It's brick on the outside, and on the inside, Chestnut makes you want to cozy up. It opened six years ago, when Smith Street wasn't quite to busy.
Now, it's more developed. Boutiques and restaurants have come in, and it's become a bit of a destination.
Susan Daily helps create the mood, and Daniel Eardley does the food, using a mix of seasonal ingredients. That means the menu changes often.
So you'll find a platter of terrenes, a plate of gnocchi or a roasted chicken breast that's got a twist. Chef Daniel splits a chicken, removes the thighs and de-bone them. That thigh meat is mixed with pork fatback, fennel, mustard and anise seeds and turned into chicken sausage. That's layered onto the breast and covered back with skin. The half chicken is then seared and finished in the oven.
Chanterelles and pumpkin bread pudding round it out for the holidays, at home or at Chestnut.
And it keeps the many customers coming back for more.
Recipe for Roasted Chicken Breast with Sausage Stuffing, Chanterelles, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Port Cherries and Mache
1. Split the chicken in two halves. Pull the leg meat carefully from the skin, leaving it intact with the breast. Bone out the leg meat and cut it into strips.
2. Mix the leg meat with the fatback and spices and pass through a meat grinder.
3. Form a patty with the chicken sausage and press it onto the breast, keeping it the same thickness throughout.
4. Fold over the skin to enclose the sausage filling completely.
5. Season the chicken with salt and pepper before cooking.
6. To cook the chicken, first heat a saute pan with one ounce of canola oil. Slide the chickens into the pan when it becomes very hot, almost smoking.
7. Sear the top of the breast until golden brown, and turn it to the other side. Cook on the second side over high heat for two minutes.
8. Transfer to a 350-degree oven (place on the bottom of the oven, where the pan is in direct contact with the oven floor).
9. Cook for 15 minutes, until the temperature reaches 165 degrees at its thickest point.
10. Pull from the pan, drain off most of the excess oil, leaving some to saute the mushroom in.
11. Add the chanterelles and cook for one minute.
12. Add the chicken stock and reduce by three-quarters. Stir in the butter.
Pumpkin bread pudding
1. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk until incorporated completely
2. Toss in the bread and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until the liquid has been completely absorbed.
3. Preheat a popover pan and spray with vegetable oil. Fill over the top with the bread mixture and cook for 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
4. Cool completely before removing to keep the shape intact. These can be prepped ahead of time, as they just need to be reheated to serve.
Place the mache just off the center and nestle the warmed bread pudding next to it. Place the chicken so the breast is facing out and it cradles the pudding. Drizzle with cherries and chanterelles.