Now into its third year, The Willeyville
(1051 W. 10th St., 216-862-6422) in the Flats East Bank is ready to shake thing up a bit. Chef and owner Chris DiLisi has launched Table 68, a specially prepared 12-course tasting menu paired with wine and spirits.
“The idea started from the inspiration of Minibar from Jose Andres, which was a 6-seater inside the former Cafe Atlantico,” explains DiLisi. “When we opened Willeyville I wanted to do a small tasting table, but it kind of got sidetracked. So now I have the time to focus on it and I think it’s a nice addition to our restaurant."
Like everything else at Willeyville, the dishes will made from scratch using local, seasonal ingredients. Although the menu will change frequently, the festive meals will offer a modern approach to comfort food, with the chef taking risks that he normally does not during regular service.
“We are treating it as a whole different restaurant – different china, a more personal experience from me as I will guide the guests through the meal and explain the inspiration and techniques,” says the chef. “As far as the food goes it draws upon a lot of molecular stuff I have been wanting to learn. I’m just pushing myself again to be in that zone of not knowing how things will turn out. As a chef you can easily get in a rut and rest on your laurels. This is me kind of taking the attitude I had 10 years ago and applying techniques that I have really been wanting to try, while still presenting an approachable, familiar flavor profile.”
Dishes diners might see on the menu are Toddler Stylin, a foie gras tasting as seen through the eyes of a two year old, Pulling Curds, house-made buratta, Bulgogi, Korean-style BBQ with local Berkshire pork, Duck, Duck…Goose!, pan-seared duck and foie gras with gooseberry sweet and sour, and Carnival, house-spun cotton candy with tropical fruit sorbet.
All courses are paired with an appropriate cocktail, beer or wine.
The tastings are hosted Monday through Thursday evenings for up to six guests. Reservations are required. The tasting is $99.95 per person.