“You’re invited…to Seattle’s First Secret Supper”
Moi? Invited? To an exclusive event? I felt like the time this mean girl Lauren invited me to her 10th birthday party as a joke. It’s ok, she peaked in coolness at age 10 so I am pretty sure she went downhill and is now living in a cave or something.
The invite came from Dishcrawl, a social networking organization for food lovers with chapters all over the country. No joke, I was going to my first Secret Supper and had no idea what to expect.
Dishcrawl Seattle organizes (get this) dish battles, a Secret Supper Club, and cocktail wars, where participants sip cocktails from renowned mixologists and then vote on their favorite concoctions and who they think is hottest bartender.
It is the best way to get awkward Seattelites to sit down and socialize. During the Supper Club, you eat with strangers united for a love of food. And the chef comes out between each course to tell you his-her inspiration.
Hold up! What is a Secret Supper?
In general, secret supper clubs and underground restaurants have been “a thing” since the 40s. Wikipedia defines it as an eating establishment run out of someone’s home to avoid zoning and health-code violations. Like a really good dinner party.
I should mention that the Dishcrawl Secret Supper takes place in a real restaurant and I am pretty certain no health codes were violated.
How can I get into such an exclusive event?
I like food, so I signed up for Dishcrawl’s email subscriber list. Julia Simpson, Dishcrawl’s Community Manager says that’s the best way to find out about Secret Supper. She also relayed that this was the first of many and they’d have about one a month. It’s not heavily advertised though and tickets are limited.
Also, words of warning: picky eaters need not apply. This is adventure dining with a special menu created for the event.
How adventurous are we talking?
You will likely eat something you’ve never had before. For me, it was persimmon ice cream. For others, it could be boiled crickets or monkey brains or a sheep’s head.
Ok, I don’t think they go to those extremes, but you don’t get to view the menu ahead of time. It’s all kept a great big mystery, but you are able to send in your dietary restrictions. Might be a good time to mention your “allergy” to baby animal brains.
The secret location is unveiled a day or so before and you don’t get a peek at the menu until that night. They also let you know the style of food you’ll be eating.
Tell me about the food, the chef, the drinks…
The secret location was….
Bloom Restaurant, a Japanese farm-to-table Japanese restaurant opened three months ago in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.
I snagged Chef Jason Harris for a few minutes to talk.
He started working in Seattle sushi restaurants as a dishwasher over 10 years ago and worked at numerous sushi restaurants since. I asked him to describe his food in a sentence or less and without skipping a beat, he said, “Northwest ingredients; Japanese techniques.” It’s kind of a great spin really.
Since it’s farm-to-table the menu changes with the season and what’s available. I took a glance at their current menu and spotted “pumpkin hot pot.” I will be going back.
Get to Bloom’s Secret Supper menu already!
As a travel writer, I appreciate a good narrative and the Secret Supper menu definitely had one.
It started with shredded Daikon radish and carrot hidden inside a beautiful persimmon bowl. After a few courses, we were tantalized by an “Intermezzo” of wild mushrooms and clam broth.
(Note to self: Next dinner party, impress guests with an Intermezzo.)
Persimmon ice cream and fresh pound cake finished the menu. Not your average creamy, freezer-burned ice cream. Made with crème fraise, it was light, cloud-like, and topped with diced persimmon.
Other show stoppers: Miso-marinated scarlet squash. Beautiful sockeye salmon served next to toppling salmon roe. I don’t normally go in for roe because my raised-on-macroni-and-cheese palate doesn’t take caviar well, but this roe reminded me of beautiful little berries.
I should mention course 5, possibly my favorite, but all dishes were delectable. A mountain of steamed white rice crowned with Sockeye salmon, in a shallow bowl of green tea.
I am sure by now, you probably have an intense sushi craving, so we’ll end here. Let’s just say, I came away feeling like I had experienced something exciting and would definitely recommend both the restaurant and the event. Well done, chef Jason.
Comment below with the most unique (or weirdest) thing you’ve ever eaten.