Au Apolonia, the latest spot from Stephen Gillanders and the SKY team, no dish is more striking (and delicious) than black truffle puff pastry, a crispy sphere adorned with garlic and truffles and topped with herbs and Parma. Executive pastry chef Tatum Sinclair found inspiration in a puffed pita she had at London restaurant Brat and made 72 different versions of it before settling for the bread she serves now. “That’s the time I’ve ever worked on a dish,” she said. “We are a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, and this is our version of the fanciest garlic bread you can eat.” $16. 2201 S. Michigan Ave. South Loop
The base is a focaccia that Sinclair ferments for three days before rising, shaping it like pizza dough and placing it in the deep fryer. “I douse it in oil, which helps it fluff up faster,” she says. After that, the bread goes to the wood-fired oven for a few minutes and then into the salamander oven, both of which help give it a nice crust.
Sinclair makes an umami-rich black truffle garlic butter with equal parts butter, crushed minced garlic, and Périgord black truffle paste sourced from Rare Tea Cellar. She spreads it over so that it melts into the bread.
The fried parsley adds both crispness and herbal notes, and Sinclair finishes it off by grating Parmesan cheese over the top for a bit of salty nuttiness.