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Cover Story

Best Chefs

Bill Carbone
Dish Restaurant Group

It must be tough being the second-best-known chef named Carbone in Hartford. Bill Carbone of Dish Bar & Grill on Main Street in Hartford (as well as Sorella, about to open across the street, and Dish ’n Dat in Canton), hails from New Jersey and is no relation to Vinnie, who almost made our list for his work at Carbone’s Ristorante in Hartford and Carbone’s Kitchen in Bloomfield. I am a fan of both Carbones, but I have singled out Bill because I believe that no chef in Connecticut has done a better job of deconstructing and reconceiving comfort food classics, a trend birthed by 9/11 when America needed consoling. Elevated comfort food has meant the best Parker House rolls, lobster pot pie, strawberry shortcake and deconstructed chocolate cream pie you could ever find.

But a glance at Dish’s current menu reveals that it has edged away from elevated comfort food to somewhat racier fare. There are still items like red-winebraised beef short rib and a lobster boil. But I can’t wait to see what Carbone can do with terrine of foie gras, hamachi crudo, crispy pig trotter or Maine diver scallops with Asian-braised pork belly, carrot mango  purée and soy caramel. Or what he can do with strictly Italian fare when he and business partner Dan Keller open Sorella.

Q&A with Bill Carbone

Guilty pleasure?
Pasta is definitely my guilty pleasure.

Most overrated ingredient?
White truffle oil

Welcome or discourage customer requests to change their dishes?
You’re going to print this, right? We LOVE when customers change our dishes into something unrecognizable.

Favorite restaurant outside Connecticut?
Gotham Bar and Grill in NYC

What living celebrity you would most like to cook for?
Jon Bon Jovi or Richie Sambora

Continue Reading: Steve Cavagnaro, Cavey's