Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Stir and chef Hoon Rhee interact perfectly – Metro Philadelphia

After finishing a majestic meal at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s restaurant, Stir, a menu designed and curated by its executive chef, Hoon Rhee, told Metro that “I treat the visual presentation of my food with the same principles as its taste. . The veneer should be clean, shiny, vibrant and modified to be free of any unnecessary fuzz. Food should look appealing but be plated in a practical way in terms of how a diner will approach and eat it. If the food looks natural and elegant, it should put the diner at ease and excite them to eat what will hopefully be a good meal.

The question posed to Rhee – a chef with international experience at Narisawa and L’Effervescence in Tokyo, Daniel and Masa in NYC, Lacroix and Morimoto in Philadelphia – was to transpose his French culinary styles and East Asian and Nordic influences to aesthetics of room after room of the museum of noble design and conceptualism.

Zucchini gnocchiReese Amorosi

To say that every Stir dish was a work of art and an explosion of diverse and fresh flavors is not enough. But it’s true. Stir’s was a lunch that looked as elegant as it tasted good.

Stir’s starting salvo alone is worth the price of admission to the museum.

Rhee’s slow-roasted melon circular feast would amaze Frank Lloyd Wright. Here, a large fresh cantaloupe next to an equal sized dollop of cold sake crème fraiche, looks amazing and tastes even bolder with fig leaf oil, lemon verbena and just a dash of sake kasu – the dregs, or rice liquid, left over from sake production.

Rhee’s Sweet Corn Soup with hardened puffed corn and rice, honey brown butter and her homemade togarashi (a spicy red pepper) is sweet and creamy with the textures of corn nut puffs and togarashi for the zest .

Reading the simple word “Peas” on the Stir menu is misleading as Rhee fills her dish with crisp, fresh peas with hints of asparagus, green bean, strawberry and braised almond – it’s really the little things that make the biggest surprise, here – then tops it all off with a snowy, cold mountain of grated goat cheese.

The peach salad is also deceptively simple, as notes of basil yogurt spice up seasonal fruits and its bed of seasonal leafy greens, roasted basil celt, pickled rhubarb and assorted flowers. colors from the garden.

Slow Roasted Melon with Sake Crème Fraîche Reese Amorosi

All that, and then there’s the main meal.

Stir’s Zucchini Gnocchi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic Chives, Squash Blossom, Tempura, and Golden Sesame Oil are lightly seared—you can see and taste the Arctic char—but they’re as sweet as candy. Rhee’s Jail Island roast salmon with Yuzu date kosho, charred coconut, cauliflower, potato flakes and houttuyia (a culinary herb grown in Southeast Asia) is juicy, fresh and flaky, and made even more delicious by the inclusion of its thin slices of roasted fennel. We didn’t have room for Rhee’s artisan quiche, but we’ll make time and room for his dish of leeks, bacon, Gruyere and greens the next time we hit Stir.

That said, if you think you’ll be successful with Stir without dessert, think again. Rhee’s fluffy vanilla mousse with a glazed cherry, hint of lychee, and textured hits of crisp chartreuse granita and crunchy pistachio is light, airy, and lets you stir with just the perfect amount of sugar on your palate afterward. an opulent and diverse flavor. packed lunch.

In an age of decadence, Stir is the perfect place for a luxurious and quiet lunch. Like the PMA he calls home, Stir satisfies all your senses.

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