First Look Into Allumette, Opening Tonight in Echo Park

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Miles Thompson at Allumette Photo: Javier Cabral

Chef Miles Thompson broke through the boiling pop-up scene last summer when his Vagrancy Project spread the gospel of this Animal and Son of a Gun alumni's precise pairing of disparate ingredients, alluring plates, and sterling execution. Tonight, Thompson opens his first solo restaurant, Allumette, named for the knife cut that makes matchstick-sized stalks out of vegetables. Owners Charles Kelly and Bill Didonna have converted their tiny property, formerly Allston Yacht Club, into a 50-seat, dark wood showcase for Thompson's cooking, expressed in a nightly menu of twelve to fifteen dishes divided into six sections (among them "pasta," "shellfish," "vegetable," and the infamous "meat for two") from which guests are prompted to pick four to six dishes for their own tasting experience that goes from vegetables to pasta to the sea to dessert.

At this point, potential dishes may include a carrot salad with sunchokes, black carrots, and pickled turnips, cavatelli with uni ragu and fromage noir, whole seabream, grilled octopus with sour apple syrup, cardamom butterscotch potato, and sorrel, and baharat-rubbed lamb sirloin with date soubise, cinnamon labne, and grapefruit, all of which should give you a good idea of what kind of expansive vision this creative chef is on.

House-made desserts include cheesecake custard with salted graham cracker sable, bourbon aged maple, sour cream, and toasted walnuts, or red velvet cake with pork syrup, coffee milk marscapone, and colombier.

Standing behind the fourteen-seat bar is Harvard & Stone bartender Serena Herrick, overseeing a selection of classic cocktails with her own touch, like a "Negroni Sbagliato #2" with fresh sage and a scotch-based "Gentleman's Breakfast" with ginger honey syrup and egg white, topped with atomized candy cap bitters.

Allumette opens tonight at 6:00 P.M. and will serve Echo Park Tuesdays through Sundays until midnight. Stay tuned for an update with the menu and check out the small space in our slide show.

Allumette,1320 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park; 213-935-8787.

Earlier: Vagrancy Project Chef Working Towards His Own Cottage [GS]