Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cloak & Dinner: A Day in the Life || 7/23/11

Dear Foodbuzz 24 x 24 Challenge ~

Recently I've started an underground supper club with a few friends in which we design to push the boundaries of cuisine & cocktails in an intimate dinner party setting.  I've roped in my good friend Sean Brogan to help with the cooking (and the witty invites) and my wonderful boyfriend Isaac Zucca, a self taught mixologist to design our drink menu.  Together we warp expectations & redefine what one can expect from 3 amateur foodies.

For July, our challenge was this: design a menu which crams twenty-four hours of human sustenance into one hearty dining experience, featuring food and drink from dawn til dusk (and then some.)   So, come join us for a night of bastardizing temporal conventions as we aim to prove that good food doesn't own a watch.

Cake & Heels
 "Air Toast" filled with Butter & Jam
to make air bread, we rolled out pizza dough until it was incredibly thin & then baked it on high so it puffed up into adorable little pockets of joy.  i added a few smiling strawberry toasts with little chocolate eyes for a flare of fun.

Morning Glory Fizz
 designed to look like a fried egg, this delicate cocktail is refreshingly light, but packs a nice punch with a heavy helping of scotch.

Second Breakfast
 Quail Eggs Royale w/ Caviar
homemade mini english muffins topped with a bit o lox, poached quail eggs, hollandaise and a spoonful of caviar for a nice salty finish.

Spicy Mule
 made with a ginger & chili simple syrup and a touch of ground black pepper on top.

 Grilled Avocado Boats stuffed with Buffalo Chicken
when pondering how to make best use of our barely functioning kitchen with no oven & one burner, firing up the grill is the next best option.  with that as the inspiration, this dish ended up being a slice of genius, the spicy buffalo sauce cooled off by a heavy handful of blue cheese and a creamy melted avocado to finish the flavor.

Mr. Brogan clearing a few empty dishes. 

 Jicama Chips with Strawberry & Jalapeno Salsa
diced farmers market strawberries tossed with a nice dice of jalapeno, garlic & red onion, the flavors all mixed quite nicely, and we got a chance to use our new mandoline on perhaps one of the largest jicama's we've ever seen.

Barkeep Mr. Zucca serving up cocktails

Vesper Martini
 shaken not stirred

Inspiring Mr. Brogan to slice the steak cutely.

 Steak Dinner w/ a Taster of Exotic Salts
espresso, garlic, applewood smoked & ghost pepper salts to accompany a nice steak, roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts.

Sangria Flora
 light & fruity, a nice little transition into the succulently sweet...

Midnight Munchies!
 Compost Cookies, Smores, Chocolate Covered Banana Pops & Chocolate Covered Potato Chips
all of my favorite midnight munchies piled high on a plate! 

Cloak & Dinner || A Day in the Life
Thank you Foodbuzz 24x24!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cloak & Dinner: A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life

Gentlemen, we do not stop 'til nightfall.
What about breakfast?
You've already had it.
We've had one, yes. What about second breakfast?
I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?
I wouldn't count on it.

We've managed to cram twenty-four hours of human sustenance into one hearty dining experience, featuring food and drink from dawn til dusk (and then some.) Join us for a night of bastardizing temporal conventions as we aim to prove that good food doesn't own a watch.

~ nicole iizuka | sean brogan | isaac zucca ~

Please join us for the 4th Cloak & Dinner supper club.  Details below.

10 Seats
5 Courses + Cocktail Pairings
Cost $40

Saturday July 23rd

Location will be given once you've RSVPd.

Please RSVP to  First 10 people to do so (per timestamp) will be confirmed.  (As we are buying ingredients for all of the courses based on the RSVP, once you've said you're in, you're responsible for the $40)

** if you have any food allergies, please let us know.  we will do our best to accommodate. **

A few other nit-picky notes

please be prepared to bring CASH to the event, I can't take credit cards
please plan to be on-time and for the dinner to last from 3-4 hours
there will be 3-4 paired cocktails, but you are more than welcome to BYO, beer, wine, soda
this dinner will be on a rooftop, so dress appropriately for sundown

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cloak & Dinner: E Pluribus uNOM || 7/3/11

In celebration of the 4th of July, Cloak & Dinner kicked it old school with a collection of recipes inspired by America.  

If you'd like to be added to the mailing list for future C&D dinners, please email

 Ramos Gin Fizz
Classic preparation by our lovely mixologist who needed a back rub or two after all the shaking. 
 Bread & Herb Butter
What would we do without Jeff Picarello in our lives to bake us delicious bread all the time?
 Clams Casino
Baked clam encased in a bubble of delicious herb butter and topped with a crunchy bite of bacon & a melted glob of parmesan. Delicately placed on a "sand" of crumbled oyster crackers.

 Biscuit Brisket Sliders
Taking a cue from one of my favorites, Fig & Olive, we encased these homemade buttermilk biscuits topped with a brisket smothered in a bourbon bbq sauce, in a puff of hickory smoke to awaken all the senses.  And all without a Smoking Gun!  
(Although that may be a future purchase for more smoking goodness...)

 Whiskey Smash
Why the smash?  Well naturally it's because you SMASH the basil leaf before adding it to the drink to release the oils in the leaf for that nice aromatic kick to the finish. 
 Pumpkin Cider Soup
All the delicious flavors of fall wrapped into a smooth & creamy soup, served table side.  In the bowl?  A dollop of creme fraiche topped with a fried sage leaf, a sprinkle of chives and a dusting of cinnamon.  And a nice dark rustic bread for dipping.

Lemonade, Tea, Basil, ALCOHOL?  Yessir, I'll have another glass.
 Cajun Shrimp with Okra & Tomatoes
Obsessed with the gigantic shrimp from Whole Foods, we knew a nice dusting and a quick trip to the barbie would work wonders on the shellfish. As for the Okra... Mr. Brogan did a little digging to find the perfect trip for keeping out the slime. 
 Fried Chicken with Cornbread Puree, Spiced Bacon & Grilled Peaches
Because nothing says summer like some good ole fried chicken.  A specialty of Mr. Brogan, these buttermilk suckers came out deliciously tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside. As for the puree, I added in a few of my own special tricks for a sweeter & homier taste.
 Strawberry Rhubarb Collins
So frothy & delicious, it was easy to forget that this cocktail packed a punch.  Plus, who doesn't love a touch of Rhubarb in their summer?
Apple Pie PopTart
Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream with Bourbon Laced Caramel
It was like the second coming... the Cheddar melted beautifully into a nice and thick custard, and the lovely alcohol laced caramel did just the trick to offset the tinge of cheese-y savory with a nice note of sweetness to finish the meal. 

  Happy E Pluribus uNOM Eating!