Eating/Drinking

Here’s the Scoop on the Hottest Restaurant Pop-Up Series in Town

Photo courtesy of Quiote

All year, Quiote has hosted a killer monthly pop-up series. It’s called Off the Record Test Kitchen, and it seems to have flown relatively under the radar thus far. So you should really look into attending on May 21. (Just wait till we tease the menu, below.)

Here’s the gist: The ticketed dinners—held in the restaurant’s private dining space—are dedicated to showcasing the crazy skills and unique backgrounds of sous chefs and other culinary up-and-comers (those who work “off the record,” if you will). It’s the brainchild of the restaurant’s executive chef, Ross Henke, and it spotlights both Quiote staff and talent from other kitchens around town. Last month’s installment featured a Jewish-leaning menu that would have made Bubbe squirm, compliments of Quiote sous Oliver Shlaes; on deck are participants from the Publican and Blackbird.

Mikey Kolodzej / Photo by Evan Jones/Courtesy of the Publican

So back to that May dinner. Mikey Kolodzej of the Publican has dreamed up a modern interpretation of a good ole Wisconsin supper-club menu, and it’ll make you drool. Though not a born cheesehead, the Indianapolis native cut his culinary teeth in Madison, working under James Beard Award–winning chef Tory Miller at farm-to-table gem L’Etoile. Presumably, he found time to check out a few supper clubs before moving to Chicago in 2013 and joining the One Off Hospitality crew at Nico Osteria and working his way to his current gig.

Without further ado, please feast your eyes on some highlights from Kolodzej’s menu:
– Cheese curds with country-fried morel mushrooms and green goddess dressing
– Smoked Mt. Lassen trout with potatoes, ramps, asparagus, and pickled lemon
– Wedge salad with tahini, bacon, dates, and hazelnuts
– Fish fry with halibut cheek, pickles, and tonnato tartare
– Grasshopper sundae

Tickets are $95 and include drink pairings (brandy old-fashioneds, we hope!), courtesy of Quiote’s rock-star beverage director, Jay Schroeder. Get yours here.

Can’t make it this time? Bummer, but there’s another doozy coming June 18, when Blackbird executive sous chef Kyle Cottle presents a beach-inspired feast—where Hawaiian shirts are strongly encouraged.