It’s hard to believe that it’s only been seven months since three friends who worked as waiters at The Modern opened Do or Dine, now a temple to gourmet ‘drunk food.’ In the ensuing months, they’ve popped up everywhere from Eater to The New Yorker and even managed to get in the 2012 Michelin Guide. I had the opportunity to spend a couple hours in the kitchen with the Do or Dine team as they prepped for an evening’s service.
The curved window into the kitchen gives diners a peek into the action.
The On Air sign over the door announces when the kitchen is up and running.
Romaine lettuce heads used for the "Et Tu Brute?" - Do or Dine's take on a Caesar salad, made with half a head of romaine, char-grilled and served with Spanish mackerel and a knife in its back.
Prepping E666s, Do or Dine's deep-fried version of deviled eggs.
A view from the top.
Justin Warner and Nick Subic discuss the menu. Nick, a Roberta's alum, put together Do or Dine's brunch options.
Polishing up before the dinner rush.
Chopping beef tenderloin for "George's Steak Tartare," which is molded into the shape of a cow and topped with two quail eggs.
Nick chops and mixes vegetables for the salsa fresca that accompanied the salmon on the summer menu.
The fryer gets plenty of use for dishes like the Nippon Nachos - deep-fried dumplings topped with cheese and other classic nacho toppings.
Grating cheese for the Nippon Nachos.
Justin experiments with deep-fried blue corn tater tots topped with cheese.
The dish was deemed to be too similar to the Nippon Nachos to make it to the menu, but it made a great staff meal.
On the spice shelf, you'll find xanthan gum, sodium alginate and calcium lactate, used for dishes like the Spherical Pickleback - pickle juice, transformed into a wobbly sphere using the molecular gastronomy techniques pioneered by Ferran Adria, and taken as a chaser with a shot of whiskey.
The staff at Do or Dine all refer to each other as 'Chef,' a habit co-owner Luke Jackson attributes to his time working at Per Se. "It started as a joke, but it's stuck."
Roasted lamb breast, touched up before being served.
Clay Williams is a Brooklyn-based photographer and blogger known online as UltraClay. He has covered food and events for Bon Appetit, Edible Manhattan and Midtown Lunch.