The last few weeks of work have been some of the most exciting and unpredictable I’ve ever had. I started working four days a week at the restaurant, which has been a roller coaster of an adjustment. When I was going in one day a week, I would spend the afternoon on whatever prep tasks were most pressing and then would work with another cook on the line during service. My days last week had a similar structure, but with more emphasis on actually learning the process of running the station from afternoon prep through service and clean-up.
This week, I switched to the a.m.-prep shift, which is technically mostly in the afternoon. I work from 8 a.m. to around 6 p.m. cooking sauces, frying garlic, cleaning carrots, and doing a bunch of other things that need to be done before the doors open for dinner. The prep shift has a much different feel, without the unpredictable, adrenaline-fueled rush of service, but it will allow me to be exposed to more new things in an atmosphere that’s more conducive to learning. It’s been incredible and my head is still spinning trying to make sense of everything I’m experiencing.
As if all of that weren’t thrilling enough, the restaurant got HUGE news on Tuesday. I really have no good way to drop this in casually, which is why I’ve been stalling and talking about myself for the last two paragraphs. Bon Appetit named Rose’s Luxury (a.k.a. “the restaurant”) the best new restaurant in America. We were all ecstatic but struggling to comprehend what that meant after the announcement on Tuesday. Since I’ve never worked at another restaurant, I probably have the least perspective. I already knew Rose’s was an incredible place — everything written about Aaron’s focus on making guests and employees happy is absolutely true — but this will certainly add a new level of intensity and focus to everything we do. I couldn’t be happier to be along for the ride.
I have a million more thoughts and feelings, but I think that’s enough for today. Now, a salad.
Sweet, summer tomatoes and indecently rich burrata are absolutely the stars here, but they have a strong supporting cast. Basil would have been my go-to herb for a salad like this not so long ago, but I’ve realized that mint is just as versatile and adds a fresh, less-expected flavor. Thinly sliced red onion adds crunch and a tiny bit of heat. Pine nuts add an addictive depth of flavor, like they do in pesto. The best bites are the ones with a little of everything.
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound heirloom tomatoes, halved if small or cut into bite-size pieces
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ pound burrata (two large balls)
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 20 mint leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
- Mix the red wine vinegar, Dijon, honey, and a teaspoon of kosher salt in a bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly to emulsify.
- Toss the tomatoes and onions together with some of the dressing on a serving platter. Cut the burrata in half and arrange on top of the salad. Sprinkle the pine nuts, mint, and a pinch of kosher salt over the top and drizzle with a few tablespoons of the remaining dressing. You likely won’t need all of it, but it keeps well in the fridge.