Appearance is the last thing on chef Mark Levy’s mind when he’s mulling over ideas for new dishes at Magdalena, the restaurant at the Ivy Hotel in Mount Vernon.
So when he created the peekytoe crab salad — a ball of yellow-tinged crab salad hidden beneath folds of pink turnips and sprinkled with fresh herbs — its final appearance surprised him.
“When I come up with food, I never think of what the plate’s going to look like,” said Levy, the restaurant’s executive chef. “It’s flavor-centric and ingredient-strong, and then the rest really comes together with the artist’s eye.”
Magdalena serves some of the most visually stunning foods in Baltimore, but each dish’s...