Satisfied, surprised, delighted, puzzled, and WTF? – it’s hard to believe that a meal could make me feel all of this in one sitting, and even harder to believe that said meal happened a week ago, and I still can’t stop thinking about it. My mind and stomach haven’t quite figured it all out.
The reason for this? Chef Russell Jackson’s SubCulture Dining events came to NYC for a brief stint last week and thanks to Eventbrite, I tagged along on one of the underground dining events at Louro in the West Village to see what it was all about.
Fig topped with lardo
Timid eaters aren’t welcome here, unless they’re ready to make the jump. The menu is not disclosed, so you’ll have absolutely no idea what you’ll be eating, aside from a very vague description – all I knew was that I’d be eating a meal consisting of multiple courses. Of course, if you have allergies, intolerances, or other dietary restrictions, you might be screwed, but if you can handle putting them aside (as I did, with my allergy prevention method of intense Benadryl consumption post-meal) then you’re in for a treat. More like, multiple treats.
Typically communal, the dinner’s element of surprise is what hooks you here – a delicious little fig topped with lardo was a great appetizer, but then came out the second course, and I was like, what? I am definitely an adventurous eater, but the combination of scallops, Cheez-It flavored ice cream, bananas, and popcorn made me hesitate… until I started eating. I still don’t know how to describe this dish except that I cleaned my plate, completely perplexed, and feeling weird about my stomach’s contents… but also really good about it.
Scallop ceviche topped with bananas, popcorn, and Cheez-It ice cream
Roast lamb with butternut squash and bread pudding
I won’t describe every dish in complete detail (you can just drool over the photos) but I ended each plate with a definite “wow.” I’ve had some great dishes that I still think about, but mainly because they just tasted really good – no meal has ever made my thoughts go deeper than that. Until this one. In the growing sea of chefs spinning pop-up restaurants like there’s no tomorrow, I think that Chef Russell, you’re definitely onto something…
Bacon bourbon ice cream on a bourbon blondie topped with rosewater foam
To find out more about SubCulture Dining, check out their webpage.