Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Laura Brienza
May 11, 2022

Chris Curren

Chris Curren

At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with wine, butter and seafood,” says Chris Curren, Executive Chef/Owner at The Graceful Ordinary, a newly opened fine-dining concept featuring seasonal American fare. That belief informed the creation of his Mussels small plate, which combines Prince Edward Island mussels, steamed in white wine and lobster butter, with housemade pappardelle and dill.

The lobster butter brings a velvety texture and umami to the dish that coats the palate with salty lobster and tomato,” says Curren. “Acidity from the wine balances those strong flavors and ensures that the delicate nature of the mussels still shines x.” The dish’s success proves the merits of simple yet robust applications. “Guests love it for its depth of flavor and salty, fatty broth,” he says. “Mussels are a crowd pleaser in general, and ours have the addition of the fresh pasta to allow our guests to soak up the bold sauce.” The broth is so craveable that diners often order it as an extra side for dipping servings of the housemade bread.

About The Author


Laura Brienza is the author of "Discovering Vintage Washington, D.C.", and "New York’s Historic Restaurants, Inns & Taverns." She is a recent winner of the Lifetime Writers Project fellowship and lives in Los Angeles.