|Jason Weiner with an
From the moment Almond Restaurant opened 12 years ago in an old roadhouse in Bridgehampton, it’s been a smash hit. (It’s also been featured here before http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2011/06/roasted-asparagus-with-lardons-and.html). We quickly became regulars drawn by the consistently great food that comes out of Chef Jason Weiner’s kitchen and the wonderful front of the house atmosphere presided over Chef Weiner’s business partner, the inimitable Eric Lemonides. These two childhood friends have built their careers at some of America’s best restaurants. Jason helped open San Francisco’s
|Eric Lemonides in Paris…
last seen in St. Moritz.
Aqua the same year that Eric became General Manager at Piemonte Ovest at the ripe old ages of 24. But they both came home to roost bringing with them Jason’s farm to table philosophy and Eric’s brilliant way with people. In 2001 they first opened Almond, now at 1 Ocean Road in Bridgehampton (Tel: 631-537-5665) and in 2008 they took New York by storm with Almond NYC at 12 East 22nd St. (Tel: 212-228-7557).
If Almond, named for Jason’s wife, had done nothing else, I would praise it to the hilt for today’s lead dish: Can you in your wildest imagination think of a Brussels Sprouts recipe so good that it could turn the darkest Brussels Sprout hater into a devoted fan of the vegetable? Can you imagine a dish of Brussels Sprouts so good that I actually saw Andrew eating the whole thing first—not even pausing for a single bite of today’s crisp bacon-stuffed Pork Chop topped with a Dijon Mustard sauce.
Now, I have not reached out to Jason to beg for the recipe. The Chef is generosity personified. But I enjoy going into the kitchen and creating a version that comes pretty close to the magnificent original that’s a fixture on Almond’s seasonal appetizer list. I have to believe I’ve come pretty close. As to the accompanying Pork Chop, it’s not as much an afterthought as Andrew’s eating pattern would suggest. Instead, it was born out of a desire for a stuffed pork chop that wasn’t heavy with bread. The idea came from a Gourmet recipe for an entire stuffed loin of pork. The sauce served with the loin of pork was similar to this although mine is simpler. It’s a delicious companion to the main event: those flawless sprouts – one side warm and caramelized with maple syrup, the other tossed raw with a very expensive store-bought Caesar Dressing. This isn’t a hard dinner to put together and oh so worthwhile. Here are the recipes