Underground Dinner at Secret Location Will Feature Seven Courses, Murder Balladeers


  • Photo by Jarred Gastreich
  • Robin Wheeler

What do you call the idea of paying for a seven-course dinner when the organizer won't tell you the location? You could call it tempting fate — but that might be a bit overly skeptical on your part. After all, the chef is very much a known entity.

Robin Wheeler has written about food for both Sauce and the Riverfront Times. She does recipe development at Larder & Cupboard, cooking demonstrations on Fox-2 and classes everywhere from Dierberg's to Dabble. She also has a history of hosting underground dinners (her first, a six-course vegan affair for 60 people, was in a garden in Dogtown, and used mostly ingredients that were grown right there). 

She's calling this one Tempt Fate, and it will be held November 13 somewhere in Metro East. Your $75 entry will cover seven courses and drinks, plus four bands — which Wheeler found by putting out a call for "murder balladeers." Featured performers: The Idea Men, Kat and Casey, Billy Croghan of Les Gruff and the Billy Goats, and Marc Chechik. 

And even if the location is a secret for now, the menu isn't. Wheeler is promising these seven courses, all served family-style:

First: Pork liver pate, country-style mustard with Perennial Artisan Ales Hopfentea Sour Ale, jasmine-scented fruit pickles, French bread.

Second: Smoked chicken bone broth with crispy rice.

Third: Yellow grits, crispy rabbit and lamb liver drizzled with barrel-aged salsa verde and honey, burning tallow candle.

Fourth: Ginger pickled green tomatoes with tiny cornmeal hush puppies, bread and butter sweet pumpkin pickles.

Fifth: Espresso stout-braised beef with roasted marrow bones on wild mushrooms and chestnuts.

Sixth: Whiskey-butter roasted butternut squash with handmade goat milk ricotta mousse.

Seventh: Autumn fruit lard-crust galette with sorghum black walnut ice cream.

Wheeler notes, "The beverage flights are still being developed, but there will be pumpkin spice bourbon punch (so basic!), a variety of shrub-based drinks (leaded and unleaded), an autumn sangria, and hopefully a coffee course from one of my favorite local roasters."

Pumpkin spice bourbon punch ... yum.
  • Pumpkin spice bourbon punch ... yum.

To reserve your seat at the table, visit Brown Paper Tickets. Wheeler plans to cap the party at 70 guests, so don't wait too long to make your rez.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

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