The seared mushroom cap at Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen will make a fungi lover of you yet.
Mushrooms divide people into two camps: Those with undying love for the fabulous fungi and those who vehemently loath them. Part of it is fear – eat the wrong toadstool and you might go blind. But at a restaurant? C’mon!
For those who favor fungi, Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen at Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa serves up a hen-of-the-woods mushroom crown ($8) that’s both palate-pleasing and beautiful in presentation. (The leafy mushroom earned its fowl moniker for resembling a hen sitting beneath a tree in the woods.) To prepare the vegan dish, executive sous chef Jayson Thompson flash-fries the mushroom just enough to give it a crisp texture, but not enough to render it chewy and tough. Thompson serves the crunchy mushroom with hearty oven-roasted tomatoes and toasted Hayden Mills barley made in the style of risotto – cooked slowly with vegetable stock perfumed with shallots and garlic to enhance the grain’s nutty flavor.
For dipping, Thompson provides a traditional chimichurri sauce, which complements the mushroom without overpowering its delicate, pleasantly musty flavor, and finishes the mushroom with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt. “The flavors work really well together,” he says. “It’s a very earthy dish.”
Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen at Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa
6114 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale