I just came back from class.
Full disclosure: my boyfriend organizes/teaches these beer classes, so I may be wearing rose-tinted glasses (or just beer goggles?). But I have to say objectively (or at least, I’m aiming to!), that these are pretty wicked sessions for anyone who wants to learn more about beer, enjoys drinking neat stuff, or just wants to do something cool on a Tuesday night.
But, I actually sat down at my laptop to write about an entirely different occasion in the speakeasy – Sunday’s Supper Club. Started by Union 613’s Jamie Martyniuk, the Supper Club brings different chefs into Union 613’s speakeasy once a month for a unique dining experience. The second supper club took place this past Sunday, and featured Chefs Marc Lepine from Atelier and Briana Kim from Café My House. It was a real treat. A 24 course menu that was a little weird, a little whimsical, and totally delicious; it was certainly a memorable meal.
The experience was an interactive one – the first course was hanging from the ceiling. Charcuterie hung from clothespins on twine that crisscrossed the speakeasy. Diners were instructed by Martyniuk to go ahead and pluck speck or house made pickles from above our heads to begin the evening. After that, we were told that dishes would arrive fairly quickly, and they did. (Service was very smooth. For such a small space, and with servers going up and down stairs in between each course, everything seemed calm, casual, and friendly.)
Watermelon and vodka spheres with pop rocks had our table chuckling while imbibing, and I think Tristan found heaven when the foie gras cotton candy appeared. Some menu items were clearly from Kim’s vegetable focused repertoire (carrot yolks, and strawberry + gin fruit roll-ups), while others had most people fooled (a mini pogo that was red bean based and a vegan deviled egg that was incredibly convincing were a couple highlights). Vegan or not, everything was inventive and tasty. As small bites, the first 20 courses were considered appetizers by Lepine, who says that he and Kim decided they would only plate the last four dishes (two steaks: one cabbage and one beef, and two desserts: caramelized onion + a chocolate cake & clementine olive cake, and hollow passion fruit sorbet with tonka meringue).
The chefs were greeted with much-deserved applause when they appeared at the end of the evening. It was great fun, bite and after bite, and quite a change from the grits and fried green tomatoes I usually enjoy at Union. Word is that the next chef to take over is Michael Holland – I don’t want to miss the Pastry Overlord’s menu. See you there?