Editors' Pick

Best Plating as Art

Dennis Friedman, Newton’s Table

For Dennis Friedman, chef and owner of Newton’s Table, the plate is his canvas. His beautiful and carefully considered dishes are unique, incorporating varying heights, contrasting colors and strategically placed sauces and garnishes. The foundation of his shrimp and scallop entrée, for instance, is a bright green piece of rainbow chard. It’s topped with a large dollop of white celery root purée in which alternating shrimp and scallops, seared to a golden brown, are stood straight up. On either side of the vegetables and seafood, two pieces of chargrilled Tuscan bread jut out perpendicularly. Then three dots of pomegranate reduction are placed between two of the right angles, completing the picture. Friedman says he plans dishes by putting together the flavors he thinks will work best, and then arranging the components on the plate spontaneously, starting with the main ingredient such as the protein. Sometimes he changes the presentation as he goes, he says. Other times he nails it the first time around.

4917 Elm St., Bethesda, 301-718-0550, www.newtonstable.com