Scott Anderson and Mike Ryan

Edible Jersey Holiday 2015


edible jersey _ Holiday 2015-2



edible jersey _ Holiday 2015-1Despite all the critical acclaim that has been directed his way,chef Scott Anderson is disarmingly deferential. When I sat down to interview him at elements in Princeton, where he is executive chef and co-owner, he quickly asked if Mike Ryan, his culinary collaborator and chef de cuisine, could join us, noting, “We collaborate on just about everything that we do.” Together they describedtheir shared history around patranque—a traditional rusticdish from the Auvergne region of France—and the innovative waythat Ryan used it in a dish he created for a recent tasting menu.

Patranque is a cheese-and-bread stuffi ng that makes good use of dayoldcountry bread. It’s a long-time favorite at elements; Anderson and Ryan have used patranque in many different forms over the years. Theyrecommend pairing it with roasted chicken and meats—provided youcan avoid the temptation of eating it right out of the pan.

“The texture is very soft and cheesy,” Ryan says. “It’s rich and delicious.”When asked where he fi nds creative inspiration, Anderson doesn’tmention memories of trips to France (turns out he has never beenthere) or his deep commitment to culinary tradition (he’s comfortablepulling culinary inspiration from all over the world). “It’s notas straightforward as people think,” Anderson says. “A lot of timesthe ideas come from left fi eld. They start backwards. Sometimes they start with a piece of squash and end up with fluke.”Success with this serendipitous approach is possible because ofAnderson’s intense focus on the quality of ingredients. At elements,ingredients aren’t just purchased from local farms—he and his team are actively engaged with their farmers to ensure that varietal and breed selection and farming philosophy produce superior fl avor. The chefs at elements are flexible enough to respond to what arrives fresh from the farm—and are free to take those ingredients across culinary cultural divides.

Case in point is Ryan’s dish, Pumpernickel Patranque with Sea Urchin, Rye and Egg Yolk—a playful Italian-French-Vietnamese reinterpretation of crostini with sea urchin and lardo.

With an abundance of Vietnamese coriander and assorted basils and mints that he picked on his daily visit to Z Food Farm in Lawrenceville,Ryan began playing around in search of new ways to use these intensely aromatic herbs, which are often combined as a garnish for pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup. That exploration landed the herbs a starring role as the seasonal finish for his Pumpernickel Patranque.

In place of lardo, Ryan tops plump, briny sea urchins with anotherclassic Vietnamese ingredient —warmed, thinly sliced beef tendon.

Beef jus and rye berries add texture and richness to the dish, which isfi nished with a smear of egg yolk and topped with the fresh herbs. Allof this sits on a foundation of patranque.

Anderson and Ryan were first introduced to patranque, and to eachother, while working at the Ryland Inn. Their version, which they say differs significantly from the Ryland’s, is a blend of classic ingredients with a few twists.

Using Cantal cheese, which is from the Auvergne region, is classic.

(Anderson says that Gruyère also works well.) Using pumpernickel,which deepens the fl avor, and rye berries, which, Ryan says, add “apop and crunch,” is not. It is also decidedly not traditional to incorporate patranque into an East-West cross-cultural dish.

Defying tradition, however, can yield a fl avorful reward. From his first taste, Anderson says, he knew that Ryan’s pairing of patranque with buttery, salty sea urchins; rich beef flavor; and vibrant local herbs “was an easy home run.”

Pumpernickel Patranque | Serves 4

edible jersey _ Holiday 2015-3

2¼ cups diced pumpernickel bread, dried

2 cups milk

7 tablespoons butter

Half a medium-sized onion, cut into small dice

2 medium-sized cloves garlic, sliced thin

1¼ teaspoon fresh thyme

¾ cup cooked rye berries

4 ounces Cantal cheese or a good melting cheese

7 tablespoons vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Soak diced bread in the milk for 1 hour or until soft.

In a sauté pan, melt butter, then add onion, garlic and thyme. Cook onionsuntil soft. Add rye berries to the onion mixture.

Squeeze bread to break it apart. Note: You want the bread to be totallycrumbled. Add the bread and milk to the onion mixture and warm through.

Once the bread is warm, add the cheese and pull the pan off the heat. Allow the cheese to melt, while stirring the mixture. Once cheese has fully melted, add the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the dish with your favorite meat, such as chicken or beef. “A lot of times the ideas come from left field. They start backwards. Sometimes they start with a piece of squash and end up with fluke.”

—Scott Anderson

Forget About the Turkey – Thanksgiving is All About the Wine


November 23, 2015

By Sarah Emily Gilbert


Forget About the Turkey – Thanksgiving is All About the Wine

Don’t know which wine to select for Thanksgiving dinner? Our local experts share their go-to pairings so there’s nothing to “wine” about come turkey day.

