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Kickshaw / Lamb Tartare from Oliver’s

Artful contrasts are key



Sous vide egg yolks are rolled out to form a golden veil over the lamb.

Photo by kc kratt

 

Oliver’s

2095 Delaware Ave.

oliverscuisine.com, 877-9662

 

For years, Ross Warhol resigned himself to never being an artist like his mother, painter Vicki Warhol. No matter what art form he chose, he couldn’t pull together even a single work the way she so effortlessly completed canvas after canvas. Some years later, it was she who helped him recognize that his lush and picture-perfect plating was where his artistry revealed itself, one deftly rendered dish at a time.

 

Take the lamb tartare, on his menu at Oliver’s all last winter. Coarsely chopped lamb provides a mild and tender backdrop for flavors the chef toyed with early in the season. Eventually, the idea for the dish evolved into an edible sculpture of salty-sweet, bitter, sour, and savory tastes and textures, which Warhol flawlessly replicates night after night.

 

Chopped lamb and a little pear vinegar (for that tinge of acid) are combined with fragrant bits of shallot before the meat is plated using a ring mold. A fine and intoxicatingly flavored dust coats half the tartare, lacing complicated and exciting notes into the lamb. The black powder is made with dehydrated kalamata olives ground with just a bit of sugar. By contrast, the other half of the lamb shines with a glossy yellow arc cut from a sheet of tempered egg yolk. The process required to create this sunshine-colored component (which Warhol calls a “veil”) begins with cooking the yolks sous vide before they are carefully pressed, rolled between acetate (much like fine chocolate work), and trimmed with precision. A daub of juniper-scented yogurt and a lavash made of toasted dill seeds and semolina work together to offer an herbaceous note, as well as some textural variety, to the rich dish.

 

 

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