|Pork Loin and rillette with trout lily, hop shoots, miso and rhubarb|
Tuesday Night Dinner, the underground supper club that has hosted pop-up dinners and events for the past three years, is retuning to its roots. Not its roots as a supper club, but the roots of American Midlands’ cuisine. The new venture, Border Oak, focuses on the food of the greater Midwest by using ingredients sourced and foraged from nearby hills, streams, fields, lakes and forests. These ingredients will be showcased in nine-course tasting menus, similar in format to Tuesday Night Dinner’s dinners. Later, the concept will evolve into a brick-and-mortar cafe.
Border Oak gets its name from the Oak Savannah, a type of grassland with a delicate balance of forest and field that is maintained by controlled fires. This terrain is common in the Midwest and rich with edibles, for those who know how to find them (AKA a foragers playground). The dishes served at Border Oak, created by chef and founder Jeremy Leven, aim to not only serve these ingredients, but also allow diners to appreciate each one for its flavor and connection to the earth. "This is my next step as a cook," Leven said. "While cooking for large groups at TND has been challenging and rewarding, I am at a point where I need to focus deeply on the contents of the plate."
It’s some serious tree-hugging stuff, but after one of these meals, diners won’t look at a sprig of asparagus the same way again. The first dinner will take place on June 7 and cost $75. Dishes include domestic boar terrine with black garlic mostarda as well as crispy smelt with cured cabbage. Location and ticket information will be announced on its Facebook page on Monday. In addition to the dinner series, Border Oak the restaurant will open pending a successful Kickstarter campaign to be launched in July.