May 2013 Savory Dinner: Imagined Shanghai

First, the menu (click on any image to make it bigger):

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The Lychee and Pink Grapefruit Slushy was so great that we decided to start serving it (sans vodka) in the shop during the summertime. 263234_10151580504274235_1547209021_n

Soup Dumplings, xiao long bao. Soup inside a dumpling! I worked for weeks on these darlings. The finished dumplings:

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The centers:

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Ah, the table. 
268937_10151580503659235_1044159244_n Strange Flavor eggplant with ginger foam and wild watercress
Stinky tofu (tofu fermented in homemade white miso for two weeks)
Dry fried green beans with smoked ramps 970066_10151580503979235_532459531_n

My favorite part of the dinner was the Shanghai-style Hot and Sour Soup. Mostly because I like making soups, and also because this was one of the tastiest soups I’ve ever made. And because we had fun with the anise smoke for it. We set star anise pods on fire and injected the smoke from them under the lids of the soup bowls, so diners got a burst of anise-y scent when they took off the lids. You can see a little slideshow of the effect here if you scroll through the photos quickly.

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Hand pulled street cart noodles
With XO sauce, Maine dulse, Taliaferro Farms arugula, Four Winds Farm wild watercress
and sous vide Four Winds Farm carrot transparency.

960184_10151580504324235_1645705841_nI discovered while coming up with this dish that deep-fried seaweed is the best nibble of all time. Try it! Soak seaweed in warm water, strain it (reserve the water for soup stocks!), pat it dry, and deep fry. I used dulse wildcrafted off the coast of Maine, but arame and hijiki are also nice.

Jacob was master of the Carrot Transparency, which I made from sous-vide carrots pureed with a little sesame oil and sea salt, then dehydrated until they made a carrot leather. Everyone really loved them, which is good because I was worried they would be weird. 969579_10151580503784235_579615392_n

We filled bowls with flowers from my yard and put them on the table as centerpieces, then told everyone to take a bowl at the end of the meal. Lucy and Jacob put the Congee into the center of each bowl, then poured hot water over the flowers, and each diner ate the rice as they inhaled the flower tea.

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Green tea congee with peanut soil, red bean paste, and candied asparagus.

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Coconut-corn ice cream with coriander caramel.

It was a lot of “C”s for Lucy to say every night. But she did it perfectly, as always.

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Corn ice cream in the ice cream maker!

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Mignardise: sesame nori crisps and sea salt shiitake truffles.

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Ah, it was a good night.

Thanks to all who came!

July 2013 Savory Dinner: Summer in Paris

This is going to be a nice one. July 23, 24, and 25. Tickets are now on sale! 

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July 2013: 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 market vegetables 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 ground cherry currant jam and candied wild violets
  • Chocolate chervil tart with tempura strawberries and mint
  • Mignardises

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The fine print:

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  • Unfortunately we can’t accommodate substitutions for the menu.
  • Want to 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.
  • Mignardises 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 $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

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