Plate to Date: Salt Creek Grille’s Tuna Carpaccio & Confetti Couscous

Now until March 30, Salt Creek Grille Princeton is offering entrees that take you on a full sensory experience

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

Salt Creek Grille Princeton is adding two “fantastique” dishes to its menu for a limited time. Executive Chef Luis Estrada was recently commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York (PONY) to create a series of dishes inspired by symphonies being performed in a pair of concerts on March 29 and 30 at Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center to kickoff PONY’s spring season. Diners at the restaurant can enjoy the entrees now until March 30 at the restaurant, including an Ossu Buco over Confetti Couscous, and a Tuna Carpaccio over Edamame Bean Puree.

“The Tuna Carpaccio exquisitely captures the raw emotion on display in Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. With a nod to the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York’s project, this dish brings together a symphony of flavors emanating from an opulent, pan-European prestige intertwined with an Asian influence,” said Chef Estrada. “Also inspired by Berlioz, the rich veal and opulent marrow of the Osso Buco paired with Confetti Cous Cous celebrates the irresistible tenderness of young love in Symphonie fantastique.”

The Osso Buco and the Tuna Carpaccio will be priced $30 and $13 respectively, with $1 from each going towards Project Hand in Hand, an organization set up to inspire Japanese youths to participate in choral music, following the March 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, north of Tokyo. This is part of an initiative led by PONY, whose performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center will bring together an ensemble of 100 students from The College of New Jersey and 130 Japanese students to sing alongside the orchestra, conducted by Maestro Atsushi Yamada, PONY’s co-founder.

PONY performances are more than listening events, designed to stimulate both the eyes and ears. PONY has also commissioned filmmaker Joachim Schamberger to produce full-length films based on the symphonies to be projected in 4K resolution on giant screens during the concerts. Salt Creek Grille’s dishes extend PONY’s sensory blend into the realm of taste. Tickets are on sale now at www.nyphilharmonia.com/concerts with prices starting at just $5.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time an orchestra has commissioned chefs to create dishes inspired by symphonies,” said Jim Miller, PONY’s communications director. “It’s all part of our mission to present classical music in the most accessible way possible. I personally lobbied for a ‘resurrection soufflé,’ but no such luck. My only regret is that the composers aren’t alive today to taste these dishes and tell us if we got it right!”

To order the dishes, visit Salt Creek Grille Princeton at 1 Rockingham Row in Forrestal Village, or go to www.saltcreekgrilleprinceton.com. Reservations can be made via Yelp at http://bit.ly/1px71ZO.