Moto (Updated Listing): Playful Presentations, Serious Food

Homaro Cantu still hasn’t lost his sense of childlike wonder when it comes to the kitchen.

Prawn melon course at Moto   Photo: Amy Stallard

Culinary techie Homaro Cantu continues to tinker with—and overturn—the staid conventions of fine dining with a rare combination of cooking skill and childlike experimentation. Expect him to fill his seasonal 14-course tasting menus with shape-shifting oddities such as shriveled freeze-dried grapes in a rich and milky gazpacho, braised bison with chilies pulverized into pixie-like dust to mimic an arid Southwestern landscape, and olive oil foams set next to emulsified olive jellies and braised octopus for a tongue-in-cheek take on a traditional seafood platter. Cantu creates playful presentations at will, but don’t underestimate his skill in showcasing traditional flavors in new forms that makes his food odysseys worthwhile. Request a secluded high-backed banquette to maximize the element of surprise, and indulge in wine pairings to take the experience to another level.  

Dishes We Liked: (All are part of a prix fixe menu.) Corn Suspension: bites of quail suspended over corn chowder; Spice Trade: goat presentations served with smoked eggplant purée; Picnic: cheese creations on red-checked napkins; Tree Trunk: maple syrup over sweetbreads, bacon, pancakes, and egg yolks; Baking 101: DIY peach pie with grapefruit juice.

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