Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pop-up dinner: time travel to the late Roman Empire

Posted By on 10.12.11 at 06:25 PM

crux-apicius-iii.jpg

Chef Brandon Baltzley, who was announced this week as executive chef at Evanston's Pensiero Ristorante, has had something of a rough ride during his 14 months in Chicago: a short time at the post-Levitt Mado before walking off with his staff, a gig at Tribute that he had to abandon in favor of rehab. Now, in addition to the Pensiero job, he's behind a new "underground" supper club offering themed monthly dinners.

The first one was in August, with all proceeds going to the Chicago Recovery Alliance (you can see the menu if you scroll down to the bottom here). The second one, next Monday, October 17, has the theme of Apicius, a collection of Roman recipes compiled in the late fourth or early fifth century AD. The ten-course menu is guided by the ten chapters of the book, with courses like the Sea (sea urchin, lardo, ocean) and the Meat Mincer (langoustine sausage, spelt, and veal brains), and ingredients including tripe, squab, venison, foie gras, and figs. Jared Wentworth of the Michelin-star-awarded Longman & Eagle will be joining the Crux team for the occasion.

There are two seatings, at 6 and 9 PM; reservations are required and can be made by calling the restaurant at 847-475-7779 (you'll need a credit card). It's $140, $205 with wine pairings ( a little pricey, yes, but late-Roman epicures weren't exactly noted for thrift and restraint). A full menu is available at brandonbaltzley.wordpress.com/pop-ups.

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