Stuyvesant is in the midst of a culinary renaissance. In 2011, the neighborhood saw its first Zagat listing as well as a Michelin nod for Do or Dine (of the famed foie gras doughnut). 2012 openings include Celestino, a Mediterranean bistro from Massimiliano Nanni (formerly of the excellent Saraghina), Beso Latin fusion and the return of Le Toukouleur’s African/
French cuisine. Bedford Ave. bakery SCRATCHbread has opened an ingenious take-out brunch window serving stuffed popovers and other freshly baked breakfast goodies.
Also opening is the Brooklyn Tap House, a beer garden originally claiming to be located “at the edge of the heart of Clinton Hill.” It changed its tune after Bed-Stuy bloggers rallied against the slight. We’re glad that the Tap House, ahem, did the right thing.
Molecular gastronomy with your shot
Molecular gastronomy, hallmark of venerated Spanish restaurant elBulli, is making its way behind America’s bars, most recently to elevate the Pickleback: a one-two shot of cheap whiskey followed by pickle juice. Do or Dine’s Spherickle Back is a shot of John L. Sullivan whiskey accompanied by a green orb on a spoon. The orb, created through a process called spherification, is filled with spiced fresh cucumber juice. Partner owner Luke Jackson calls it a “perfect synthesis of low-end and high-end.”
The Spherickle Back is a prime example of the restaurant’s tongue-in-cheek, yet perfectly executed, dishes. “It’s like bringing a hooker to a debutante ball,” says Jackson of applying haute cuisine technique to dive-bar classics. “You’re embarrassing the both of you.” He adds that we can expect more molecular cuisine from Do or Dine in the year ahead, from the kitchen as well as the bar.
New York’s home cooks, having perfected pickling and preserving, are moving on to charcuterie, the craft of preserving meats. Homemade gravlax, pâté and duck-breast confit made appearances at many a holiday party. Terrines, rillettes and head cheeses can’t be far behind for 2012.