Sunday, December 11, 2016
Land and Sea Dept - From Good Stock Underground Dinner
Land and Sea Dept is a group that runs restaurants and lounges including Longman & Eagle, Parsons Chicken and Fish, Chicago Athletic Association, and Lost Lake. They also host events in different spaces including the building in which their offices reside. In the fall they host a series of dinners called From Good Stock in which they invite a chef to create a dinner in their space. They make it an event by also inviting a DJ, bartenders, and artists to decorate the space. For this dinner they invited brothers Ryan (Chef) and Matthew Poli (Mixologist) formerly of Chicago and now in Nashville running fine dining restaurant, The Catbird Seat. Scarpetta Wines was the wine partner and Fleur provided greenery to the space. The space itself was something else. Located on a side street in Garfield Park (that has no street lights) it is in a former candy factory. There is nothing to indicate that this space was a former candy factory, it is a big open space with cement floors, brick walls, and a high ceiling in a former factory. There was a bar at the front of the space where we picked up our Bienvenuto (Welcome) Cocktail which had Melleti Amaro, Carpano Antico Vermouth, Lemon, Peychaud's Bitters, and Fentiman's Tonic. I like amaro and I liked this cocktail. I was actually kind of surprised that it was less bitter than I expected (All of the alcohol in the drink is bitter). It had some bitterness to it, but it was also sweet and had a tart finish from the lemon. In the back of the room, the DJ was playing a lot of old school funk and disco and in the back corner on the same side as the entrance was the open kitchen. There was art in the room, both free standing and hanging on the wall, but I was told later that they don't have as much art as they used to because the roof leaks and has damaged several pieces. As far as seating was concerned, there were four long tables in the center of the room that could seat a total of 80 people. The tables were decorated with greenery from the aforementioned Fleur which included a crown made from that greenery. Most of the crowns were made from Sage, but there were a few made from Rosemary. There may be a picture of me wearing the crown, but it will not be shared.
In any case, this was a lot of fun and I did enjoy myself. The food was very good and I ended up sitting next to one of the partners of Land and Sea Dept who was very interesting to talk to. He actually mentioned a couple of projects in the works without giving a lot of detail that excited me. This episode of From Good Stock was the last of the year. I will have to remember to keep an eye out for this next fall because I definitely want to do this again.