Marcus relaxing at the bar
It's not uncommon to see Chef Samuelsson in the kitchen or relaxing at the bar schmoozing with guests and fans.
Artichoke Croquette ($10)
A single large artichoke croquette served in the middle of a pool of bright green parsley and watercress soup, which is flavored with lemony sorrel. "The croquette is bechamel-based, but we add an artichoke purée to it, then fold in fried artichoke leaves for extra flavor and texture. It's fried and served hot with the cold soup," says Chef Tomczak. The slow-cooked egg is served just above room temperature with a runny yolk for enriching the soup. "It's kind of a hot-cold thing."
Shrimp & Walnut ($13)
A salad of crisp bitter greens with a slightly sweet dressing flavored with onion seeds. It comes with little nuggets of fried shrimp and candied walnuts in a creamy sauce. It's derivative of, yet totally different from the classic Chinese-American Honey Walnut Prawn.
Steamed Bun ($11)
Everyone's getting in on the steamed bun game these days. Ginny's fills theirs with veal tongue. "We marinate the tongue in jerk spices," explains Chef Jeremie Tomczak, "then we lightly cold smoke it, braise it until it's tender, then glaze it again with more jerk spices." The finished tongue gets "seared crisp on the plancha," then gets served on house-made Chinese-style steamed buns with a spicy hoisin sauce, mustard seed-scented pickles, sliced scallions, and Chinese cabbage.
Lamb Shank ($31)
The lamb shank is slowly braised in a curry-scented broth, and comes in a pool of Caribbean-style curry sauce, with salsify prepared three ways: raw, braised, and fried crisp.
An updated version of the classic Jamaican escovitch fish with bammie. "We tried lightly curing or pickling the mackerel, but ended up preferring it fresh," says Chef Tomczak. It comes to the table seared hard on the plancha, but still rare in the center, like a Japanese tataki. "We make these pickled vegetables—carrots, celery, radish—and the pickling liquid is used to dress the lacinato kale salad." The plate gets a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and three deep fried bammie, yucca-based fritters. "Ours are made like a French pâte a choux, so they puff up when you fry them."
Lobster Thermidor ($36)
Old school lobster thermidore—the classic French dish of lobster meat bound with eggs and cognac and baked in the shell under a Gruyere crust—has never been so refined. "We make a mousse out of the claw and knuckle meat and pipe it into the tail, along with rye breadcrumbs on top," explains Chef Tomczak. "The tail is steamed briefly, then popped out and finished in a low temperature butter bath, so it stays really tender and sweet." In place of the typical gruyere crust, there's a mornay-style sauce made with concentrated lobster and mussel stock emulsified with Comté, Gruyere's more tightly controlled cousin.