Some say shared plates have jumped the shark, but anyone who dined at Ada Street while chef Zoë Schor was in the kitchen knows that the chef could make even the most passé restaurant trend taste like new. Her new restaurant, Split-Rail, scheduled to open later this year will once again tackle eclectic American shared plates.
"It's kind of a familiar concept but I'm trying to have some fun with it," Schor says. "For a long time I feel like American has been this catch-all thing...it's not something people are proud of." To step away from the cliché, Schor's concept will take cues from Americana kitsch as well as the melting pot of flavors that define the country's cuisine. Think revamped comfort foods and elevated country fair favorite infused with ethnic ingredients and influences. "My hope is to embrace what being a chef in America means to me."
The location of Split-Rail is to be determined, but Schor says she is "very close" to signing a lease. She did, however, she is not looking at an existing restaurant, but rather a raw space that will require a full build-out. "We're going to try and keep as many of those rustic industrial elements in place as possible," she says. When it is finished, it will seat approximately 130.
Schor will offer a taste of Split-Rail at the first of several preview dinners. Held at White Oak Tavern on February 21, the five-course dinner will feature dishes from the opening menu, including "A Study of Eggs," with 64-degree hen egg, uni cream, and caviar on brioche toast; "Fajitas, Reimagined" with dry-aged prime strip loin, creamy masa, caramelized onion, and roasted red pepper gelee; as well as a "surprise dessert" that Schor revealed as "Childhood in New England," featuring steamed brown bread made by Floriole and sweet corn spoon-bread ice cream.