You came. You clicked. You voted. The results from our 2017 Dish of the Year poll—entries based on Pulse’s annual 17 Things to Eat Right Now—have been tallied. And (drum roll, please), chef William Muzio of the View in Oakdale brought home the gold for his famous root beer glazed short ribs. Muzio told me all about its origin and his reaction to winning for a dish that gained its own fan base in the last year.
Where did the inspiration for the recipe come from?
A Mister Softee truck came to the restaurant after a wedding and it was making shakes and floats. I added root beer to it and was like, “Wow this is good!” My grandma would cook short ribs, but it was just your basic short ribs with red wine. I wanted to enhance [her recipe] as best I could.
For those who haven’t tried the dish yet, how would you describe the taste?
You get a sweetness from the white chocolate-parsnip purée, a savory, sweet and salty taste from the root beer braised short ribs and a freshness from the vegetables. It is pretty much an all around balanced dish. It is not like a dessert; it’s not too sweet.
How does it feel to win?
It is very humbling, especially for a simple dish like this to win. When you just do everything right, the simple tastes come together to create something magical. I could be at another restaurant or somewhere in town and I will see someone and they say, “Oh, you are the chef at the View and oh my goodness those short ribs are the best thing. Don’t ever take those off.”
Did you think it was going to be such a hit?
No, I honestly didn’t. For us down on the water, we are more focused on the seafood end of it. For the short ribs to win [Dish of the Year], it shows how our clientele doesn’t just stick to the seafood. [They are] all around customers which is great. It will lead us to play around with other foods in the future.