Food carts? Yeah, those are fun. In the day time.
Underground supper clubs are making a resurgence. And rightfully so.
They are fun, mysterious, artistic and give the right amount of adrenaline rush to make your cheeks pink upon entering the unknown location, not to mention the bragging rights to your friends about what you're going to do tonight. Try:
Eating a modernist, locally driven meal prepared by a Chef Woggs and his team - Ms. Jaffo and The Cap'n, with people I don't know located at a nondescript location. You may never hear from me again.
Enter Trans-port Social Dining, one of Portland's up and coming underground supper clubs fueled by the mysterious Chef Woggs, who's been working in Portland kitchens since the age of 16 (including Giorgio's and Doug Fir). It's a refined, omnivorous and creative experience with a stunning table decorated by local flower designer Anna Jorgensen.
We started off with a Welcome Bite of Dungeness crab, kelp and persimmon, topped with a mint leaf. The combination of sweetness from the crab and ripe persimmon contrasted by the saltier seaweed and brightness from the mint really livened up my taste buds.
I was even more mesmerized by the following dish: a buckwheat tartlet filled with nettle goat cheese, dressed with red wine syrup and wheat grass and fennel vinaigrette.
|Buckwheat and Nettle Goat Cheese|
Chef Woggs causally mentioned that he curdled the goat cheese with nettles. This almost made my head roll. I questioned my fellow dining patrons if I had heard correctly. I even asked them how that is possible; from the little experience I've had with cheese making, it took a super acidic lemon to cause curdle-ation (the one thing Meyer lemons aren't good for). They shrugged and I went backstage to question the chef. Since he wanted to use all locally sourced ingredients and citrus don't jive too well in dark and stormy places, nettle was the next best choice. Brilliant! The nettle not only served as a curdling agent, but also mellowed the strong flavors of the goat cheese, balanced by the nutty buckwheat shell and smooth sauces.
"I love seabeans!" gushed one of my dining companions.
And that was just one of the complexities of this soup, adding its share of salty and crunchy. The juicy duck pieces, bathed in a savory truffle tangy broth, were rather too easy to slurp down with the tatsoi and earthy hedge hogs. I'd like to order a big one of these on one of those epic rainy Portland days.
|Truffle Broth/Duck Breast/Seabeans/Tatsoi/Hedgehogs|
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Chef Woggs was busy preparing the next dish.
|Chef Woggs at work|
Beef short ribs with butterball potatoes, kale, whipped potato gnocchi, and pomegranate: another compelling bouquet of flavors and textures. The meat was tender, contrasted by the crispy kale, fluffy gnocchi that Chef Woggs made from egg whites instead of egg yolks to provide a fluffier sensation.
When: Sunday, January 16th at 6:30pm
Where: The Art Department
What: A classic theme, with refine old school cocktails served by Levi Hackett of Cocotte, including an interactive showing of Ace Troy Pop Art
Who: You, perhaps?, get on the guest list by emailing: email@example.com
Why: Because it's fun
How much? Prices range from $40 - $60 depending on the menu. This particular menu was priced at $40. BYOB.
Tran-Port Social Dining
Sign up for their events by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
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