Pop-up dinners have quickly become one of my favorite things to do for fun in the Chicago suburbs. Everybody knows I love restaurants but the sheer underground nature of this type of experience is an exciting way to shake up date night. Recently the hubs and I took a drive to Northfield for a one of a kind meal prepared by a Hell’s Kitchen alumna. Yes, this chef survived Gordon Ramsay and she cooked for me.
A few months ago Pound and Ounce started hosting pop-up dinners on Chicago’s North Shore. PnO is the brainchild of three kick-ass Chicagoland natives on a mission to bring their unique perspective on food to Chicago and the Suburbs. Their butcher to table concept is literally hosted after hours in a butcher shop that is owned by one of the partners, a chef and butcher whose long lineage in the meat industry spans generations.
- Jamie, the Chef
- Sean, the Butcher
- Vinny, the guy that gets shtuff done
Right now, once or twice a month after business hours at Hofherr Meat Co. the Pound and Ounce team comes together to pull off what can only be described as a magical night, complete with a rabbit in a hat and everything. 😆 Okay, maybe not the rabbit, well not during this meal anyway. Who knows what they’ll have on the menu at the next one! Chef Jamie has a hell of a sense of humor and killer techniques too. In my opinion her dishes are both approachable and luxurious, perfect for the epicure in your life. Seriously though, she made us a powdered cocktail sauce using pop-rock style candy for our oysters and yes they pop in your mouth, the pop rocks not the oysters. 😮 It was an incredible dish by the way.
All photos courtesy of Pound and Ounce.
What We Ate
Fanny Bay oysters, pop rock cocktail sauce
chicken liver mousse, bacon jam, shallot, cornichon, mustard seed, champagne vinaigrette
house made ricotta + salsify gnocchi, radicchio, rosemary, gorgonzola, vermouth cream, pine nuts
EAST COAST PLATE
butterfish + yukon gold potato cake, littleneck clams, bacon lardon, hot sauce powder
bourbon braised short rib, corn polenta, black bean + onion confit, ancho consommé, goat milk white cheddar
FRENCH SILK JAR
milk chocolate, salted pretzel caramel crust
As per usual the hubs and I had different favorites, mine was the Champagne Toast, the liver mousse was well executed. The combination of the bacon jam and champagne vinaigrette were especially memorable and the finish was super clean. This ain’t your parents Braunschweiger Liver Sausage that you hated on back in the day friends. 😕 As for the hubs he talked about the East Coast Plate for days, now mind you he loves seafood so this was no surprise, but he doesn’t eat potatoes often. He’s now obsessed with creating hot sauce powder at home, thanks Chef Jamie. 🙄
Every single dish was a hit with us and the 22 other people that we got to meet that night. It was really fun to sit and chat with local foodies about the best restaurants in the Suburbs. I was also pleasantly surprised that I got to sit with Chef Jamie’s parents and talk about her time in Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon and how they felt about it all. Side Note:They took a limo there and had the best bottle at our BYOB table, put my Shiraz to shame. 😳
We had such a good time and after a couple of glasses of wine I was talking to anybody that would listen. How’s that for saying bye, bye to the shy old me? 😛
If you’re looking for exciting food in a well thought out space by extremely talented people then PnO is your jam.
They’re available for hire by both private dining and corporate clients for onsite catering and kitchen takeovers. Oh and you can arrange to do a full buyout for more than 20 people as well.