Photography by Dave Compton Wolff
Confidence is attractive, especially when it comes to cooking. These platings ooze sophisticated style, so grab a fork, belly up and try not to be impressed.
Salads can be upscale too, as demonstrated at Bamboo Chinese & Japanese Cuisine in Appleton. Sliced and splayed avocado becomes the perfect bowl for their spicy tuna salad, a flavor combination that is gastronomic heaven.
Nothing says swagger quite like mastering the art of careful editing, knowing when to hold back and when to go big. In this entrée from Hilbert’s Village Hearthstone, honest ingredients are empowered to be the star of the show – duck breast on parsnip puree with Swiss chard, sweet corn, chanterelle mushrooms and pickled blueberries, finished with a sprinkling of red veined sorrel.
This plate from Rye in Appleton is the culinary equivalent of a hair toss and shoulder dust. Here, miso-glazed corvina is stacked on a tower of forbidden purple sticky rice, bok choy and enoki mushroom slaw with Mongolian hoisin glaze. The whole thing is topped with local pea shoots for a little extra panache.
Edible blooms add instant wow-factor, like in this dish from The Source in Menasha. The entrée, one of the latest additions to the restaurant’s new menu, features Asian-seasoned trout with stir fry vegetables and candied orange peel in addition to fresh, edible flowers.
A precise presentation can take good food over the edge of greatness. Take this brown butter hazelnut tart from Timshel Cafe in Neenah, for example – it’s made with fresh raspberries from Oak Ridge Farms, locally-sourced black raspberries, butter from Lamers Dairy and Milo’s organic eggs. One look and you know it’s been handcrafted with love.