Welsh Rarebit Toast

Nathan Sears, Chef | State and Lake Chicago Tavern | Chicago

Sears prepares the dish by grilling ciabatta bread slices and then topping them with a cheddar and stout sauce—a traditional Welsh rarebit. The toasts are then topped with sliced fresh radish and cornichons with the option of adding a fried egg.
Doughnuts with Foie Gras, Almond Mousse, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, and Almond Glaze

Ty Leon, Chef | Mizuna | Denver

“I wanted to use almonds a few different ways and had been playing with doughnuts a lot and wanted to do an almond-flavored doughnut using almond flour,” Leon says. “I made a foie gras mousse and folded in some almond butter that we had made. Foie gras and almonds go really well with strawberry and rhubarb, so we made a jam with those ingredients and we filled the doughnut with the mousse and jam. I then used almond milk to make a frosting to finish.”

Fried Cauliflower

Zachary Ridenhour, Chef | Sixth Engine | Washington D.C. 

For this popular late-night snack, cauliflower florets are battered, fried, tossed in a cooling sauce with Asian honey flavors and garnished with toasted sesame seeds and scallions. “Great late-night food is something that has enough flavor to get through to your palate even after you’ve had a few drinks,” Ridenhour says. “The fried cauliflower is sweet, spicy, and crunchy, but still a little different than your standard bar fare.”

Crackling Kale

Mogan Anthony, Chef | Village Social | Mt. Kisco and Rye, New York 

For this gluten-free, vegan-friendly dish, Anthony crosscuts black kale and lightly dredges the pieces in chickpea batter before quickly frying them and dusting them with Indian gun powder, a spice blend he makes in-house using cayenne pepper, tomato powder, and ground, toasted lentils.
Calf Fries

Pat Green, Kyle Noonan, and Josh Sepkowitz, Owners | The Rustic | Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston, Texas

This dish, like an eccentric chicken nugget, is a popular one in Texas, especially as hearty bar or late-night snack. The calf fries (yep, bovine testicles) are marinated in a mix of buttermilk and Tabasco sauce, and coated in a mixture of cornmeal, Old Bay seasoning, and other spices before being deep-fried until crisp and golden on the outside, tender on the inside. They are served with a dip made with fresh lemon juice, Greek yogurt, and spices. 

Boom Boom Shrimp

Mike Turner, VP of Culinary/Supply Chain | Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar | Louisiana and Texas

One of Walk-On’s signature items, this starter and perfect late-night snack is made by hand-battering and frying shrimp that’s then tossed in a sauce spiked with Cajun spices. The shrimp are served on a bed of cabbage and garnished with green onions and lemon wedges. 

Menu Innovations, Slideshow