That's The Prandial Kabaret for you
It was a night that progressed into morning filled with delightful individuals, witty banter and some sassy feather accoutrements. There were old friends and new; scientists, lawyers, artists and theatre folk. There was a bit of delirium had by the salonnière (thanks to the boudin noir experience until 5am) but she was quickly put at ease by the thoughtfulness and appreciation shown by the most lovely of guests. The amazingly wonderful lady scientists who wore heels with panache and made the eleven courses possible will forever be looked upon with the greatest appreciation and affection by The Prandial Kabaret.
It was a night not without minor hiccups (i.e. dishwasher flooding, langues de chats that bit the dust, red lipstick left in an apron pocket that was then put into the washer, forgotten coffee and puff pastry left in the oven all night while The Prandial Kabaret slept- luckily St. Anthony the Abbot, the patron saint of bacon took care of the whole not-burning-down-the-house thing). Overall though, it was a delightful night for The Prandial Kabaret and hopefully for her guests as well.
Here’s a taste:
An electrical engineer with fantastic pink peep-toes and an expertise in farro
A vegan astrophysicist with a gift for eggplant and a nature so generous as to be open to being surrounded by pig all night long
These are not photo-prompted smiles
In deep thought as the night begins
The Prandial Kabaret loves flowers
Another lovely astrophysicist plating the madeleines
"Don't be absurd, darling."
This little piggy had roast beef (A pork and beef roast integration)
Green pea and chevre agnolotti
Preparing the boudin noir
Boudin noir for all!
This little piggy had none
This little piggy stayed home (Bacon and a quail egg)
Only Dorothy Parker could rival the wit
Caramelized pineapple with pink peppercorns
A precarious and yet successful pour
A luminary of the Kabaret
It was time for champagne
The Prandial Kabaret is very happy to be hosting two wonderful Eastern European musicians on its inaugural night! Apart from twelve-plus courses, copious amounts of tantalizing drink and a pin-up photography exhibit, there will be live music to inspire the mood.
Recently, my table has been reunited with his long-lost sister. Separated at birth, the two none-the-less grew up in similar homes, incurred similar scars and hoisted up to hungry mouths similar meals. That is until the brother entered my dining room. Ever since then, the tables have been on widely disparate paths. Said sister’s path was sadly lined with mostly Chef Boyardee and Lean Cuisine, yielding her a deathly pallor and deep-set wrinkles (her only saving grace was the taco parties she hosted b.c. -that is, before previous owner had children). Amazingly, only days after I was convinced by brother to post on twintablesadoptedintodifferenthomes.com, our ad was answered by the sister’s dining room proprietors.
The visit was magical with lots of wood-caressing, a look at the underbelly, and some stress tests on the legs. And while she’d need to be given sustenance in smaller doses until she’d be ready to hoist the feast we have in store for her top, we knew she’d be up to the tasty challenge at hand.
Alas, while retrieving the truck that would allow for her transfer into our dining room and back into the life of her brother, she was assaulted by her well-meaning, but inept prior owners. She was presumably dropped on her side and suffered massive damage to her underbelly. Never one to abandon someone in need, we agreed to take her and they waived her price. In preparation for our arrival, they threw one half into their flower bed and one half onto their sidewalk. Her top was halfway scratched away and even with a good refinishing, she will never recapture all the beauty of her youth lost in the fall.
No matter, after some Sunday night surgery, she is fit as a fiddle and patiently awaiting a good refinishing. Scars or not, she eagerly awaits the opportunity to hoist up a bounty of deliciousness on May 8th.
Short screws = stupid, stupid, stupid.
Back in the day when life was easy and you could walk down the street at night- er- scratch that.
Back in the day when scrunchies and slap bracelets were all the rage- er- not quite.
Well, they do seem quite antiquated, if still intensely yummy when executed with flair.
No, not fruit cakes, I speak of chorizo-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. Nowadays, they are touted on every catering menu that prides itself on “upscale” cuisine. I think you can probably also order them at Applebee’s. But once upon a time, a few years ago, these delicious little sweet-and-savory nuggets could only be had at Avec and a few similar institutions. No visit would be complete without their cocooned goodness nuzzled in a red pepper sauce so perfect for bread mopping.
The last time I ordered these at Avec there was but room for disappointment. They were fine but not revelatory. Perhaps I had become inured to their wonder. Perhaps my buds had been ruined by an improved version made in my own kitchen a few weeks prior for a thirteen course dinner party. Perhaps their heyday was no more.
But in any case, the sweet/salty combination that so titillates McDonald’s is really epitomized by these pieces of nostalgia. As such, I decided that they needed a makeover. Hence: chorizo, bacon and date pretzels.
They are a work in-progress but all who have left the test kitchen with a bite have also left with a smile. Add a delicious peppery bourbon cocktail as an accompaniment and it might just set the stage for a fantastic mingle.
And they will rise.
Nuzzled together so sweetly.
Free of their constraints.
Chorizo sans skin. Do you detect a motif?
Lounging in the skillet so enticingly.
Raw unboiled potential.
The pretzel jacuzzi.
Ready for a little tan.
It's not always about looks you know.
I spy with my little eye the candied wonder of dates!
I apologize for the silence. Due to a fight between my laptop and the camera I have been using, I decided that I should enforce a short separation for the sparring couple. They each took a vacation and even though said camera’s return was hampered by an ash cloud, they have reunited refreshed and ready to make things work.
Not all supper clubs are created alike. In some contexts (especially when talking historically about supper club endeavors in Latin America and those currently in operation in New York, DC, Paris, San Francisco, &c.), supper club is synonymous with a gustatorial speakeasy (as is the case of The Prandial Kabaret). From a more traditional Midwestern viewpoint they were once commensurate with meat and potatoes establishments serving up night-time entertainment and a Lenten Friday fish-fry. At present, there are places like the Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club in Chicago which serve up food, drink and entertainment in a semi-non-traditional way. Then there are other places; places with addresses not listed on Yelp (if they even show up there at all), places often ethereal in nature that move about the city in secret currents skewing the notion of place while emphasizing the fundamentals of space and taste.
The uniting aspect of all underground dining (anti)establishments is the fantastic combination of bravado and munificence that characterizes the chef/host/organizer/salonnière. While only the squarest among us would deem an interlude filled with striking company, music, conversation and food unsanctioned by the city a terrible conception, underground dining does present potential guests with a host of potentially frightful unknowns. The chef/host, the food style/quality, the area of the city, and the other guests at the communal table are all potentially unfamiliar elements that could scare one away. The Prandial Kabaret cannot guarantee that everyone will walk away thinking that he or she has never had a more fantastic meal, a more glorious evening- something that to most people, the Thomas Kellers of the establishment deal in nightly. It’s always a question of taste and expectation. Underground dining is a terrific idea, but there is a tremendous divide between coming up with an idea and executing it, between thinking and doing. The Prandial Kabaret is all about taking the time to think and then utilizing more time to do, to implement, and to execute thoughtfully.
We ask that you give us an interlude and we just might provide you with the glories of the possible…
For those who have never dined underground, never imagined doing so, or are generally confused about underground dining:
Dining Underground in Paris- The New York Times
Rogue Culinarians- The Atlantic Monthly
Hushed Meals in DC- The Washington Post