Mary Elaine's new chef debuts his new winter menu

Stepping up to top toque at Mary Elaine's after doing time as executive sous chef for The Phoenician (the resort has nine different restaurants, including Windows on the Green and The Terrace), chef de cuisine Frank Belosic plans to launch his new winter menu in early October.

The final details are still being hammered out, but here's an early preview of some of Belosic's mouthwatering creations. (I don't know about you, but the morning chill in the air, the crisp quality of the light now that monsoon season's over -- it all makes me psyched for fall, and for food that celebrates the seasons.)

Starters include seared fois gras with pain d'epices, caramelized figs, and kumquat marmelade; crispy Kumamoto oysters with smoked potato, Serrano ham, and "ultra arugula" (I'd never heard of that 'til today -- I love arugula, though); and an attention-grabbing Maine lobster cassoulet with cocoa beans, pork belly, and fennel puree.

Among the main dishes Belosic's cooking up are pumpkin agnolotti with braised duck, smoked bacon, and apple cider reduction; black truffle pappardelle with veal meatballs and arugula mascarpone; black bass with pig trotter (a.k.a. feet) ravioli, Napa cabbage, and black truffle jus (can you tell I'm craving truffles?); and veal loin with wild Burgundy snails, celery root, and green onion.

I'm certainly intrigued -- and I can't wait to find out what's for dessert . . .

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