Adam Erace visits Yardley’s Charcoal, the molecular gastronomy BYOB from brothers Eric and Mark Plescha.
The chefs know their way around an immersion circulator, though, their preferred cooking vehicle for everything from octopus and eggs to that hanger steak. A marinade in roasted vegetables, mustard and vinegar tenderizes the beef for two days; two hours at 55 degrees Celsius and a quick trip to the grill finishes the job. Rubbed down with root beer spices (sassafras, juniper and star anise, to name a few), the short ribs go four days — four days! — in a super-low sous vide that maintains a medium-rare interior. Scented with more star anise, roasted fennel purée reinforced the beef’s licorice backdrop, a white raisin-studded, grilled pistachio-dusted ode to a burger and a root beer from the nearby A&W stand, a favorite of Eric’s girlfriend.