RH looks at buzzworthy food and beverage items across the country

Dishes and drinks that have us doing a double-take this week include a panko-crusted crab “bomb,” churros made with coconut husk ash and croquettes inspired by a Peruvian chicken stew at Nacional 27, a restaurant from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.

Those of us at Restaurant Hospitality regularly see what independent operators are dishing out, but some menu items make us stop and stare — whether they involve an out-of-the-box way of using an ingredient, the appearance of a burgeoning trend or simply stunning presentations. We bring you NOM: our New on the Menu weekly roundup.

Nacional 27, a Chicago restaurant from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, recently welcomed executive chef Cory Morris to the helm. With the change, Morris, a mentee of José Garces, is now serving a new menu that includes a modernized spin on ají de gallina, a creamy chicken stew from Peru. Morris transforms this traditional dish into croquettes made with chicken, walnuts, ají amarillo (yellow Peruvian chiles) and Parmesan cheese, coated in egg and panko breadcrumbs and then fried.

Availability: Indefinitely

Price: $7.95 for an order of four