Two white-hot culinary trends—high-minded vegetable plates and tasting-menu restaurants—collide at this semiweekly pop-up in Williamsburg's Whirlybird café, which returned on April 2nd after a two-month hiatus. The culinary talent is courtesy of the once-avant-garde Isa kitchen, the weirdly wonderful spot that shocked the fooderati last June when it underwent a casual Mediterranean makeover and ditched its cutting-edge plates. Toques Jose Ramirez Ruiz and Pam Yung, who buffed their skills at top kitchens like Brooklyn Fare and Roberta's, respectively, bring a studied approach to this experimental series. Ramirez Ruiz runs the savory side of the bill, enlisting help from professional forager Kyle Fiasconaro (Eleven Madison Park) to root around for hard-to-find verdure like knotweed, chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms and beach roses. Produce is at the center of the plate throughout the ten-course prix fixe: confit carrots sprinkled with red-veined sorrel and cardamom; whole-roasted cabbage with soybeans, miso and pickled beef tongue; and dehydrated beets coupled with creamed spinach and chickpeas. Yung plates the sweet stuff, sourcing dairy from Cowbella farm for her raw-milk panna cotta with maple sap and peach blossoms. Bring-your-own is the mode of the beverage program, although the dynamos sometimes tinker with house-infused spirits as minicourses throughout the meal. 254 South 2nd St between Havemeyer and Roebling Sts (no phone yet)
The Feed first look: Chez Jose
After a two-month hiatus, Jose Ramirez Ruiz relaunches his vegetable-forward pop-up at Whirlybird.