What’s in the box? Chefs are using the cubist containers as a way to present a dish in a box – from the bread course through dessert. Here are six magic boxes wowing diners with their style and substance.
Mignardises at Del Posto, New York, New York
This spinning jewel box hides a multitude of mignardises in its drawers. The edible treasures change regularly but have included hazelnut shortbread sandwich cookies, dried cantaloupe rehydrated in white verjus and tossed with sour sugar, amaro-spiked caramels, and a high-end take on an Almond Joy. Make a reservation at Del Posto.
Duo of Japanese Wagyu at Bourbon Steak, Washington, D.C.
Executive chef Joe Palma offers two Japanese Wagyu selections – one from Miyazaki prefecture, the other from Kagoshima prefecture – served in sakura wood bento boxes. They’re accompanied by a trio of sauces to cut through the buttery richness of the meat: aji verde, Carolina-style mustard barbecue, and Henry Bain. Do yourself a favor and don’t take your blood pressure after this meal. Make a reservation at Bourbon Steak.
Churros Rellenos at Boqueria, New York, New York
Any meal that ends with churros is a good meal in our book. These cactus-shaped fried dough treats are coated with cinnamon sugar and packed with gooey Nutella. Serving them in a rectangular wooden box keeps them upright so all that chocolaty-hazelnut-y goodness doesn’t dribble out. Make a reservation at Boqueria.
Parker House Rolls at Kinship, Washington, D.C.
Slide open the lid on this custom-made, hand-stained box to find chef Eric Ziebold’s long-loved Parker House rolls, which he originally offered at CityZen. Sprinkled with sea salt and served warm, the puff-topped buns go down in a single bite. To score them, simply order any ‘For the Table’ entrée. Make a reservation at Kinship.
Mignardise at Restaurant R’evolution, New Orleans
The Creole word ‘lagniappe’ essentially means ‘a small bonus gift.’ Executive pastry chef Blake Abene takes this concept to the next level with this lacquered jewel box packed full of confectionary surprises. The offerings change seasonally but have included fig cookies, chocolate truffles, mint marshmallows, and bacon praline morsels. Make a reservation at Restaurant R’evolution.
Potato Rolls at Dirty Habit, Washington, D.C.
These wooden cigar boxes aren’t packed with stogies. Instead, executive chef Kyoo Eom uses them to present housemade potato rolls with cultured butter. Got Celiac? He’s happy to sub in gluten-free corn bread. Make a reservation at Dirty Habit.
Have you had a dish in a box when dining out yet? Share where here or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Kate Previte (Del Posto); Greg Powers (Kinship).