Incanto Experiments With Seafood-Enhanced Bread
So anxious we were to get to the meat last night at Incanto that we initially overlooked a very special starter that's currently on the menu. Once described to us, though, we could think of little else.
Tamara Palmer Cross-section of black bread by Incanto.
Chef/owner Chris Cosentino recently took his first trip to Japan and came back recharged and full of ideas. After stumbling upon some black bread in the window of a pastry shop in Tokyo's Shibuya district, the idea for a new dish was sparked.
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The bread gets its dark color from the inclusion of squid ink, which imparts a subtle saltiness. What he saw in Japan wasn't a common item, but a creative notion from a French expatriate who bakes using ingredients familiar to locals.
At Incanto, Cosentino's black bread is layered with mixed radishes, tissue-thin sheets of Ibérico de bellota lardo (fatback), and bright orange uni (sea urchin). The interplay of soft and crunchy textures really pops, and the flavors are collectively mellow and harmonious.
This kick-started our large meal in a lovely way, but we could also picture the dish being an ultimate bar snack if you're just stopping in for a glass of wine. It's fun to taste how the chef's break from the day-to-day bustle of running his restaurant brought back new inspiration for his food.