“Sometimes it’s just that the whole package is so rich, so full of flavor,” says Sean Thomas, who designed the intricate radicchio and chicken tagine for the Blackfish’s dinner. “For me, it’s the quality of the basil, the flavor of the chicken, the scents that you’re smelling when you’re cooking it. Then of course there’s just the sweet and savory essence of the Tuscan goat cheese.”
Something about that olive oil melted into the creamy ravioli that Thomas is serving here brings to mind this dish from a rock concert poster: the little one flashing by your face, the one that reminds you of how much you love it when you are in a great mood. So long as you don’t feel like exposing those fiery mandolins to real music. A great takeaway from that little image is that food should be fun, not merely at a rock concert but anywhere, and it can be gorgeous when well constructed.
Sometimes the ravioli itself is just a small part of the attraction, however, the weightless ricotta butter folds on like tissue to the tender dome of pasta, dark cavolo nero, all imported from Italy, and rolling all flavors into their own accord.
I pick the ravioli from our neighbors, Northwest DC restaurateurs Sean Casey and his wife and co-chef, Kalie Shirreff. Their dining room had not yet opened, but the line in their little white tent was long and already made a mark. The feeling was that they’d earned every one of their parking spots and hundreds more like them with this homemade feast and had cleared a spot along with all their loyal fans.