Porchetta aims for nothing less than the domestication of molecular gastronomy. That scientific school of cooking has remained a mandarin pursuit, limited to a few hyperambitious chefs like Neroni and his master, Wylie Dufresne. But nobody really loves that kind of cooking — the geometric forms, the tiny portions, the too precious high-concept abstraction. Everybody, however, loves Italian food, which is thought to be one of the least challenging cuisines to prepare. If Neroni can truly combine the two schools, he will have begun to bring the culinary mainstream into the 21st century. Dishes like olive-oil-poached tuna with raviolini of sausage and apple, wilted spinach, and porcini juices, or skate with crispy pig's foot, black-truffle crushed potatoes, and sour fennel salad sound just weird enough to be interesting, and just good enough to actually want to eat.
Envelope-Pushing Chef Resurfaces in Carroll Gardens [Grub Street]