Savory Dinner highlights and previews for 2013

Last year I was honored to cook a series of spectacularly popular (if I do say so myself…) savory dinners in our little back room at the shop.

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This year I’ve planned one dinner a month, starting in early May and ending in October (when our holiday chocolate orders become so intense that doing anything but making chocolates becomes impossible). I wanted to share with you some highlights of the menus I’m planning, but unfortunately I don’t have dates yet for most of the dinners. My partners in the dinner series are Jacob, who takes care of all the logistics like designing the menu and the table and transforming the back room from a chocolate box-packing factory into a beautiful, twinkling dining room; and Lucy, who is our beautiful hostess and always makes herself flashcards about each dish so she can answer every diner’s question about it.

Without these two this little scheme couldn’t happen, and because Jacob sometimes tours around with indie rock bands as a sound engineer, it’s super-duper hard to make plans for when he’ll be around to work at his much more important job of setting the table.

So, we’ll be adding dates as soon as humanly possible.

In the meantime, it might be a good idea of subscribe to this blog (I think there’s a button somewhere where you put your email in and every ice age or so when I post something you’ll get an email…) so you’re the first to know when tickets go on sale. The very first thing we do is post a blog post about each offering, and post on our Facebook page.

We’re hoping to do each dinner for two or three days with ten seats at our big communal table for each day, but last time those 20-30 seats sold out in a few hours, so, ya know, stay in the loop! : )

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Coupla things:

  • Unfortunately we can’t accommodate substitutions for the menu, although if there is a complimentary alcohol beverage we can make you a virgin one—just tell us when you place your reservation.
  • You wanna bring your own alcohol? Bring it! (Glasses of whatever you’re drinking sent to the kitchen wouldn’t be turned down…)
  • Dinners contain all kinds of things like nuts, wheat, gluten, soy, & sugar—but never any dead animals or animal products. ‘Course not!
  • If you have a birthday in your party, let us know when you place your reservation.
  • Every menu has “mignardises.” These are a secret treat we give you at the very end of the meal to take with you…or eat as you linger with your new besties all night long!
  • Dinners are $60 per person, plus tax.

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Please note that these dishes are only partial highlights of the menus—each menu will be 8-12 courses (yep) and will definitely be changing depending on what I can weasel out of farmers that week. There are just a few teasers and working ideas to get you excited. 

May 2013: Imagined Shanghai

  • Lychee and pink grapefruit slushy
  • Xiao long bao: soup dumplings: pockets of tender dough with a soupy surprise
  • Braised eggplant with stinky tofu
  • Hushi Suanla Geng: Hot and Sour Soup with woodear mushrooms and daylily buds
  • Dry fried green beans
  • Hand pulled street cart noodles with XO sauce and fried arame
  • Ma-po tofu
  • Dessert congee
  • Corn ice cream with burnt sugar caramel
  • Mignardises

Early June 2013: Forager’s Delight

  • May wine with Japanese knotweed straws
  • Almond deviled eggless eggs with backyard chives and sautéed daylillies
  • Schav (Yiddish sorrel soup) with garlic chives, white chicken mushrooms and fried pickle lace
  • Creamed spring spinach, garlic mustard, and dandelion with burdock
  • Beet salad with woodruff, cashew cheese, radish, yuzu, and pine oil dressing
  • Spring mushrooms (ideally morels and chanterelles, we’ll see what’s out there in the world!) with ramp béarnaise
  • Lilac sorbet with strawberry flowers (if Pete will sell me some, even though “Why would you want the flower, when a few weeks later you could have a STRAWBERRY?” “Because it’s pretty, Pete! Please!”) and fraises du bois (foraged by moi, those)
  • White chocolate mousse with chamomile sauce
  • Mignardise: Spruce sablee cookies

Late June/Early July 2013: Early Summer in Paris

  • Vodka gimlet with basil-meyer lemon syrup
  • Socca (chickpea flour crepes) with braised Belgian endive
  • Soupe au pistou with creme de pissenlits (dandelion cream)
  • Compressed asparagus with nasturtium leaves, candied peas, and baby leek vinaigrette
  • Molecular nicoise salad with olive oil spheres
  • Potato gratin with swiss chard
  • Shiitake stroganoff with straw potatoes
  • Crêpe cake with fresh Huguenot Street mulberry jam
  • Chocolate chervil tart with tempura strawberries and mint
  • Mignardises

Late July 2013: A holiday in Corsica

  • Roasted lemonade with vanilla bean muscat
  • Minestra with heirloom beans, cabbage, applewood smoked potatoes
  • Fresh apple and parsley vinaigrette with lamb’s quarters
  • Pea mousse with lemon
  • Mediterranean braised green beans
  • Swiss chard cannelloni with eggplant fries
  • Lavender-melon soup
  • Torta Pisticcina (chestnut flour tart) with candied zucchini
  • Mignardises

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August 2013: Mad Men Summer

  • Peach punch with thyme
  • Barbecue potato chips with caramelized onion and shallot dip
  • Heirloom iceberg lettuce salad with cashew blue cheese dressing
  • Cream of tomato soup with fried curly parsley
  • Macaroni and cheese casserole with croissant crumbs and potato cracklings
  • Gin and Tonic gelee shots
  • Deep dish peach pie
  • Chocolate-covered neapolitan ice cream bombe
  • Mignardise: Chocolate caramel nougat bars with chocolate Bavarian cream

September 2013: Smoke and Spice (for people who like spicy, super weird dishes)

  • Manhattan with local whiskey and smoked ice
  • Citrus salad with fried rosemary, olives and long pepper
  • Green chile corn chowder with smoked oyster mushrooms
  • Invisible ravioli with homegrown tomato ragoût
  • Cauliflower with rye crumbs and sage air
  • Salim: Thai green bean noodles with incense-smoked coconut syrup
  • Grilled pineapple tart with raspberries and aleppo pepper cream with oven dried pineapple
  • Mignardise: Fiery hot pepper smoked sea salt caramels

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October 2013: Fermentation Fetishist’s New York Deli

  • Pickleback
  • Shrub
  • Soft sourdough pretzels with violet mustard
  • Beet and celery root tartare with horseradish and caraway
  • Beer brined kale salad with yuzu kosho
  • Onion soup with sage, croutons, cashew cheese “truffle” slices, and lemon peel
  • Tiny tempeh reuben with four homemade fermentations (gin caraway sauerkraut, sourdough rye, cashew cheese, housemade tempeh)
  • Peaches and cream ice cream cake
  • Mignardise: Black and white cookie with white miso

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It’s going to be a fun year!

7 thoughts on “Savory Dinner highlights and previews for 2013

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