First Look: Helm
Helm, the Old Kensington BYOB from chef-duo Kevin D’Egidio (recently at Stateside), and Michael Griffiths (former sous chef at Fork), is set to officially open tonight. For the past few evenings the pair have been cooking dishes from their first menu for friends and family, and based on our first tastes, these dishes are going to be an easy sell even to folks who aren’t related to them.
We’ve got the menu, a look at the interior and plenty of pictures, all after the jump.
Though both cooks are well-versed in the chemicals and technologies of modern gastronomy, at Helm their aim is to pare things down–sourcing ingredients not simply from local growers, but specifically from farms here in the city, coaxing together dishes with solid, old school technique.
The food could be called homey if there wasn’t such attention to detail behind it. Don’t miss opening dishes like air-dried Lancaster chicken lacquered in a Pilsner glaze served alongside overnight roasted cabbage or an electric bowl of broccoli raab-topped Bloody Butcher polenta, pink from a beet reduction, trailing strings of stracciatella. There’s also hard-roasted leeks with goat yogurt, bitter greens, and Valley Shepherd Tewkesbury cheese, or an inviting pile of ravioli filled with creamed brussels sprouts and served with melting curds of cheddar and caramelized spring onion.
Zachary Firestein, formerly of Ela and Aldine, is taking care of the front-of-house on his own, so expect to see one of the chefs deliver a dish to your table at some point. No doubt they’ll all be running as soon as the doors open.
– opening menu –
Rhode Island Squid, Fennel, Preserved Lemon
Red Beets, Long Hots, Boursin
Leeks, Tewksbury, Goat Yogurt
Bloody Butcher Polenta, Stracciatella, Broccoli Raab
Sweet Potato, Mussels, Pistachio
Amish Chicken, Pilsner Malt, Cabbage
Skirt Steak, Potato, Jalapeño
Brook Trout, Cippolini, Green Chickpeas
Pork, Buckwheat Noodles, Shiitake
Brussels Sprouts, Cheddar, Spring Onion
Monkfish for Two, Carrot, Dill