This is for a series of posts related to Iron Chef Jose Garces including:
Amada, Distrito, Rosa Blanca, Bar Volver, Bar Volver , Buena Onda, The Blue Anchor, PHS Pop Up Garden, JG Domestic, Tinto , Tinto , and Village Whiskey.
Located in the Kimmel Center, Bar Volver is Iron Chef Jose Garces' more approachable and modern concept when compared to the multi-course tasting at Volver. Previously, that meant smaller bar bites and a myriad of tartares & tartines. Starting Wednesday, September 7th, Bar Volver re-opens with an expanded dinner menu. This includes large plates to satiate diners looking for a quick, yet elegant pre-theater dining experience.
The Bar Volver space is intimate, yet inviting and comfortable. The bar is the focal point, with 30+ wines available by the glass, along with a variety of globally sourced craft beers or artistic and innovative cocktails.
Gin, citrus cordial, rosemary, basil, thyme, chili oil
My favorite of the night had to be the Chef's Garden. Wonderfully floral from the gin and basil, the rosemary and thyme helped to temper the bright, yet sweet citrus cordial. I enjoyed the addition of the chili oil, which surprisingly didn't distract.
Pisco, green apple, sherry, absinthe, lemon
This drink was light, with the green apple bringing forth some acidity, and the absinthe and sherry providing a subtle backbone.
Sparkling wine, angostura bitters, sugar, lemon twist
Bar Volver's sparkler was a nice interplay between sweet and dry, with the sugar and lemon balancing out the the effervescent wine and bitters.
As you might expect from any Garces establishment, Bar Volver has a stellar mixto of cheese and charcuterie. From Andalucian lomo iberico to La Quercia prociutto, you know the cured meat game is strong with the Iron Chef. Perfect to pair with Acacia honey and a variety of artisanal cheeses.
From there, I was able to head to the Volver space to meet Chef de Cuisine Dave Conn and try the new large plates at Bar Volver.
Ricotta & Herb Ravioli
Charred eggplant, fresh tomato, basil, ricotta salata
Pasta lovers rejoice - Bar Volver offers ravioli, filled with creamy ricotta. Charred eggplant and salty ricotta salata provided some heft to each bite, with the freshness from the tomato and basil offering some balance.
Chanterelles, watercress, celeriac emulsion, truffle jus
A gorgeous hunk of Alaskan halibut is featured with earthy chanterelles and a truffle jus. It's paired with bitter watercress and celeriac emulsion.
Organic Fried Chicken
Buttermilk fried chicken, corn puree, parsnip remoulade, biscuit
Chef's take on an American classic was a standout. The crisp, yet light batter offered enjoyable texture, which yielded to incredibly moist and juicy chicken. Paired with a bit of the biscuit, the sweet corn puree, and the parsnip remoulade of cole slaw, this was picnic nostalgia encapsulated in a single bite.
Lamb chops, fries, feta, rosemary, lamb gravy
Elegantly frenched lamb chops were perfectly mid-rare and well-seasoned. The smokiness of the shishitos and rosemary added some depth along with the salty feta. The fries were crisp and thick-cut.
Loaded heirloom potatoes, charred broccolini, JG steak sauce
Steak was as tender as could be - perfectly seasoned, with a nice sear and mid-rare within. Finished with salt and compound butter on top. Charred broccolini had a smoky bitterness that was enjoyable and the loaded heirloom potatoes were heaven.
So if you're looking for the right place to take your date pre-theater, look no further than the Kimmel Center itself. Heck, don't limit yourself to theater nights - stop by for Happy Hour or for dinner. I normally don't order the fried chicken on a fine dining menu, but I'd highly recommend Chef's take on it! Pure modern nostalgia.
Also - be sure to follow Chef Garces' Estudio on Instagram. Chef was kind enough to take some time to talk to us and apparently it's his new test kitchen! Working with the entire Garces team, he's creating some of his most inventive dishes at Estudio. You never know when he'll randomly open the doors to the first few guests with the special password! More to come on this ...
FTC Disclaimer: I was invited to this Media Preview as a guest. Regardless, my opinions are mine alone and, therefore, unbiased.