by Nancy Stiles
Normally, Dishcrawl St. Louis involves a neighborhood crawl to different restaurants. The Loop Neighborfood Dishcrawl, for example, hit Three Kings, Blueberry Hill and Mission Taco, among others. Last month, though, there was a stationary, sit-down dinner called Farm to Table that focused on, well, farm-to-table food, obviously. This time, though, it's something a little more underground. We got the scoop on the first "Secret Supper," an invite-only dinner on November 14 taking place in 1930s jail cells. Yep, you heard us.
"It's not just secret, it's much more of a gastronomic experience, an opportunity for the chef to do something different and creative -- a completely unique offering," Dishcrawl spokeswoman Sara Graham tells us.
The "secret" part of it just means that Dishcrawl isn't advertising the dinner on any of its websites or social-media pages -- it just notified people that were already on its e-mail list or had liked the Facebook page. The menu also hasn't been advertised, but luckily, we got the scoop.
Chef Ron Buechele, owner of the Capitalist Pig is hosting the supper at the restaurant inside Mad Art Gallery (2727 South 12th Street; 314-771-8230). The building used to be the Third District police station, and it was recently restored to its art deco glory by Paul Fendler & Associates architects.
Buechele developed the menu after speaking to Dishcrawl's cofounder Tracy Lee. "She like the fact that I was doing barbecue, sustainable barbecue, but she wanted to see what I could do with Asian fusion," Buechele tells us. "I'm a big David Chang fan, so I started looking at types of Asian courses that I like personally and I thought, how can I take something from the barbecue world and incorporate it?"
The final menu Buechele shared with us includes bacon-kimchi fried rice, pork putt bo ssam and a Thai tea parfait. He also came up with cocktail pairings for each course, like a spiced pear Collins and cider punch. Buechele admits he has wanted to do something like this for a while and says he will probably do more dinners on his own, too.
"I'm not nervous at all -- I'm kind of excited. I like trying out new things," he says, "and it's definitely going to be a little bit of a stretch out of my comfort zone, but I think it'll be really fun."
Graham agrees. "Once you see this menu, I think you'll understand: This is Ron's opportunity to shine. It's going to be simply stunning."
Reservations, which are $59 per person with drink pairings costing an additional $30 per person, are available by special invite ony -- follow @dishcrawlstl on Twitter to find out how to get a ticket or call Graham at 314-363-1899.