8: The Chef's Counter at Posh Improvisational Cuisine
What does it mean to dine "extemporaneously?" It means that you're probably sitting at the sleek chef's counter at Posh Improvisational Cuisine, the Scottsdale restaurant where chef Josh Hebert and his culinary team devise multicourse menus on the fly before your eyes, featuring dishes tailored to your particular food preferences.
"Serious Food, Extemporaneous Style" is the restaurant's tagline, and it pretty much sums up a good night at Posh. This is fine dining, often crafted with equal parts virtuosity and playfulness.
If you have not yet been to Posh, locating the restaurant's front entrance may contribute to the general sense of mystery that comes with not knowing exactly what you're getting into. You'll find Posh at the Optima Camelview Condominium Building, above a subterranean parking garage. It helps to know that the restaurant faces Scottsdale Road, which may not be readily apparent from the address.
Your first decision involves picking out how many courses you want for dinner; five courses seems to be the golden mean for most people. You can pick out roughly the central ingredients of your dinner, and you have the option to skip out on any of your least favorite foods.
The joy and pleasure of dining at Posh, though, tends to be roughly equal to how far you can manage to stretch your palate, and the level of trust you allow yourself to place in the kitchen's hands. You know all those zen koans designed to illuminate the importance of letting go and living in the moment? The dining room at Posh is a pretty good place to put that kind of thinking into practice.
The best seat in the house is at the counter, where you have full view of the open kitchen, gleaming with all manner of smooth, stainless steel kitchen equipment. Dinner will start with an amuse bouche, and maybe it will be some artfully plated uni; or maybe it will be a Belgian endive served with a blood orange vinaigrette. Maybe that will be followed by an octopus salad, and then a foie gras that brings you perilously close to licking your plate.
You can place a request for exotic proteins, or request the simple, familiar ingredients that you know and love. But you're at Posh, and it'd be a shame to waste the talent and bounty of ingredients at your disposal by playing it too safe.
Where's the fun in that?
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