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Chefs put a spin on a classic from the ’90s.

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Baked goat cheese at Red Door

Baked goat cheese at Red Door Photograph: Martha Williams


It’s been around for decades, long enough that virtually every man, woman and child has tasted it. Yet, as chef Troy Graves puts it, baked goat cheese remains “one of those things” that diners never forget. Considering the popularity of the dish in tapas restaurants, it seems counterintuitive to report its resurgence. But many chefs around town are reinventing it by replacing the standard tomato sauce with autumnal touches. At Red Door, Graves pairs the cheese with slow-roasted apples, spiced pumpkin seeds, pumpkin brioche and a drizzle of apple-cider gastrique (pictured); at Vera, chef Mark Mendez is doing a version with pistachios, cauliflower and golden raisins. And Bavette’s—well, Bavette’s sees no reason to mess with the formula. Its baked goat cheese with roasted tomato sauce (dated on the menu as circa 1992) is one of the restaurant’s more popular dishes. “What’s funny is the response is sort of unanimous,” says owner Brendan Sodikoff. Customers say “ ‘I haven’t had this in forever—it’s so good!’ ”

Bavette’s 218 W Kinzie St (312-624-8154)
Red Door
2118 N Damen Ave
(773-697-7221)
Vera
1023 W Lake St
(312-243-9770)


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