We received the tickets in the mail just a few days before the dinner was held. We didn't know the location until our tickets arrived. Much to our delight, the dinner was held at Wine Country, which is an amazing restaurant here in Shreveport, with a great atmosphere. We had no idea who would be there, how many, or what we would eat.
The originator of the underground club is Michael OBoyle. A local chef and blogger, who I found when I started blogging. His blog is great. Awesome pics of food as well... (I need some definite tips!) Check it out here. He was the head chef for all the wonderful creations this evening. Him and his team did a great job.
We arrived and sat with two other couples at a large round table. Underground dinners are great as there is open seating and everyone there has a love affair with food. We, along with the other two couples, talked about food 90% of the time we were there. It was wonderful.
Chef Michael kept the numbers to 50 people, which was great as it made it more intimate and not too loud. (Our table is to the left, middle. Stephen's back is to the camera, in the blue shirt).
The great thing about the dinner being held at Wine Country... is the great selection of wine to accompany the amazing food! You can see all the wine flights the other two couples got. Made for a very full table!
Now, on to the important part. The food. First up:
Homemade pork rind with tuna tar tare and pickled peach chives. This was my first experience with a pork rind. I thought it was a wonton until Stephen said, "Well Sarah Sarah, how was your first pork rind?" I was more impressed that I was eating tuna tar tare... but now that I know I also ate a pork rind, I'm not sure which is more impressive!
It was really really good, and the tuna was so fresh and had a wonderful flavor. The pork rind was super crispy and salty and just perfect. First course: A+.
Second course: Lemongrass corn chawan mushi with popcorn corn nuts and cilantro sea urchin.
This was great as well, and I had not experienced mushi before (have you?). The texture is similar to a custard, which I wouldn't have been able to eat by itself, but the addition of the popcorn and corn nuts made it the perfect combination of texture and flavor.
Third course.... and my favorite of the night... Ricotta Gnocchi Korean BBQ. I am still dreaming about the gnocchi. (sorry for the horrible photography. It was so dark in the restaurant... and nothing turned out like I thought it would. Plus, I was too excited to eat everything that I didn't really care in the moment how things were turning out. Could you blame me?)
This was hands down my favorite, as the Korean BBQ pork was amazing, paired with this amazing sauce, gnocchi, and fresh chopped green tomatoes on top.
I didn't like it at all, and no one else did, if you can tell.
Next? What can top that? Oh, donuts. With bacon. Yes.
Blue cheese bacon donuts with pineapple.
You could barely taste the blue cheese, as it had been whipped beyond submission to this frothy wonderfulness. Stephen was basically licking the plate. (and so were the other boys at our table). I tried to ask for seconds... but no one heard me. Sad.
Next up... Watermelon palate cleanser. Naturally.
I could have cleansed with palate with gnocchi or donuts, but whatever floats their boat.
And last up (I know, I was sad too)... Pie crust panna cotta with a red wine and blueberry lemon sauce. Ugh. So good.
He hated it as you can tell.
So, our first underground dinner club was a success. We hope to attend many more and hopefully see our new friends we made at future dinners. We're so glad that something of this culinary caliber has come to Shreveport. Thank you Michael and Gulf Pig Underground... we're happy to have you here. Thank you for expanding my palate and opening up my mind for future dinner parties. First up? I'm going to make my own gnocchi. Oh, and the donuts. Oh the donuts.