James Brown is feelin’ good on the soundtrack that is funking up Chef David Cook’s dining room. And so am I. In fact, I feel better than James Brown after swiping the last remaining evidence from the bowl of fabulous roasted mushroom soup that was delivered as the Godfather declared “So nice! So nice!” The soup’s solid bass line of rich musky earth supports the twangy top notes of crème fraîche and truffle. The seared scallops are another wonder, atop porcelain-crisp bacon, cauliflower, and bok choy; and the beef tenderloin tartare—bounded by caramelized cippolini onions on one side and a delicate stack of toast points on the other—is phenomenal.
Not so long ago Cook was the local king of the culinary vanguard, a restless imagination who had the time and energy to play the edge. But then three things happened: the economy demanded more focused menus and leaner staff, chic farmhouse fare came into vogue, and
most of all, David and Daveed’s matured. Now papa’s got a (somewhat) brand new bag—a menu that usually totals 16 dishes and has been leaning more in the direction of sophisticated Sunday suppers (a pan-seared chicken thigh resting on crushed potatoes and haricots verts; an extraordinary roasted duck breast sliced and fanned over garganelli and wild mushrooms) than the House that Cook’s Euro-funk Built (arugula with truffled peach puree and Parmigiano Reggiano). It’s food as good as it gets when the cook is not feeling capricious or the server moody (and we’ve encountered both on our visits). For now, Daveed’s seems comfortable with this new groove, and we’re content to shout and shimmy along.
934 Hatch St., Mt. Adams
Rank last year: 3
Photograph by Ryan Kurtz
Originally published in the March 2011 issue.