Summer Bean Salad at Naked Lunch
Almost a year after it opened in an unlikely slot between Enrico's pee-fragrant sidewalk terrace and the tourist-covered stairs on Kearny above Broadway, Naked Lunch is still putting out food of rare polish. Ian Begg's foie-gras torchon and duck prosciutto creation might be the city's most adult sandwich (and at $15, its most expensive), in a neighborhood that knows from adult. But while the sandwiches get the kind of billing reserved for the $20 lap dance at nearby Centerfolds, it's Begg's restaurant-ready salads that show off his skills, the way a brass pole and and an uplit stage shows off an exotic dancer's.
Yesterday's was a summer bean salad in red wine vinaigrette, frenched wax beans jumbled up with sections of romanos that'd loosed their tiny, beanlike seeds, along with radish coins, scraps of hand-torn basil, and fine shreds of sheep's-milk Manchego. It came across as totally offhand, yet with an intensity of flavors that would've made Gary Danko seriously jealous. Today's menu shows a variation on the summer-bean matrix ― grilled padron peppers, which sound like an inspired addition. Order a double portion.
Naked Lunch Enrico's Annex, 504 Broadway (at Kearny), 577-4951.