Potatoes are one of the most versatile of foods. They are a delicious addition to a meal, whether mashed, baked, or fried. There’s always so many creative ways we can enjoy them.
On August 19, National Potato Day is observed, and restaurants nationwide are observing this spud-centric occasion with some pretty creative dishes honoring the potato.
Summer Bean and Potato Chip Salad
While potato chips aren’t a traditional ingredient we see in salads, it totally works in this dish. “Right now in Kansas City, potatoes are in season and thriving,” said Chef Johnny Leach of The Town Company at Hotel Kansas City. “The abundance and variety are incredible and fill our kitchen with inspiration. One of our favorite varieties, the fingerling, makes perfect delicate chips that could stand their own. We combine them with delicious summer beans and a ranch dressing that we make with kohlrabi. The idea is a salad that revolves around the deliciousness of the humble potato chip.”
Found at Barbuto in New York City, these are gorgeous and legendary JW Potatoes with pecorino and rosemary. These have been a much-requested dish at Barbuto since opening in 2004. “I love to make these because they are a perfect testament to the style of cooking we do at Barbuto. Using good ingredients, cooked simply with lots of flavor. Guests always ask me the secret to making them, and honestly, there is really nothing too special about them. They are just good organic russets, cooked gently with garlic and rosemary and fried. Then they’re tossed with pecorino, which adds umami, salt, and fried rosemary leaves. That is it,” said Chef Jonathan Waxman, owner of Barbuto.
Potato Chip Tortilla Española
At Bar Collins at Loews Miami Beach Hotel, layers of sliced potatoes, eggs, onion, olive oil and garlic confit topped with truffled potato chips and garnished with smoked paprika dust and garlic aioli. Bar Collins Restaurant Chef Jorge Saavedra says: “The quintessential Spanish meal traditionally eaten any time of day, the tortilla Española is a Spanish omelet, typically served with gazpachos, chorizo and marinated olives. We’ve given this dish the Bar Collins twist and added even more potato with freshly made truffled potato chips, making it a decadent way to celebrate National Potato Day.”
Sometimes simple really is best. These potatoes are roasted, riced, and then mixed with eggs, flour, white pepper and salt to create a rich and delicate dumpling. They also set aside some dumplings to rice directly into the fryer to create nice crispy potato crunchies to top the dish. “The dumpling dish is our expression of simplicity, execution and perfect local products,” said Chef Johnny Leach of Hotel Kansas City.
Grill 23 Coquette Truffle Tots
At Grill 23 & Bar in Boston, classic French coquette method of frying cylinders of house-made, creamy mashed potatoes, made with lots of sour cream and black pepper, finished with a touch of salt and white truffle oil. “To make our especially decadent tots, we devote much more effort into making the batter than simply shredding raw potatoes. We use the classic French coquette method of frying cylinders of house made, creamy mashed potatoes, made with lots of sour cream and black pepper. They don’t need much more than a finishing touch of a little salt and a white truffle oil, but I recommend enhancing the truffle flavor by adding freshly shaved black truffle, which we are happy to add,” said Ryan Marcoux, Executive Grill 23 & Bar chef.
Potato Pave Tots
At The Vault Steakhouse in San Francisco, these tots are made with potato pave, crème fraîche, chives, sieved eggs, and royal white sturgeon caviar. “The Vault Steakhouse Potato Pave Tots is a decadent delight. We start with our potato pave, which is made by thin-slicing potatoes and layering them together with butter, salt, and thyme, and baking them until golden brown. We cut them into bite-size portions and then fry them until crispy on the outside and break apart into creamy layers on the inside. We top the tots with a tangy crème fraiche and sieved eggs that have been mixed with minced chive and shallots. Finally, we place a generous spoonful of White Sturgeon Caviar from the Caviar Co. here in San Francisco on top. The caviar adds a luxurious and umami-rich element to the dish and is complimented by all the other ingredients. The overall flavor experience is a decadent and indulgent treat that will impress anyone who tries it. The potato pave tots are a dish that you bring your friends in for, not only to show off your own culinary prowess but also because they’re a standout dish in a city built on standout dishes,” said Chef Jason Halverson of Hi Neighbor Group.
At Palo Santo in Atlanta, cubed potatoes are double fried and topped with a housemade chile de arbol mayo, sliced garlic chips and warm queso oaxaca infused with black truffle espuma, mixed tableside by your server. Chef-owner Santiago Gomez says: “Patatas are always a crowd favorite, but these go beyond the expected. We include flavorful garlic chips (slice garlic with a mandolin, soak the pieces in milk, dry out & fry), and what really makes it stand out: the queso espuma. We make this by heating milk, Oaxaca cheese & shaved black truffle together for about 20 minutes, strain it and mix well in a siphon. Everything’s put into a bowl, and mixed and served tableside.”
At Branja in Miami, Branja’s Bloody Bravas are made with jacket potatoes, seasoned with homemade Bloody Mary powder, and served up with a side of creamy Worcestershire aioli. Branja’s Chef Tom Aviv says: “The homemade Bloody Mary powder gives these potatoes a new and exciting flavor, especially when paired with the savory aioli.”
At Merchant & Trade located at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, these crispy tater tots are elevated with decadent truffle crème fraiche, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, a sprinkle of citrus furikake seasoning for zesty notes, and topped with freshly snipped chives and pearls of paddlefish and salmon roe caviar, providing a burst of briny and subtly sweet flavors. “The high/low food trend is what we were going for with this dish. We wanted to enhance our tots and give them a luxurious twist with the addition of velvety truffle crème fraiche, fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano and, of course, flavorful pearls of paddlefish and salmon roe caviar,” said Jamie Chambers, Sous Chef, Merchant & Trade.
It’s A Tennessee Thang
At Bag Lady’s Fry Joint in Nashville, smoked beef brisket, bacon, green onions, topped with onion rings finesse and 24K sauce drizzle. “The inspiration behind this dish comes from our grandmothers who were raised in two of the smallest towns straight out of Tennessee. From the way the potatoes are perfectly crisped to the way the brisket is smoked to the secret sauces and seasonings that go into the preparation of the dish is exactly how those from our countryside roads do it. That’s why we call it the “Tennessee Thang,” Its ingredients, roots and how it’s put together is truly a Tennessee Thang, done the Tennessee way!” James Littleton, founder of Bag Lady’s Fry Joint.
Miniature Baked Potatoes with Golden Osetra Caviar
At The Saint in Dallas, the dish offers the perfect decadent bite to celebrate National Potato Day. It consists of miniature potatoes, topped with black truffle creme fraiche, a dollop of Golden Osetra Caviar, and garnished with micro chives from a local farm. Wen the plate is dropped at the table the server uses an ornate perfume bottle full of Tito’s Vodka to spritz over the potatoes. “When I created the menu I wanted to add a fun, bite sized, sharable dish that would offer a moment of decadence while still being approachable. The dish was inspired by a baked potato, but instead of sour cream, we use creme fraiche and top it with caviar and a spritz of vodka. It’s become an instant favorite amongst our guests!” said Chef Jacob Williamson.