Carl Rohrbach, DWS – Director of Wine Services, Elements

For Thanksgiving this year, I will be enjoying Jean Dutraive (Grand’Cour) 2014 Fleurie, “Le Clos,” Cuvée Vieilles Vignes, a 100% Gamay wine from Beaujolais in France.

The wine is bright, fresh, delicious, and perhaps, the perfect wine to pair with Thanksgiving dinner. Beaujolais has a negative image in many wine consumers minds and that’s a crying shame. This wine has beautiful bright red fruits (think cranberries), flowers, subtle spice and gorgeous earthy flavors to go along with low tannins, alcohol, and a mouthwatering acidity. The structure and complexity of this old vine Fleurie is unmatched even by some red Burgundy producers.

This is a wine that won’t overpower your Thanksgiving meal, but rather take a back seat to the flavors on the table, while at the same time providing refreshment that most reds will lack.

Article also appears in Urban Agenda Magazine: http://www.urbanagendamagazine.com/thanksgiving-wine-pairings/

Elements Princeton Reviewed by DC Dining

Originally posted here: http://reviews.dcdining.com/2015/12/07/elements-princeton-nj/

· On Rockwell’s decision to dine at elements: “I knew absolutely nothing about Elements before having arrived at the restaurant, and had no preconceived expectations. When I left the restaurant, I realized that I’d had my first Michelin 2-star-quality dining experience in (I’m embarrassed to say) a couple of years.

· On Rockwell’s interaction with hostess at Mistral: “At that precise moment, it was as if a Four-Star General had appeared in an officer’s dining hall: She immediately took on a different countenance – not in a way that downplays the importance of Mistral’s diners, but in a way that signaled to me that I had just been vaulted into VIP status – in a way that told me she instantly recognized that I had come to dine, and to dine well.

· On the differences between the ‘new’ and ‘old’ elements: My guess is that if you have not been to the “new” Elements, then you have not been to Elements. This restaurant is not a “James Beard Semifinalist”; assuming they don’t change things, this restaurant is a future regional winner, with probable future consideration for a national award.

· On Carl Rohrbach: ‘I turned myself over to the *very* capable sommelier, Carl Harrison Rohrbach, for a Tier 1 Wine Pairing ($65) which provided me with a different wine for nearly every course, and as different as these courses were, one from another, the pairings were of prime importance – even more importantly, the pairings were absolutely brilliant.

· On Chef Mike Ryan and service experience: ‘In order to create a more intimate link between kitchen and diner, each course was presented and explained by a different member of the kitchen staff (including the Executive Chef, Scott Anderson, and the outstanding Sous Chef, Mike Ryan, who created and served the amazing Kasuzuke Ocean Trout tableside – this Michelin 3-star dish, along with the Patranque, are two courses I’ll remember for the rest of my life.’

Princeton Gem Worth the Trip

Delicious, Quirky Fare at Elements in Princeton

By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic

Is the dining world ready to pluck wrinkled brown mushrooms off a mossy branch? How about a crispy chip of fried poultry skin (dabbed with two-year-old fermented mole) perched on a wiry mesh of chicken wire? Or maybe a premeal quail egg, cured in wine lees and smoked, then brought tableside nestled inside a baby bird’s nest?

Such “New Jersey Naturalist” presentations – especially at a restaurant like elements in Princeton serving tasting menus from $79 to $125 and beyond – are just the kind of gestures that have divided my friends into two distinct camps. On one side are the gastronauts who’ll travel the globe to eat the unique and revel in a witty chef or rare cuisine that can reshape the notion of dinner. On the other side are my traditionalist friends who find the whole sweep of modern-dining movements – molecular foam, New Nordic moss, and 30-bite deconstructed menu marathons – to be supremely tiresome and silly.

I can empathize with both, having witnessed the highs and lows of such experiences. But elements, with its flexible approach allowing diners to tackle anywhere from four courses (weeknights) to 20-plus (for the $185 Grand Tasting), may well be a happy compromise.

Full Article Here

Exploring The Japanese Wagyu Ribeye And Matsutake Mushrooms

A New Restaurant Offers a Michelin-Caliber Experience in Suburban New Jersey

Grub Street

By Alan Sytsma

Before closing last year, chef Scott Anderson’s Elements was one of the most acclaimed restaurants in New Jersey. The closure, thankfully, was only temporary, with Anderson planning to move the restaurant to a new second-floor space above his more casual spot, Mistral, in Princeton.

