Here Today, Gone to Moro
Chef Michael DiBianca abandoned his acclaimed artistic take on classic Italian dishes in favor of more flavor. The results are simply delicious.
(page 1 of 3)
1307 N. Scott St., Wilmington
Appetizers-small plates: $6-$12
Main courses: $10-$25
Spicy roasted mussels, ravioli Bolognese, fennel-lemon chicken, daily fish selection
Chef Michael DiBianca, like many of our favorite actors, comedians and surgeons, is lauded for his ability to improvise.
Dig the way his Website promulgates such sparkling copy as “culinary whims” and (my favorite) “Cooking is an art, and art is never the same.” More apt examples were the chef’s legendary five-course tasting dinners at his Moro restaurant, his ochre-hued and slightly hidden bistro on Scott Street in Wilmington.
Since Moro’s beginning, its New American-Mediterranean plates have, indeed, been art. Colorful and whimsically constructed, DiBianca’s dishes, with high-end and effete ingredients such as lavender-scented foie gras with roasted plum demiglace and blue cheese crumbles, wowed just about everyone. Critic Pam George wrote “Moro can claim the ‘X’ factor, the star quality so bandied about on ‘American Idol.’ It has the perfect blend of whimsy, style, talent and, perhaps most importantly, good taste.”
Which I guess, to DiBianca, is the perfect time to change everything.
There’s that improv again. In October the chef initiated the biggest change in Moro’s eight years. He ditched the ring molds and the Hawaiian pink salt and adopted a simpler, more rustic approach to Italian cuisine.
But why? Especially if it endangers that X factor?
“Mostly it was out of boredom,” he says with a laugh. “My background is for this sort of stuff. New American was something that allowed me to do whatever I wanted.”
Page 2: Here Today, Gone to Moro, continues...