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Chicago Magazine's Secret Supper

October 08 2015 - 9:00 AM

This week I attended Chicago magazine’s Secret Supper. What’s a Secret Supper you ask? Well, it’s a private dinner hosted by Chicago magazine at one of the best new restaurants in Chicago. What’s the catch? Diners purchase tickets to the dinner in advance but don’t find out the location until the day of the event. This week’s dinner was the third Secret Supper after the success of the first Secret Supper event at Momotaro in April 2015, and the second Secret Supper event at Salero in August 2015.  The location for the third Secret Supper was Community Tavern in Portage Park. The boutique steakhouse was featured in Chicago magazine’s May issue as one of Chicago’s Best New Restaurants.

The restaurant was warm and inviting and on a chilly evening, it was just what we all needed. Community Tavern is a French-leaning steakhouse, set in a rustic-chic space. The restaurant differs in both ambiance and price from its nearby sister restaurant, The Portage, which serves new American, Asian-influenced food.

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The five-course meal developed by Executive Chef and Partner Joey Beato (Spring, Momofuku Ma Peche, Green Zebra) and Chef de Cuisine Matt Saccaro (Autremonde, Tizi Melloul, Anteprima) featured a little bit of everything including shellfish, fish, and meat.  To help wash it all down were two specialty cocktails featuring Tito’s Handmade Vodka, as well as a pinot noir and sauvignon blanc from 90+ Cellars.

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Course one featured a Kusshi oyster with Tabasco, orange and chive. One slurp and it was gone. The oyster had a nice, clean finish and I enjoyed the citrus notes.

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The next course was definitely the most decadent, a foie gras torchon with peach and Riesling jam, herbs de Provence, and brioche toast points. This was quite a generous serving, each bite richer than the last. The jam made for a fantastic pairing (note to self: must recreate at home) and the bread was a perfect carrier. The herbs were a necessary pop of freshness to cut the heaviness of the foie gras.

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Our second seafood course was a lobster boudin with shaved squash, pistachio, tarragon and sabayon. This was my favorite dish of the evening because of the fresh aroma of the lobster, and the play between the savory squash and lobster, and sweet sabayon. I would never have thought to pair squash with lobster but it worked very well.

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Our main course, course four, featured rare sliced New York strip steak atop a bed of pureed potatoes, root vegetables, and bordelaise sauce. One of the most noticeable components of the dish was the flavor from the smoked sea salt sprinkled on the steak’s crust. The bordelaise also was fantastic; my only wish was that I had more steak to soak up every last droplet of the sauce. This dish paired nicely with the 90+ Cellars pinot noir.

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Lastly, we enjoyed a Paris Brest, a French pastry made of puff pastry filled with praline cream and topped with candied almonds. The praline cream was fabulous, as was the crunch from the candied almonds. It was a nicely sweet and not-overly-heavy way to end the meal.

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If this Secret Supper sounds right up your alley then you’re in luck! The fourth and final Secret Supper will be held November 9th and the location will be revealed that day.

For more information on Chicago magazine’s Secret Supper please visit the Chicago Magazine website here >>

Note: I received complimentary tickets to the Secret Supper to facilitate this post; however all opinions expressed are my own.

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