Canapes – Mochi Donut with Lardo and Smoked Paprika, Red Miso Madelines with Wasabi Aioli, Buckwheat Sable with Cultured Butter and Bitter Radish
Pretzel Bread with Ember Imbued Butter
Heirloom Egg, Brussels Leaves, Charred Lemon, Carmelina, Venison Heart
Cauliflower Veloute – Black Truffle, Onion Petals, Gruyere Panna Cotta, Dried Plum
Asian Pear – Salted Egg, Green Goddess, Lettuce Hearts
Cheddar – Potato Skin Gnocchi, Green Apple, Mustard, Rutabaga
Lentils de Puy– Veal Sweetbreads, Watercress, Cippolini Onions, Charcoal Aioli
Quail – Caper BBQ, Radish, Avocado, Marinated Leeks
Hazelnut Butter – Heritage Farms Pork, Brassicas, Honey Poached Cranberries, Bone Marrow
Monkfish Like Chicken – Creamed Grits, Maitake Mushrooms, Claytonia, Kohlrabi, Schmaltz
Yuzu – Caramelized Banana, Popcorn Sherbet, Peanut Butter, Sorghum
Butter Cake – Cassis, Lemon, Blackberry & Cream, Spun Sugar
[ONE]Rocky Road – Late Harvest Peaches, Cocoa, Broken Mallow, Malted Barley
Forced to move our reservation from 7:30pm to 6 o’clock due to inclement weather (or perhaps the staff’s desire to get home and watch the Tar Heels vs. Blue Devils game) it was just moments after our newly assigned time that my mother and I arrived at the sizable plaza housing One Restaurant and making our way into the restaurant as only the second diners seated it was to our choice of table that we were offered, a seat directly next to the open kitchen an obvious choice that provided great vantage and entertainment throughout the evening.
Considered by some to be The Triangle’s best restaurant, with Chefs Floresca and Ryan both well trained and heavily lauded by press both local and throughout the United States for their use of local produce alongside modernist technique to create flavors spanning the globe, it was with the friendly yet formal sort of service seen at Michelin Rated spaces in much larger cities that menus were presented and after brief discussion of prix-fixe with supplements versus the spontaneous tasting menu it was in the former we invested, a mis-served plate along with two four-course options plus supplements, amuses, and mignadises totaling a substantial amount of exquisite cuisine for less than $180 out-the-door.
No doubt a chef-centric space, the kitchen on gleaming full display with a team of at least fifteen hard at work, it was with three savory canapés followed by top notch pretzel bread and ash-infused butter that the meal began and although one of our trio of starters was originally delivered mistakenly the result was a tasting of all four, the chilled unset sous-vide egg with cured venison heart and velvet cauliflower soup with sweet and savory notes beneath a veil of truffles impressive while the gnocchi was a roller coaster of textures and flavor, the dumplings tender and smoky alongside simply boiled rutabaga plus crisp apples topped by a sauce of well balanced spicy notes melding everything together into a intensely flavored mélange.
Opting for two items from the second course, as well as two entrée-sized options from section three, it would be hard to name a best plate amongst the quartet and with each protein prepared perfectly amidst divergent accoutrements the use of ‘umami’ was a consistent theme across the board – onions and ash balancing out the creamy funk of sweetbreads with capers and leeks doing the same to for smoked quail, the mains trending slightly more briny thanks to the tableside addition of rich sauces with the pork lightly sweetened by cranberries and the flaky fish imbued with an unexpected fattiness from schmaltz but well balanced by bitters and earth.
Told that desserts should not be missed by more than one person I know and trust, it was in a trio that the meal would end, and although both the popped sorghum and banana dish as well as the elegant sugar-topped rod of black currant and cream atop buttery cake were indeed delicious it was the signature Rocky Road that stole the show, each spoonful and rearrangement revealing new flavors and textures with juicy peaches playing hide-and-seek beneath flavors at various times rich, mild, bitter, and sweet.