5/03/2013 04:50:00 PM

Photos: A Progressive Dinner with Safari Supper

By Sarah Freeman
If one underground dining club is good, then four has to be great. That was the idea behind last weekend’s Safari Supper – a progressive dinner organized by Tuesday Night Dinner that also featured the cuisine of Sobremesa Supper Club, Feast & Imbibe and Guerrilla Smiles. The evening began in Wicker Park where representatives from each supper club served a small bite that embodied the cuisine diners would experience later in the evening. From a fava bean gazpacho to plantain chips with aji amarillo dipping sauce, shrimp and grits as well as an edible recreation of Oak Street Beach – offerings signaled that the evening was going to be a culinary adventure.

Diners embarked on a school bus to River North, where Tuesday Night Dinner prepared stinging nettle dumplings with hop shoots, rabbit confit and edible weeds. The dish along with a cocktail called Dreamsicle was served in the Haurser Gallery. Next, the bus traveled to Pilsen’s Ugly Step Sister Art Gallery for Sobremesa Supper Club. They specialize in vegetable-driven dishes and served roasted sunchokes with pickled daikon, green radish, pickled mustard seed and market greens along with more of the aji amarillo sauce we fell in love with during the cocktail hour.

Guerilla Smiles waited at our favorite venue of the night, No Sandbox. The fourth-floor loft overlooks Fulton Market and has stunning views of the Chicago skyline. There, diners sampled “Cracker Jack Grits” made with mustard caramel, Paulina bacon and caramelized nuts. It was served with a tangy Malört cooler. Finally, the bus dropped us off back at the beginning where Feast & Imbibe prepared braised lamb shoulder with yellow foot chanterelles, fiddlehead ferns and celery root crisps. Guests contemplated the culinary journey while sipping wine around a bonfire.

It was hardly the food we are used to eating at restaurants. In a way it was better – creative dishes served in unexpected setting by chefs putting a lot of thought and time into a single bite. For now, Safari Supper was a one-time-only event, but each of the four supper clubs host regular pop-up dinners. Check out the photos below and then check out their dinners around Chicago.

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