Congratulations are in order for Stephanie Izard, the winner of Top Chef Season 4. I’m thrilled to see Izard returning to the restaurant scene after a brief hiatus. I had a wonderful dinner at her Chicago seafood-focused restaurant, Scylla, in 2006.
A perfectly pan-fried filet of Tasmanian sea trout on a bed of black trumpet mushrooms and spaghetti squash and topped with black truffles and dices of macerated Fuji apple made my Best Dishes of 2006 list. You can see and read more about all of the dishes I had at Scylla on my Flickr account.
I look forward to hearing about, and hopefully eating at, whatever restaurant venture Izard commits herself to next. You can participate in and watch a live video chat with Ms. Izard on June 13 at 1pm on the Chicago Tribune website.
[Edited to add: re: Finale. Ted Allen has never encountered braised pistachios? Okay, maybe that wasn’t so surprising. But, I was a little surprised by the B-roll showing the other judges being just as unfamiliar with braised pistachios.
I’ve had them at a number of restaurants.
At alinea, Grant Achatz has served braised pistachios with bison and with sweetbreads.
I’ve also seen them at Aqueous, where then-chef Dave Racicot (now at Lautrec) served braised pistachios with beef short ribs (although, admittedly, I think he is a great admirer of Achatz and there may have been some borrowing going on).
I’m sure I’ve seen them elsewhere as well.]