Eat! Drink! Dish |

Eat! Drink! Dish

BY TROY CONEThe fritto (fried) option changes daily at Dish, but is always as scrumptious as these green beans.

If there were a symbol for Eat!, Drink! and Dish it would look like the recycle triangle, arrows connecting each entity to the others. If you want to take home a bottle of the wine you had at dinner, swing by the wine shop. Want a new idea for cooking with cheese? Head up to the restaurant. Need to bust out a spread, quickly? Taste your way through the cheese case, and grab some foie gras torchon and cashew bacon brittle (both made in Dish) to go. This spring you’ll be able to stop by Cut, the newest in the family. Selling “protein for the soul,” it will be an artisan meat and fish market.

Executive chef Jenna Johansen owns Dish with Pollyanna Forster and Chris Irving. Her menu changes significantly daily. In some sort of strange alchemy, the more she learns and tries, the more energetic she gets. In her kitchen, she and her staff have a weekly plan called “5 New Things.” That means every week they experiment with five new techniques or products. “It keeps us consistently educated,” she explained. “There are always new things, so there’s always excitement.”

The high-energy restaurant is just plain fun. The menu is far reaching and, at any given time, might reference 30 cultures. The concept is easy: Taste good things with your friends. The idea of sharing is key, as flavor is another language.

It started with cheese and olives. Serving fresh salads, cheese and charcuterie platters and great wines by the glass, the cheese-and-wine bar/gourmet shop has won recognition as a great date spot. Saturdays mean fondue throughout the winter. They also offer a cheese-of-the-month club, with different selections and accompaniments at the “full moon,” “half moon” and “quarter moon” levels. Shipping is included.

“We’ve also been expanding our options for people with sensitive diets,” Forster said. “So people who need gluten-free or wheat-free products can live their diet here.” What she calls “the opposite end of that spectrum” is the expanding chocolate selection. It’s lethal. Charles Chocolates, Recchiuti Confections and Vosges Chocolates, all extreme artisan chocolatiers, are in abundance.

The wine shop is focused on small producers and unknown finds. Not only can you buy bottles you’ve tasted at Eat! or Dish, but you can ask a million questions. Drink! also has a wine club. You can opt for “drinking well!” (three months) or “drinking very well!” (six months). The two monthly bottles come with tasting notes. Shipping is included.

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