In every business, entrepreneurs struggle to keep things consistent for customers vs trying to innovate and improve.
It’s the same in the restaurant business. People want to know what to expect when they order a dish. Of course, they also want to be in a restaurant that is cutting edge.
Crudo is a good example. In Italy, we’ve been eating crudo for generations. It was and is served with some citrus, olive oil and salt.
I have created and served crudo dishes that are both traditional and yet a bit innovative at the same time. For one of my favorites, I added some salt and high quality Italian extra virgin olive oil. There is lemon juice but much of the acidity comes from very thin slices of green apple, cut very thin to just add texture and acidity, not so much to interfere with the flavor of sashimi grade Yellowtail we get from Japan. There are also very thin slices of radish for a kiss of bitterness, and some celery leaves for a vegetal accent.
The dish is, at its heart, fish, salt, oil and acidity, like the traditional dish. But it’s a bit more complex and attractive on the plate. We’ve become famous for our crudos and I’m able to change them with the season without upsetting our loyal customers.