He's Bringing Pasta Back

By Audrey Malloy

By

Audrey Malloy
Chef Danny Grant's Charcoal-roasted Seafood Tower at Maple & Ash
Chef Danny Grant's Charcoal-roasted Seafood Tower at Maple & Ash

Before opening Maple & Ash, Chef Danny Grant did months of R&D to figure out the details that make the steakhouse format so successful, and he ate a lot of chilled shellfish while doing it. “The crab was always soggy—you could wring water out of it,” says Grant. “I thought, ‘Hey, let’s roast ours in a wood-fired oven.’” From that denouement came one of Maple & Ash’s most ordered dishes, the fire roasted seafood tower in “semi-pro” ($145) and “baller” ($180) iterations. It’s also the centerpiece of Grant’s “I Don’t Give a Fuck” tasting menu (if luxury makes you squeamish, buyer beware). Like going to a Justin Timberlake concert when BeyoncĂ© walks out for the encore, there’s an off-menu option for the tower that Grant sends out to tables who are “having way too much fun.” Introducing the “Pasta Back.” 

  • Grant cooks blue prawns, Kumamoto oysters, Maine sea scallops, Manilla clams, wild Dover sole, and Alaskan king crab in a 600ºF Josper oven for approximately two minutes. 
     
  • The manilla clams pop and release their liquid, which becomes the base of a garlicky butter sauce finished with chile oil, parsley, Maldon salt, and lemon. 
     
  • The best-in-class seafood is kept warm at the table by a candle.
     
  • Once guests are nearly done, the tableside Pasta Back commences. Blanched conchiglie pasta (made with a just-denser-than-standard dough) is tossed with the seafood remnants, their juices, chives, and more butter. Why sop with bread when you can use pasta?
     
  • As for wine? Bottles of white Burgundy all around. Absolutely. 
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