This week our taste buds were abuzz with Chef Johnathan Blackford’s spring menu at the new CdM in Corona del Mar. Our tip? Come hungry and be certain to sneak a peek at the underground speakeasy, Under CdM.
Parker House Rolls
The Parker House Rolls at CdM is absolutely sublime. Shelly Register (acclaimed Culinary Director at A Market) lends her talent and expertise to this recipe. The result is a roll so pillowy-soft and delicate that it barely takes up any space in your stomach … no need to worry about ruining your appetite with too much bread! Baked in a small cast iron skillet, the sides and bottom of the rolls become a lovely golden color. A slight sprinkling of fleur de sel brings out the flavor. Buerre de baratte (french churned butter) and housemade whipped A5 tallow are served on the side for a rich addition.
Morels and Peas
The star of Executive Chef Jonathan Blackford’s morels and peas dish is the fragrant polenta he sources from Anson Mills in South Carolina. “When you open the bag, it actually smells like fresh corn,” says Blackford. That’s because Anson Mills grinds CdM’s corn to order and ships it to Blackford the very next day. From it, Blackford makes a rich and flavorful polenta that is warm and comforting. The fresh morels, peas and fine herbs bring brightness to the dish and I especially like how the yolk from the fried egg adds a level of creaminess and decadence.
CdM Spicy Pizza
Standard, fancy or spicy is how Blackford characterizes his pizza. If you ask him, his favorite at the moment is the spicy pizza made with nduja (cured, spicy, spreadable salumi), rapini, sweet garlic, crushed tomato, and stracchino cheese. It definitely has a spicy kick, but the creamy stracchino cheese mellows the heat in a nice way. The common denominator between Blackford’s pizza selection is the crust. He uses a three-day process that starts with biga (a type of pre-fermented dough used in Italian baking) and ends with a slow proof for added flavor and complexity. What results is a crust that is both soft enough to sink your teeth into but firm enough to hold up all of those toppings.
CdM’s layered cheesecake takes the blue ribbon for best marriage between classic New York style cheesecake and lemon meringue pie. The cheesecake is layered with Meyer lemon curd and toasted Swiss meringue. The flavor is rich yet light on the palate making it the perfect capstone to a lovely meal. You may even want to order your own!
2325 East Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625