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Top Chef Masters: The Taste Test

As you may have noticed, we’re very proud of Tony Mantuano, one of the current contenders for the title of Top Chef Masters and chef of the Art Institute’s own Terzo Piano. Tony (and his partner Susan) won the first round of competition two weeks ago and we were thrilled to find out that in celebration of this feat, he added his winning dishes to the Terzo menu for the month of April. We obviously considered it our obligation to head over for a taste test…


First up: ravioletto with crescenza cheese, wild mushrooms, and rosemary (see above). And while the cheese was appropriately gooey and the mushrooms suitably woodsy, the pasta was (quite naturally) the real star. In the words of my reality-obsessed colleague Erin H., given all of the ingredients it was surprisingly light. Let’s put it this way…tasting the pasta made it very easy to see why he won.


Next: chocolate bread pudding with banana caramel and Intelligensia coffee ice cream. In culinary parlance, this was killer. It was a little different from the Top Chef Masters version (i.e. it wasn’t made from ingredients from a gas station), but we all agreed that our favorite part was the homemade coffee ice cream. As Jocelin S., the museum’s resident facebooker and tweeter astutely pointed out, it’s time for Intelligensia to diversify. We would all buy this by the gallon. I have to admit, my favorite dessert is still the chocolate semi freddo (I just can’t get enough of the salted caramel), but I’m going to recommend that this be added to the permanent menu. Five stars!

Now I just need a nap!