Modernist chef with Ukrainian roots Alex Stupak opened a restaurant in New York, writes Grub street.
Chef Alex Stupak said that his new restaurant Mischa in the city center will not be what everyone expects.
Let's start with the title. Misha, as you might have guessed, is a diminutive of Mikhail. Stupak is half Ukrainian, so he decided to use a Slavic name in the name of the institution. “Misha” suggests borscht and dumplings, but the restaurant will serve something completely different.
“The title deliberately contradicts the concept,” says Stupak. “At the same time, I want to emphasize that we are opening an American restaurant”
Mischa Restaurant is located in a skyscraper at the corner of 53rd Street and Third Avenue.
Surprises on the menu
There is a section on the menu with pasta, but among the dishes there are dumplings with porridge, with apples, spaetzle with brown butter and no spaghetti.
“It was very important to me that there was no Italian cuisine in the pasta department,” says Stupak. “I believe we will stick to our path.”
Caesar salad in this restaurant will be prepared with gai lan (a type of broccoli). As Stupak explains, the task of modernizing this salad was not easy: “I fell into the rabbit hole on Caesar salads. It seems like people used all the cruciferous in them, but I couldn't find Chinese broccoli. I thought that would be cool.”
Also on the menu is pitch black hummus, made with black chickpeas, black garlic and cala gira. And a hot dog made from dry-aged brisket, baked in dry-aged smoked beef tallow, grilled and served with dry-aged beef chili, lacto-fermented cucumber sauce and kimchi.
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Check out the $29 appetizer listed on the menu as "Seven Vegetables." The dish looks simple. But in fact, this is a set of seven chilled salads.
“Call it antipasti, call it salatim, call it whatever you want. A set of fresh and pickled vegetables is a wonderful and civilized way to start a meal,” says the chef.
This set is full of vibrant colors. Royal oyster mushrooms with an addition of Iranian pickled cucumbers, dyed golden with turmeric and seasoned with cumin and rosemary. Diced sweet potatoes are tossed with a dressing of apricot marmalade, lemon juice, honey, tomatoes, ginger, coriander, canned lemon powder, licorice, grains of paradise, and at least a dozen other spices. Purple cabbage and sauerkraut served with Russian dressing. Because, according to Stupak: “Russian dressing with iceberg lettuce reminds people of fast food. But when you combine it with kale, it's very New York, very tasty."
Roasted red peppers are also served here, seasoned with freeze-dried raspberry powder vinaigrette. This combination is not a tribute to a region or culture, but to the French confectioner Pierre Herme. This is the idol of Stupak, who introduced red pepper and raspberry sorbet 20 years ago.