Dining

Blue Hill's Dan Barber Is Venturing into Fast Food

Note: This is not your typical burger-and-fries situation
Dan Barber
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

A longtime farm-to-table pioneer, Blue Hill’s Dan Barber is just about the last chef we ever imagined would venture into the realm of fast food. But as it turns out, pigs do fly. Starting this October, Barber will introduce a new, fast-food-inspired bar menu at Blue Hill. “It seems like every chef is taking on fast casual these days . . . so we thought we’d throw our hat in the ring,” Barber tells Grub Street.

This isn’t a typical burger-with-a-side-of-fries affair, mind you. The menu will focus on vegetable-forward takes on fast-food classics: Think tempura-battered and fried string beans and donut peach “doughnuts;” a flourless potato pizza with ricotta and tomatoes; and a hot dog reimagined as a “beetfurter,” made with beets and pork. “We’re putting vegetables and whole grains at center stage, with meat used mostly as a condiment,” Barber explains. It’s an idea that Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi are also employing at their new West Coast fast-food concept, LocoL, where burgers are a blend of grain and meat.

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Diners who visited Barber’s wastEd pop-up last year, where the chef prepared dinner from often discarded or overlooked ingredients, may recognize one dish: an addictive crispy chip made from skate wing cartilage, served with a tartar-like dipping sauce.

Keeping with the theme of fast food, Barber’s bar menu will arrive on a tray. Unfortunately, the prices won’t come anywhere close to a Big Mac. The menu ranges from $68 to $88 for five to eight items.

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