Anatomy of a 19-Course Tasting
One could easily make the case that Brooklyn has become the hottest (or coolest) borough in New York City, particularly when it comes to its vibrant food scene. Although Manhattan still dominates the city in terms of Michelin stars and celebrated chefs, props go to Brooklyn for its burgeoning culture of culinary artisans and innovators who have transformed the borough from being the home of hot dogs and cheesecake into a true fine-dining destination.
Roberta’s, in the Bushwick neighborhood, is a pizza place with much more to offer. Communal picnic tables and a ﬂame-red pizza oven reside on the concrete slab ﬂoor of a former garage, where loud rock pours from the sound system. The difference, however, is chef Carlo Mirarchi doing the cooking in a small kitchen behind the bar. Earlier this year, he was named by Food & Wine magazine as one of the Best New Chefs in America.
Twice a week, the talented Mirarchi prepares an elaborate tasting menu for a party of four, which I recently had the good fortune to experience. A meal like this is the epicurean equivalent of attending a museum — but not just because the plating is artful. Rather, just as great art enriches one’s senses, in this case the artist’s work is created by combining ingredients into tastes and textures that expand and excite the palate. What’s all the more remarkable and alluring is partaking in elevated cooking in such commonplace surroundings.
Following are the 19 dishes served over the course of four gloriously indulgent hours, paired with songs from that evening’s playlist, comprised entirely of classic rock.