Monday, December 13, 2010

Vineyard Table Secret Supper Club

"Dining partners, regardless of gender, social standing, or the years they've lived, should be chosen for their ability to eat - and drink! - with the right mixture of abandon and restraint. They should enjoy food, and look upon its preparation and its degustation as one of the human arts."-MFK Fisher

A cheerful bunch sitting around the original Vineyard Table Oct. 25th 2010 -Photo by Kevin Fry
 If you asked me what I love doing more than anything else, it's eating really good food and drinking great wine with fantastic company. I think most of us find those opportunities on the top of our list as "some of the best times we have ever had." Even if you handed me a box of 2010 chablis from Safeway Select and paired it with some horrific Kraft singles, I could find joy in it depending on the company I was dining with. 

Of course if you handed me a slice of homemade pie from your great, great grandmother's recipe that she smuggled out of an Armenian bakery's secret recipe box in her brassier, I might find more satisfaction in that slice of pie.  At the end of the day, it's the overall experience, each component coming together: the music, the wine, the lighting, food and of course your dining partners all help make an unforgettable meal. 

On the contrary, I've had just as unforgettable dining moments when music, lighting and other components were truly out of my hands and thankfully so! All I would gladly replicate if given the chance; a simple meal of clams dug out of the sand on a beach in Thailand, a bottle of wine, a hunk of cheese and a baguette while overlooking the vineyards in San Gimignano, Italy, or eating elk and venison sausage, freshly-cold smoked over applewood in the snow, courtesy of my cousins who hunt.

Therefore, when the opportunity to throw a couple special secret suppers at The Vineyard Table during its last remaining weeks before it got packed up into storage came up, I didn't want to offer just any old dinner party. On Monday, October 25th and again on November 21st, we hosted 22 people at the Vineyard Table for a plated Secret Supper Club.  Below are some images, courtesy of photographer Kevin Fry from the first supper club on October 25th.

The Vineyard Table from above


Me prepping sliced pears
Gorgeous golden beets
Jason Driscoll slicing into the slow roasted beef shank
Caramelizing onions
Some of the lovely guests, Sarah, Lucas and Meagan enjoying proscecco with appetizers before dinner
Plating the main course with Hilary and Jason











The Vineyard Table Secret Supper Club Menu
October 25th 2010
 
Blue Cheese On Apple Slices
Avocado Toast with Sardines and Sherry Vinaigrette  
Prosecco

Amuse Bouche
Apricots with Vanilla and Star Anise Simple Syrup, Burrata Mozzarella and Smoked Sea Salt

Sweet Corn Soup with Dungeness Crab and Tarragon Oil
Bread with Butter and Sea Salt

Red and Golden Roasted Beets with Mache and Herbed Goat Cheese and Pistachio Vinaigrette
Flying Dreams Sauvignon Blanc

Intermezzo
Elsom Cellars 2010 Malbec and Cab Granita

Braised Beef Shanks with Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Chorizo, Caramelized Fennel and Onion Confit in a Sun Dried Tomato Fennel Broth

Dessert with Coffee
Red and Golden Roasted Beets with Mache and Herbed Goat Cheese and Pistachio Vinaigrette
Braised Beef Shanks with Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Chorizo, Caramelized Fennel and Onion Confit in a Sun Dried Tomato Fennel Broth
Kevin Fry caught a nice pic of me smiling in my element- cooking away

I'm looking forward to many more secret supper clubs. Even though the next dinner will be at a new location, it only makes it that much more exciting. I started a blog on the Vineyard Table website to document my search, but I haven't gotten too far on the blog itself. My time these days is spent physically searching and calling on new spaces, organizing Elsom Cellar details, catering and just recently, packing up the Vineyard Table. I know we will do a couple supper clubs at Elsom Cellars winery in the interim: can't you just see it the Vineyard Table lit by candles with wine barrels stained with dripping juice as a backdrop? Yes, I think it's going to be a delicious experiment.

Want to be a part of it? Stay tuned for details! Or email me!

All Photos by Kevin Fry: www.kevinfry.com

2 comments:

Mandy Buchan said...

SUCH an amazing dinner and such great company. Thanks so much for hosting Mel!!

Melissa said...

Thank you!!

Let's do it again soon!

Melissa