Poached octopus at Allumette
Allumette, owners Charles Kelly and Bill DiDonna’s new eatery in their former Allston Yatch Club space in Echo Park, is a home run. With chef Miles Thompson (Son of a Gun, Vagrancy Project) in the kitchen and mixologist Serena Herrick (Pour Vous, Harvard & Stone) behind the bar, Allumette really steps it up with inventive, intensely flavorful food and drink that’s hard to find in this neighborhood.
The restaurant recently added Tuesday night dinner service and changed its menu to a pared-down version of its à la carte and added a five-course $72 tasting menu with an optional beverage pairing for $45.
If you’re going for the tasting menu, which everyone in your party must order, you can look forward to the homey-yet-decidedly new-feeling poached octopus with beluga lentils, vadouvan butter and a fried egg (pictured above), and the goat’s milk flan with angel food cake, brown butter and cucumber-flavored tapioca for dessert.
Goat’s milk flan
From the à la carte menu, the crudo options — pink snapper with kanzuri (Japanese chili paste with yuzu), white soy and cherimoya, and live scallop tartare with strawberry, black truffle and elderflower — are both good choices.
Pink snapper crudo
Live scallop tartare
When it comes to pasta, go for the cavatelli bathed in an uni ragu and served with English pea purée, braised mushrooms and Thompson’s special fromage noir.
Cavatelli with uni ragu
One of the more interesting dishes is the short rib cooked in pho broth served on top of a scallion pancake with a side of xiu mai. While I found the meat a tad too salty for my taste, I appreciate the innovation in the dish.
Short rib “pho”
If you’re lucky Thompson might send out a surprise, such as fried potato mascarpone butter (unlike anything I’ve ever had!) served with house-made focaccia topped with black lava sea salt, or a tiny fairy squid with flowering cilantro and yuzu.
Potato mascarpone butter
As for cocktails, I enjoyed the Gentleman’s Breakfast, a hearty concoction of Famous Grouse scotch, egg white, lemon and ginger honey syrup topped with Atomized Candy Cap bitters, Islay scotch and a piece of candied ginger. The Le Système Solaire with Oloroso sherry, Dolin Blanc vermouth and Bergamot bitters, is another satisfying choice.
Note: This meal was hosted.