“It’s a lot more intimate,” Anderson says of the new restaurant, which seats just under 30 people at nine tables (the original restaurant could seat 80). Along with the new more luxurious digs, the daily-changing menu options include a 12-course tasting menu for $125, a $185 “grand tasting” that ranges between 17 and 22 courses, and, on weeknights, a simpler, $79 four-course prix-fixe menu. And, as you might expect, Anderson hopes new diners use the prix-fixe as an entry point if they’re unsure about going all in on the tastings: “We’re out here in the suburbs, and a fair amount of our diners work in New York City, so we didn’t want to lock people in for a three-, three-and-a-half-hour menu.” And, he adds, “The four-course menu is what we want people to try — it’s nothing too far out of the box,” he says. “The tasting menu’s really where we put some things that people have to think about.” Read More…

NJ Monthly: Elements in Princeton Has Reopened

By: Rosie Saferstein
The restaurant is now in a new space above sister property Mistral.


Elements, which last year closed its Bayard Lane location in Princeton, has reopened at 66 Witherspoon Street in Princeton. The restaurant is on the second floor of the building that houses Mistral. Elements serves globally inspired modernist cuisine under the direction of executive chef/co-owner Scott Anderson and chef de cuisine Mike Ryan. The restaurant has 28 seats and unobstructed views of the kitchen, so that guests can watch their meals being prepared. A cook delivers each dish, as one of the aims of the restaurant is to eliminate the barrier between the chefs and patrons. The following menus are offered:

A four-course $79 menu; wine pairings, $45; reserve wine pairing, $79.
An a la carte version of the four-course menu is available upon request.

Chef’s Tasting menu, $125; with wine pairing, $65; reserve wine pairing, $125.
Grand Tasting menu, $185; one-week advance notice.

Menu items can be found on the website. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 5 to 9:30 PM. Reservations: 609-924-0078.

Princeton Magazine Feature “Plate to Date: Elements Restaurant”

Princeton Magazine Logo

Celebrate the reopening of elements by trying these exceptional entrees

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

The critically acclaimed upscale eatery, elements, has a new home in downtown Princeton as of August 11, 2015. With its reopening at 66 Witherspoon Street, gastronomes can continue to savor Chef Scott Anderson’s award-winning “interpretive-American” cuisine, but in an exquisite new venue that only enhances the experience. Read More…

A Summery Sashimi Salad and Chrysanthemum Cocktail

The New York Times – T Magazine

By Adam Robb

Original Article: http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/elements-recipes-sashimi-salad-chrysanthemum-cocktail/?_r=0

Earlier this summer, the New Jersey chef Scott Anderson opened the doors to Princeton’s Mistral Bar, the spirituous neighbor of his year-old Witherspoon Street bistro Mistral. Inside, university professors and foodie types congregate for effervescent cocktails fizzy with homegrown kombuchas and irreverent bar snacks like beef tendon chicharrones dappled with marrow creme. And this evening, in a hidden corner of Mistral Bar, a newly installed elevator will deliver diners to a relocated Elements, the acclaimed haute seasonal restaurant Anderson and co-owner Steve Distler had operated on nearby Bayard Lane since 2008.

Besides being a new home for Anderson’s restless approach to redrawing daily menus from what’s ripe for the picking at central New Jersey farms, his new restaurant will also feel like home. “I’m not a big entertainer. I enjoy my alone time more than not,” says Anderson, who seeks solitude fishing for mahi in the Bahamas and foraging wild mitsuba on long hikes in the Adirondacks. “But making something and watching someone else eat it is what does it for me.” To accommodate his appetite for hospitality, his dining room’s 28 seats offer unfettered views of an open kitchen, from which Anderson and his four chefs will personally serve and walk customers through the dishes they have prepared.

The Elements chef de cuisine, Mike Ryan, visits Z Food Farm each morning to harvest fresh produce before drawing up the day’s menu. Read More…

Breaking News: First Report On The New Elements In Princeton

Dine with Pat

By: Pat Tanner

Scott Anderson’s newly relocated restaurant opens to the public on Tuesday, August 11, but for the last few days he, Chef Mike Ryan, and staff have been testing out on invited guests the new space, new menu, and especially the new, unorthodox style of service. That service? The five cooks, including Anderson, themselves deliver the dishes each has prepared. (A service charge of 20% is added to the bill. If you need to get caught up on the what/where/why/and how behind the move, check out my story here in the July issue of The Princeton Echo.)

I was lucky enough to be among the preview guests and since I will not officially be reviewing this restaurant, I and my husband, Bill, were excited to give it a go. Here with my report. Read More…