At Maison Yaki – in the Brooklyn borough of New York City – chef Greg Baxtrom (who previously earned acclaim for the nearby Olmsted) transforms classic French dishes into Japanese yakitori-inspired skewers.
A lemon-forward béarnaise sauce tops grilled asparagus or shishito peppers, depending on the season. “This one is really simple because the sauce is so intense,” Baxtrom says.
“I order the duck meatball anytime I go to a yakitori restaurant,” Baxtrom says. For his version, he nods to duck à l’orange by placing a sphere of orange puree (instead of the traditional egg yolk) in the soy-based dipping sauce.
Old-school yakitori joints serve every cut of chicken, but Baxtrom focuses on wings, which he sprinkles with French Espelette pepper and crisps on the grill.
Lobster meatballs with panko and shallots are slathered in sauce Américaine, which is made from lobster stock, cognac, butter, white wine, parsley, and tarragon.
Baxtrom glazes and grills king trumpet mushrooms grown on-site and serves them à la grecque, with a sauce made from white wine, lemon, golden raisins, coriander, and tomato.
“Niçoise salad is one of the first things I learned in culinary school,” the chef says. “It holds a special place.” Here, he garnishes grilled tuna with hard-boiled eggs, lemon juice, chives, and a purple oil made from blended olives.
Baxtrom pairs ribeye with a bordelaise made with bone marrow and red-wine veal jus. “We cut the ribeye into strips, fold it on itself like an accordion, and weave the skewer through,” he says.