Last Sunday, I had the unique privilege of attending a Test Kitchen event, an underground supper club started by Jenny Vergara. I’d heard about these kinds of events a few years ago and mourned the fact that Kansas City didn’t have one. You can imagine my delight when I first learned this unique dining experience existed in Kansas City. Each month, a dinner is held at a secret location, and a local chef cooks an intimate dinner for a small group of people. The menus are typically pretty ambitious and a departure from the dishes found at their restaurant. My dinner was made by the charming chefs* at Grunauer** and was one of the best I’ve ever had. In case my word isn’t good enough, I’ve included the menu I ate below. Every course was paired with a drink:
“The Taste of a Place”
- Cocktail Hour: pumpkin seed oil, fat washed rye with lemon, egg whites, agave nectar & jerry thomas bitters, garnished with orange zest
- One: mousse duo of duck liver and butternut squash with Schloss Gobelsburg Rosé
- Two: boiled beef in madeira aspic with Heidi Schrock Furmint
- Three: fabriqués à partir de porc seared pork scallop with lingonberry and apple schnapps glaze with Gewürztraminer
- Four: crusted loin of veal with crispy leaks and seared creminis with Glatzer St. Laurent
- Five: parfait of walnuts and fruit with Pedro Romero Cream Sherry
- Six: topfen knöde farmers cheese dumpling with Schlumberger Sparkling
- Seven: traditional European digestive Williams Purkhardt Pear Eau de Vie
How You Can Dine Secretly:
To secure a spot at Test Kitchen, visit their Web site, www.testkitchenkc.com and register. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive an invitation each month to place your name in the lottery with the number of tickets you’d like. Then, if you’re selected, you’ll receive an e-mail telling you that you’re in. Each person then has a few days to pay for their tickets and reserve their spot. After receiving your donation, you’ll receive another e-mail with details about the event, i.e. the secret location.
*I know they’re charming, because they introduced each course.
**If you haven’t tried Grunauer yet, do it soon. The food is fantastic. I still think about the cabbage, and we ate there weeks ago. If a person like me is fantasizing about cabbage, you know the dinner was out of this world.