While several high-profile local chefs have been hogging the headlines, chef Garreth Dickey has quietly created one of the finest menus in town. Dickey—whose résumé includes stints at Star Canyon, the original Green Room, Jeroboam, The Porch, and Hibiscus—now deserves his turn in the spotlight. Between the Caesar salad, scallops, and New York strip on his menu are dozens of inventive and palate-pushing items, such as his cauliflower steak. It’s an ingenious vegetarian concoction of grilled cauliflower, cipollini onions, Calabrese peppers, black radish, and kale mixed with a brown butter sauce studded with golden raisins. Under Dickey’s touch, a thick pork chop, brined overnight, is grilled, topped with soft chunks of apples and diced red onions, and finished with a bourbon glaze spiced with star anise. I ordered it pink, which most chefs ignore, and it was delivered pink. What sounded like another ho-hum braised short rib was anything but: three 3-by-3-inch mounds of braised meat collapsed at the tap of the tine into soft strands. A light touch of barbecue sauce allowed the flavor of the meat to dominate. Simple sides are elevated to the surreal. It has been a long time since I’ve tasted mashed potatoes so light. Pray Dickey has prepared a batch of brown butter pudding decorated with a crumble of flour, sugar, butter, and whipped cream and sprinkled with crunchy black sea salt flakes. It explodes in your mouth like Pop Rocks.
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