Omnivore - Get in Ma Mouth: Octopus Edition

Octopus - put a cork in it


  • Concentrics Restaurants
  • LPC’s pan fried octopus

Have you been to LPC? AKA the restaurant formerly known as La Pietra Cucina, whose web address and Facebook page still actually say La Pietra Cucina? It’s a confusing bit of business, best summed up by saying that original chef Bruce Logue is no longer there, and Concentrics now runs the show with chef Russell Kook at the helm. With all that outward identity crisis, I was hesitant to hit the place at all. But a recent visit has me thinking that LPC may be one of the more underrated, or at least under-appreciated, places in town right now. And there’s one dish at LPC that is a flat-out knockout.

Back in the La Pietra Cucina days, the restaurant’s signature dish was a stunning black spaghetti and rock shrimp rendition of a Mario Batali classic that Logue picked up during his days working at Babbo in New York. While Kook has another black spaghetti dish on the menu now, it deviates dramatically from Logue’s Batali-riff, so don’t go looking for continuity there. Do go, though, for a new signature dish - one Kook labels as pan-fried octopus. This is a masterful manipulation of the sea and smoke and earth-born delights, pitting meaty chunks of octopus against a spicy tomato arrabiata sauce in a flavorful tug of war. Vinegary grilled greens and tender giant white beans jump in at opportune times, offering their own counter-balance to the sea and smoke in the octopus and sauce. Every bite is a bit different from the last, as each of the components ebb and flow.