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How D.C. Chef Ryan Ratino Runs Dual Michelin-Starred Restaurants in One Building

At Jônt, Ratino aims to make Japanese-style seafood using ingredients from outside the U.S.

Running one Michelin-starred restaurant would be enough for most people, but in D.C., chef Ryan Ratino runs two such restaurants in the same building. “Jônt is a 16-seat tasting menu-only counter focusing on all the luxury ingredients of Japan cooked over a wood fire,” says Ratino. “Bresca is a French bistro, it’s like our take on bistronomy.”

Since the two restaurants serve such different styles of cuisine, Ratino has the opportunity to bring a wide variety of the best ingredients in the world to the United States. “Regardless of everything else, accolades-wise, the idea originated with, We want to cook the best seafood in the world,” says Ratino of Jônt specifically.

That goal is exemplified in dishes like the shima aji, which gets imported from the city of Oita in Japan. It’s broken down and lightly cured before getting seared with binchōtan charcoal. This allows the fish to be served raw while also warm.

“We get it hot as we can and then we sear that straight on the fat of the shima aji,” says Ratino. “It softens the texture of the fish.”

The shima aji is then served with Asian pear, salted radish, and the Japanese citrus fruit sudachi.

Watch the full video to see how Ratino and his team operate two Michelin-starred restaurants simultaneously.

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