On the Town


Comfortable glow of Radius on a Monday night

Chefs Sarah and Evan Rich (who also happen to be husband and wife), come with a fine dining, creative pedigree cooking in kitchens of the caliber of Coi, Quince and Michael Mina. On August 29th, I attended their first Chefs Night Off pop-up dinner at Radius, and they are also hosting pop-up Fried Chicken Dinner at Rebel Bar (check their Facebook page for dates).

Their four-course, market-fresh dinner was peppered with amuse bouche/bites and palate cleansers in-between courses that showcased their inventiveness without being fussy. Though portions were small, by the end, one feels satiated, even healthful as each course is served with a light hand. I was impressed with fine dining complexity in the dishes but with a bustling neighborhood hangout vibe.

After the first amuse bouche of crispy corn fritters dipped in red pepper sauce, and a finish amuse of  red pepper gelee (reminiscent of a fruit roll-up strip) dusted with a sweet corn sugar, here were dishes we were served at the first Chefs Night Off:

1st course: Red beets, goat cheese, glame grapes, dill… bright, w/ delicate dollops of goat cheese

Amuse: Tomato gazpacho topped with tomato granite, edible garlic flowers; it tasted of pure, icy fresh tomato w/ subtle layers













2nd course: Watermelon, squid, black olive vinaigrette, crispy onions… top-notch dish, punchy with flavor, yet layered & light

3rd course: Pork shoulder, black garlic, brassicas (a plant in the mustard family)… tender, juicy pork, earthy black garlic smear

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Not all recommended wine pairings from Radius staff worked with my courses, but they have a fine wine list so better pairings are possible.

Dessert: Coriander Peach Cobbler

Wine highlight was Robert Sinskey’s 2010 Abraxas, a sophisticated Napa white blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Riesling. With crisp, clean grapefruit notes, there’s a gentle floral minerality that paired nicely with the watermelon/squid dish.

The next Chefs Night Off is Monday, Sept 26 (6-8:30 pm – make reservations), at Radius for $60 ( no drink or tip included). The menu is as follows (though there will likely again be amuse bouche between courses).

1st: Foie gras mousse, brioche crouton, pole beans, dill
2nd: Carrot soup, gnocchi, brown butter, coriander
3rd: Tomato braised oxtail, charred octopus, potato
4th: Mint semifreddo, chocolate, hazelnut