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Burrata at Estela

An unexpected spin on a favorite fresh cheese

Just a sprinkling of salt, a pinch of pepper and a light lacing of olive oil is usually all that is needed to season burrata, mozzarella’s fresher, runnier cousin. Chef Ignacio Mattos enhances his version ($16) of the curd-nerd’s cheese with a bold edge of herbs and the result is a surprising undercurrent of flavors. A wrapping of sweet potato leaf is the first hint that his treatment goes green, along with a chlorophyll-colored drizzle of basil, celery juice, parsley and sorrel.  A hint of lemon brings out a pleasantly sour, yogurt-like tang.

Burrata at Estela

Opened in June, the shoebox-sized NoLita eatery has one of the more interesting menus in town. When was the last time you saw anchovies with matzo ($8)? Or blood sausage croquettes ($8)? These eclectic bites exemplify Mattos’ unconventional approach to small plates, which make up most of the menu. The unexpected sensations inspire experimentation for diners, too. So while enjoying that cheese, why not forego the obvious wine list and pair it with a sip from the terrific cocktail list instead? Like Mattos, play by your own culinary rules.

47 E. Houston St.

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