Everyone knew chef Nick Badovinus could cook. They knew it from his time with Cuba Libre and Hibiscus. But he also has—or had, rather—a penchant for going way over the top. This time, he opts for overt simplicity. He buys mussels from Blue Hill Bay in Maine and steams them in a broth based on white wine, but drawing its complex pungent, sherry-like kick from shallots and roasted tomatoes. To the side he plants slabs of crusty bread. That's it, nothing special...except you want to slurp the broth like a soup and the bread is so thoroughly "at one" with butter, you don't want to let it near the bowl. Or any of your friends near your side of the table. The mussels, the bread—they're good, just as they are.