by Ian Froeb
"We've been wanting to do an offal dinner," says Anthony Devoti, owner and chef at Five Bistro (5100 Daggett Avenue; 314-773-5553), "so we were sitting around drinking beers one night, kicking around what would be hilarious: 'Oh, well, Valentine's Day is just offal.'
"And then it's like, well, what funny things can we do that tie into the whole offal thing? Oh, well, obviously tongues and obviously testicles, obviously hearts."
You can find all three items at Five Bistro after 10 p.m. tomorrow as part of its "Five After Ten" late-night menu. The prix-fixe meal ($25 per person) will feature three courses: a confit of beef tongue, pumpkin soup and herbed goat cheese; crisp beef fries with Sriracha aioli; and braised beef heart with potato purée.
(Note to the offal novices: Beef "fries" aren't fries. They're balls.)
"We had a whole litany of crazy, ridiculous stuff to do," Devoti tells Gut Check about the planning for the meal, though he adds that he and his staff knew their ideas couldn't be "too graphic and weird and dirty".
Devoti says the target audience for the offal menu includes both Five's late-night regulars as well as those who for whatever reason balk at spending big bucks on a Valentine Day's dinner out, his restaurant included. (Five's Valentine Days five-course prix-fixe costs $75 per person; as of yesterday, a few tables were still available.)
Planning to stop by Five's late-night service anyway, but not in the mood for putting some tongue and balls in your mouth? Never fear. Devoti informs us the usual late-night fare, including poutine and the acclaimed burger, will also be available.
Still, Devoti hopes diners will avail themselves of this offal opportunity: "These items are ridiculously delicious. People are going to be stunned. They're going to love them."