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A Taste of Things to Come: Potential Offerings at Kevin Sousa's New Restaurant

While the chef readies his Braddock restaurant, he's hosting a series of dinners at home to try out dishes.




PHOTOS BY LEAH LIZARONDO, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

 

“When are you going to open?” I'll bet if Kevin Sousa had a dime for each time he hears that question about Superior Motors, he could open another restaurant. I’m going to lobby for an all-veggie one, of course. Not because I want to make a statement but because the man can cook vegetables. And I want them to have their own stage.

Sousa is hosting a series of research and development pop-up dinners in his home, and I was one of the lucky ones who scored one of the (literally) handful of seats for yesterday's five-course vegetable celebration. An all-vegetable dinner is a feat in the middle of winter. A good, umami-satisfying one, even more so.
 


PHOTO BY SUNIL DOSHI


Alongside Chad Townsend of Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, Sousa welcomed us in his home, and among friends and some familiar faces, I enjoyed course after course, counting as each plate was taken away … because I didn’t want it to end.

Inquiring minds want to know what it will be like at Sousa’s new restaurant in Braddock, that’s for sure. The good news? For those who love Sousa’s food, it is everything that is familiar and everything that is missed in this void between restaurants. We’ve missed this food. And definitely can’t wait for Superior Motors to finally open its doors.

Here is what we had (some of the photos, I’m afraid, do not do the dishes justice):
 

First:

Brined mushrooms, fermented kombucha scoby, fennel curd, fennel mignonette, matsutake powder

This dish was beautiful. There is nothing like mushrooms to boost the umami factor in vegetable-centric dishes. Add some fermented (kombucha) and concentrated (matsutake powder) ingredients, and you have a plate that you want more of.

 

Second:

Fresh tofu, fermented seaweed, ginger purée, quail egg, kombu broth

Anchored by the flavor of seaweed — both fermented and in the dashi poured hot tableside to lightly poach the miniature egg — this course brought it all home.

 

Third:

Winter vegetables: roasted potato, blanched and puréed carrots, celery roasted and raw, pickled celery leaves, toasted buttermilk biscuit, soubise

This was Townsend’s course, and it was all comfort. An elevated biscuits and gravy with winter vegetables. I wanted more.

 

Fourth:

Anson Mills organic blue-corn grits, fermented turnips and radishes with turmeric, Garrotxa (Spanish sheep’s-milk cheese), greens and herbs

As you all know, I am obsessed with grits. I’ve never had Anson Mills’ blue-corn grits, but I have ordered some online since last night. I love the creamy versus crisp and rich versus tart aspects of this dish. I am imagining the cheese subbed with a rejuvelac-funked nut milk, and I can’t wait to make it at home. Also, note to self: Ferment some radishes and turnips with turmeric.

 

Final:

Millie’s chocolate-hazelnut ice cream, oat ice cream, blood-orange jam, celery-root cake, parsnip crumbles

I know that when everyone saw Townsend, they were hoping that dessert would be ice cream. We were not disappointed. When I was a kid, I would eat ice cream sandwiches — but really ice cream in between brioche-like buns. This brought me back. Only it’s so much better. More, please.


 

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