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The Dish: I Dream of Cheesesteaks
Where to Get It: Supper at Bub’s, 1815 M St. NW; (202) 457-1111; bubandpops.com/bub-s-sunday-table
Price: Part of a $165 per person tasting menu (inclusive of food, drinks, and tax)
What It Is: A fine dining riff on a Philly cheesesteak—one of the sandwiches Bub & Pop’s offers by day. Chef Jonathan Taub clarifies veal stock into a consommé that he then sets with gelatin and natural collagen from the bones. Suspended in the resulting gelée are cubes of medium rare, sous vide rib-eye and sautéed shallots.
The dish is adorned with the trappings of the traditional sandwich: dollops of house-made mayo and ketchup, cubes of mild provolone, fried croutons made from buttery rolls, and petit purple onions. Instead of a boring bowl, Taub uses femur bones brought in from Philly to plate. “My stepdad is a woodworker, he hollows them out, smoothes them, and then we sanitize them,” he says.
What It Tastes Like: Kholodets. The Russian jellied meat dish (sometimes called aspic) isn’t much to look at, but it’s a textural playground also made from a consommé that congeals. In Taub’s version, the sharpness of the provolone and sweetness from the sticky ketchup cut through the fat. Assembling a well-balanced bite to mimic the taste of Philly’s signature sandwich is a fun challenge.
The Story: When Taub, a Philly native, was working at Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, the restaurant held a competition among area chefs to re-create the cheesesteak. While he didn’t get to compete, Taub has been thinking about this dish for a long time. “Somewhere in the back of my mind, I had my own little idea,” he says. Now with the ability to go gourmet at Bub’s Supper Club, the dish finally has a home. Staying true to his roots, Taub pairs it with Yuengling lager.