When it comes to pie, I seem to have a type: the less conventional, the better. (Case in point: cherry cranberry pie pops.) So the first course from our recent Childhood dinner fits nicely in that vein.
I don’t care who you are or where you’re from—everyone has strong food memories from childhood. Some of us think back fondly to summer ice cream cones by a lake. Some people can still taste Grandma’s lasagna or fried chicken. And for more than a few of us, the smell of chocolate chip cookies takes us right back to Mom’s kitchen.
What’s for dinner has always been a big topic of conversation and bonding for my family. When I was growing up, my mom made nearly everything our family ate, from bread to pickles and preserves to peanut butter. She grew herbs in the backyard and took me and my brother along to pick blueberries at the farms nearby. She taught me why you don’t eat tomatoes in December (unless you canned them, which we did) and why you should handle your bread dough as little as possible. And she was my co-conspirator for my very first dinner party—a Big Night-themed, six-course extravaganza for 12 of my friends in high school.
Those memories were the inspiration behind our April 11 menu. For this meal, each dish was a reimagined version of one of my earliest food memories (and in the case of the nuggets dish, memories of one of the foods I was forbidden to eat). My mom even flew in from Portland to help out! She’s an incredible baker, so all of the pastry and breads in the meal were her delicious handiwork.
Here’s the menu we presented. I grew up in Oregon, so the pairings all came from some of our favorite Oregon wineries and distilleries as well:
BREAKFAST (egg and bacon pop tart, hot sauce, maple)
House Spirits Coffee Liqueur
PB&J (foie gras torchon, brioche, three homemade jams)
Trisaetum “Estates Reserve” Willamette Valley Riesling, 2012
EAT YOUR VEGETABLES (asparagus, hazelnut, egg)
Eyrie Vineyards “Estate” Dundee Hills Chardonnay, 2011
LEFTOVERS (salmon, dill, bucatini)
Brick House “The Dragon’s Tale” Ribbon Ridge Gamay Noir, 2013
NUGGETS (chicken, honey mustard, peas + carrots)
Division-Villages “Beton,” 2014
SUMMER (strawberry shortcake)
Clear Creek Grappa Moscato
We’d love to see you at our next dinner. To get an invite, sign up for our mailing list!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Japan-inspired dinner on March 7! Here is the menu we presented:
Scallop, Lemon, Rose
Koshi No Tousetsuka Junmai Ginjo “Snow Flower” / Sparkling Cucumber Limeade
Radish, Carrot, Miso
2013 Muga Rose / Teapot Bitters Soda
Crab, Chawanmushi, Roe, Coriander
Alexander Jules 17/71 Manzanilla / Chilled Shiso Tisane
Octopus, Rice, Avocado, Nasturtium
Stone Smoked Porter / Chilled Pu-erh
Duck, Sunchoke, Kumquat, Dashi
Alexander Jules “Los Abandonados” 6/8 / 1980 Smoked Tung Ting Tea
Dark & Stormy / Ginger Beer
We can’t share all the details yet—but we’re planning our next dinner for early March. Only 12 seats will be available. Make sure you’re on our mailing list to get notified when tickets are released!
Expect inspiration from our recent trip to Japan, Thailand, and Hong Kong to have a strong influence on the meal.
Hope to see you there!
We get a lot of requests for SF restaurant recommendations. I could happily talk for hours about all the great places to eat in this city, and our wedding earlier this year gave me a perfect excuse to do just that with all our out-of-town guests.
So without further ado, this is the list of 10 favorites we shared with them. This list is based on extensive research. (It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.)