Tuesday, May 24, 2011

4 Course Vegan, Brooklyn

 UPDATE: This supper club is no longer active.

I heard about this vegan pop-up supper club-type event through the grapevine and decided to make reservations 4 weeks in advance. I received an email confirmation from Chef Matteo well in advance with the address and phone number of the location.

We arrive at the location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn around 8 p.m. It is a residential building that adds to the mysteriousness of the event. We call using the callbox outside the door and each time the individual answers, it immediately disconnects. I call the phone number on the confirmation and a man answers giving me a code to type into the keypad to open the door. We walk through a dingy stairwell to the second floor and make our way out to a courtyard where we see an open door. We go in and find the dinner party we were expecting.

There were about 5 large tables and we are seated with a group of family and friends--an all-vegan family, I might add. The chef offers an amuse which is a ravioli made of shaved root vegetable with a cashew cream mixture inside. It is delightful.  The first course is a Mexican chickpea soup with pico de gallo and citrus sour cream. At first taste, I thought it was a bit thick and heavy for the first course, but as I continued to eat, I soon realized its perfection. The roasted chickpeas in the dish were just the right texture to add to an already perfect soup and the toppings were wonderful complements.

The second dish was a roasted poblano pepper with farro pilaf and cilantro puree, again it was delicious. The sauce clearly made this dish.

The next dish was a mushroom lentil papoosa with fresh favas, avocado and oaxacan mole, which was spectacular. It was topped with fried plantains and arranged artfully. I loved the presentation and enjoyed the dish as much as the others. The delicate yet bold flavors emerged as you chose which of the many items to include in each tasting. The mushrooms were a bit too fried for me and I think the dish would have been fine without them. All in all, another winner.

The dessert was a dark chocolate torte with cinnamon syrup and cocoa butter mousse -- another winner.

Watching this chef work in what I will assume is his own kitchen as he rushed to serve 40 people on his own was impressive. He created spectacular dishes with a gorgeous presentation. I was very impressed. At only $40 per head, this dinner is a steal and well worth the experience.
Highly recommended.

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