Kevin Willmann, owner and chef of Farmhaus, and his fiancee and front-of-house manager, Jessica Hanzlick: Willmann's poached escolar was the best dish at the year's best restaurant.
Since adolescence, chef and owner Kevin Willmann has been an avid fisherman, and his abiding love for the sea is manifested on the plate. My favorite of his seafood dishes was a Hawaiian escolar fillet poached in butter, dill and traminette (a semi-dry white wine) from Missouri's Chaumette Winery, served with grilled asparagus and two grilled blue prawns. The poaching liquid turned the fish, already very fatty by nature, decadently luscious, and the asparagus was plump and strongly flavored, but it was the blue prawns that made this dish. These were far more flavorful than your run-of-the-mill shrimp, with a beguiling briny sweetness. As a bonus, they were served head-on, so you could suck out the tastiest juices as you would with a crawfish.
3257 Ivanhoe Avenue; 314-647-3800
"'Haus Rules" - June 10, 2010