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Kitchen 1540 Restaurant Review: Kitchen 1540’s executive chef Brandon Fortune (formerly of The Grand Del Mar in San Diego) creates an engaging seasonal menu that speaks of modern American cuisine with an upscale Southern influence. Compositions arrive on attractive ceramics, yet Fortune’s food is playful rather than pretentious. Diverting from the predictable, pairings such as smoked steelhead trout with organic beets succeed, as does his signature barbecue shrimp and creamy grits --- artisan South Carolina grains dressed up in roasted corn and chorizo cream, along with the whimsical addition of popcorn. Asparagus and wild ramps are dotted with foraged morels, toasted pistachios and salty flecks of Parmesan and pecorino. North Pacific halibut presents tender white fish with crisp skin, nestled on celery purée and accompanied by fiddlehead ferns. Curried pork cheek gumbo with okra and andouille sausage nods to the chef’s roots and his taste for the exotic. Share a "low and slow" bread pudding drenched in bourbon-toffee caramel to finish. A solid wine list and professional service complete the experience.