Editorial Review of
Known initially for a modern American menu from Paul McCabe, L’Auberge’s high-end casual restaurant opened in 2008 (replacing J. Taylor) and proved it was in tune with the seasons and popular with the locals. Kitchen 1540 is still all that, even after McCabe surrendered his executive chef post to join Delicias last year. The guy who took over is Scott Thomas Dolbee.
Dolbee isn’t as in awe of Asian ingredients, nor as playful as McCabe, who set off his seared foie gras with Pop Rocks back in the (legal foie) days, and teamed kimchi, farro grain and fried egg with his tenderloin. But I like how Dolbee keeps lab-inspired molecular gastronomy in the background. (Weird science is more apparent in pastry chef Jeff Bonilla’s upgraded dessert classics.) For dinner, Dolbee rewards you with good-looking meats, always presented in chunks and arranged with haute-produce-like dioramas. His BBQ Pork Roast is a trio — braised pork belly, smoked pork leg and pork shoulder cooked sous-vide until it shreds like carnitas — countered with mild red orach spinach and pickled scarlet turnips. It’s knee-quivering good. My quibble? The chicharrón garnish tastes like diet food. -- Keli Dailey
Read the full Kitchen 1540 review here.