Recently tapped to extend a line that runs from Graham Elliot to Curtis Duffy and Lee Wolen, the Peninsula’s new top chef is Seth Moliterno, officially titled the chef de cuisine of the Lobby (Peninsula, 108 E. Superior St., River North, 312-573-6695). The 32-year-old native of Davenport, Iowa, has worked at Embeya, Ria, and Thomas Keller’s restaurant Bouchon, at the Las Vegas and Yountville, California, locations.
The first Moliterno-designed dish to hit the menu was a beet salad. Here’s how he describes it:
“It’s a baby red beet cooked sous vide, a large golden beet—roast that one—and then we also prepare a candy-striped Chioggia beet. It’s sliced very thin on the mandoline like a raw pepper. So [they’re all] different textures. A little bit of cara cara oranges, and baby fennel and hazelnut vinaigrette, and a little bit of mâche. There’s a warm component: goat cheese, and add freshly chopped herbs like thyme and parsley and a little bit of rosemary, folded into the cheese, and also the zest and a little juice form the orange. Roll it into a ball, and deep-fry. The goat cheese gives heartiness and adds a warm component and crunchy texture and gets everything to spread out in your mouth.”
Just over three weeks into the job, Moliterno says he has changed out only five dishes, taking time to think through each dish individually. He expects to have the whole new menu ready to launch in full in the middle of May. We’re hoping they print the menu on very large paper so they can accommodate descriptions like the beet salad’s.