Chef Adam Weiss,
below right, made his
name at Esty Street.
His creations at Due
from far left, bucatini
with pork Bolognese
and turkey meatballs;
veal Milanese; Key
lime semifreddo parfait; and what Weiss
calls “shrimp and
grits,” made from
with mascarpone and
grilled corn) instead
of actual grits.
sauce of tender, smoky pork Bolognese
topped with flavorful, fluffy-textured
turkey meatballs and a dollop of pillowy
herbed ricotta that Weiss makes from
scratch. The dish is by turns hearty and
light, familiar and new.
Weiss created what he called a fine-dining version of chicken Marsala. He
pan sears a frenched chicken breast
to crisp the skin and finishes it in the
oven with velvety royal trumpet and
hon shimeji mushrooms in chicken
stock. The sauce combines the chicken
jus with Marsala wine and a dab of
garlic butter for a refined yet full-flavored dish, which comes with a side
of “risotto” made from farro with green
peas. It’s as fluffy as rice, but with nutty
Equally accomplished is his bone-in veal Milanese, made from a chop
pounded to the size of a dinner plate.
He dusts it with panko bread crumbs,
My favorite dishes were those that,
paradoxically, wandered farthest
from Italian tradition and those that
hewed to it completely. In the latter
category was the most authentic Cae-
sar salad I’ve encountered in years.
If you think Caesar dressings have
gotten increasingly wimpy over the
years, you aren’t imagining things.
But in Weiss’s dressing over romaine,
the sine qua non ingredients—garlic,
white anchovies and Parmigiano-Reggiano—were clear and present, yet
perfectly harmonized. Perfection.
At the far-from-tradition extreme,
Weiss created a creamy chowder special,
a hearty and rustic melange of wood-grilled Jersey corn and braised dark-meat chicken with diced applewood-smoked bacon, Yukon gold potatoes and
red bell peppers. Like all Due’s specials,
this one was printed, with its price, on a
card handed out with the menu.
On the regular menu, you see a lot
of dish names enclosed in quotes. It’s
Weiss’s way of telling you to expect the
unexpected. One stunning example is
his “shrimp and grits.” He calls it “a
Southern American dish with Italian
ingredients.” He grills five jumbo shrimp
over a mix of woods carefully chosen
to produce a specific smoky flavor.
Meanwhile, fresh peaches, skinned and
blanched, are grilled over the wood, then
combined with the shrimp in a white
balsamic barbecue sauce that’s Weiss’s
take on North Carolina vinegar-based