Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga receives two bells from Craig LaBan. LaBan sees promise for the Avenue of the Arts restaurant but had issues with the service and some of the details.
I found a handful of exciting ideas on these TV-gorgeous New American plates, but a surprising number of flavor details still needed more tweaking. His deep-fried Poussin rendition of Buffalo chicken was dry and bland. The fried sweetbreads for his revamp of vitello tonnato (a fairly common concept these days) were too thickly breaded. I love a chef with playful notions like the crimson beets roasted in pine needles beneath a “snow” of shaved frozen Gorgonzola and a “soil” of black trumpet streusel. It’s just unfortunate the caraway seeds in that pastry had a grittiness too close to the texture of something dug from the earth.
Two Bells – Very Good