The night of January 30th, Alchemy held their first pop-up dinner and successfully served five delicious courses of wonderful flavor combinations crafted by Executive Chef Lake Hubbard.
But wait? What is a pop-up? For those of you unaware, a pop-up event is put together at an unfamiliar location, using an unfamiliar kitchen and equipment only adding to the difficulty that presents itself with cooking a five course meal for twenty. With a crew of merely four, this was no easy feat and with that being said, guests rated overall experience and service at an average of five out of five.
The menu ranged from red and gold beet salad across the board to chocolate mousse with a raspberry balsalmic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Some of our patrons were not totally hip to the idea of beets… and yet almost all plates were licked clean.
Each course was paired perfectly with either a red or white wine, but first an aperitif! How about a French ’75 to spark those senses? Crafted with owner Logan Hunter’s very own handmade mango- sage infused [[not-so-simple]] simple syrup. The point of an aperitif is to stimulate the appetite and that it did.
The first course was a perfectly purèed butternut squash drizzled with a rich garlic and sage brown butter adding just the right amount of savory contrast to the soup with only the smallest drop. The second course was the chef’s take on the Bastilla, a savory chicken stuffed pastry topped with cardamom, and fresh lemon zest for a hint of sweetness. This was served atop a parsnip crème with toasted almonds. The third course served was a blast of color with red and gold beets, micro basil greens, pickled fennel, orange supremes, homemade ricotta cheese and a Madeira gastrique. Followed by the fourth course which included braised beef short rib and collared greens, served over a creamy parmesan polenta and sautèed Crimini mushrooms. Finally, dessert was a heaping dollap of decadent chocolate mousse served with fresh raspberries and an almond cookie drizzled with olive oil and rasperry balsalmic. Now I know what you’re thinking… olive oil? With chocolate? But strangely enough, it worked! That, with the slight tartness of the balsalmic’s acidity added a twist to the dessert that tickled the tastebuds.
Following the delivery of dessert guests were given the opportunity to rate their overall experience as well as other aspects of the meal. Scores were given on things such as food and wine pairing, plate presentation, overall flavor, and service. As great hospitality is of the utmost importance at Alchemy, patrons were encouraged to leave comments or concerns for Hunter believes that being receptive to clientele critique is necessary for a successful establishment.
Some of the reviews are as follows:
“The portions were perfect and the menu was outstanding.”
“I’ve never had such a gourmet and delightful experience in the Midwest.”
“Didn’t expect such bold ingredients to work so well together, but honestly everything was spectacular.”
Thanks to all involved, the pop-up dinner was a success and you can still reserve a seat at our next one by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A special thanks goes out to Jeff Mease and One World Kitchen Share for hosting one of Bloomington’s first pop-up dinners. The next dinner will consist of a completely new menu crafted by the wine and food experts at Alchemy and will be held on February 13th. Need Valentine’s Day plans for you and your partner? This five course dinner and wine pairing pop-up could be just the experience you’re looking for!!