Q • I would love the recipe for the potato gratin from Eclipse Restaurant in the Delmar Loop. It is a little charred on the top and bottom. — Janelle Kutz, Millstadt
A • When Zach Flynn, sous chef at Eclipse Restaurant at the Moonrise Hotel, first encountered the potato gratin, he thought, “This is lame.” The restaurant was serving a basic potato-cream dish, it was sloppy to serve and plain on the plate. Flynn, who grew up and still lives in Dogtown and loves to cook at home, set out to create a “better potato gratin” — something that flavor-wise could stand up to a steak and structure-wise look good on a plate.
What emerges now from Eclipse ovens is seven layers of thin-sliced Yukon Gold potatoes and smoked gouda cheese, well-seasoned and bound together with a creamy sauce. The popular dish is labor-intensive for a restaurant, says Flynn. “We’ll do two full hotel pans for the weekend. We had one guy who’d be cussing me out, not mean, just tired of shingling potatoes.”
The Potato Gratin will return to Eclipse when the restaurant’s new chef, Isaac Hardwict, switches to the spring menu on the vernal equinox, March 20; until then, it’s available as a special on Mondays and Thursdays. Weather permitting, the restaurant’s Rooftop Terrace Bar will reopen in March or April and its new Moon Room, an all-season rooftop bar, will open at the end of April.