For those who have yet to visit Insieme since the debut of its new executive chef, Andres Julian Grundy, consider the following as incentive. Chestnut tagliatelle with duck crackling and foie gras emulsion. Slow-cooked short ribs with geoduck clam and roasted pear. Bitter chocolate "tartufo" with passion fruit and roasted banana.
The young but seasoned chef (his resumé includes Daniel, La Broche, and Clio, to name a few) replaces Marco Canora of Hearth, and most recently, Next Iron Chef fame. With his team now fully together, Chef Grundy recently previewed some of what diners have to look forward to.
The chef makes no illusions, "I'm not trying to compete with grandma by presenting classic Italian fare." Instead, he's taking the flavors and ingredients characteristic of Italian cuisine and interweaving them with his own style. A style that, most notably, celebrates a passion for unique and interesting products as well as the young, up-and-coming suppliers who source them.
On the plate, that translates to a rare variety of wild hamachi (only 250 total are caught) and Dahlia bulb from Sparrow Arc Farm, presented both pickled and crisp like a chip. Hand-in-hand with this product-centric philosophy is an eye towards to seasonality—chestnuts as a base for smooth tagliatelle (of course!).
Did we mention he conceptualizes all of the desserts as well? Goat's milk ricotta with Acacia honey and rosemary gelato, beautifully presented and strikingly fragrant. Impressive.