Sunday, February 27, 2011

Culinary-Hide-and-Seek: Metti una sera a cena supper club Berlin

This post is about my third supper club experience. I am so sold on the concept. Every single evening was unique, interesting, tasty, funky and different. This time it was Metti una sera a cena, a supper club in Berlin by an Italian couple who frequently travel between Venetia and Berlin. Metti una sera a cena translates into 'let's get together and have dinner' and I think it is the best way to describe the concept of supper clubs: sure, it is about the food - if you were not interested in food, you would've not come in the first place - but it is also about meeting new people and having a great time with a group of people you might have never met otherwise. It is sort of like a lucky bag, as you never know what to expect, and, like the lovely host said, it is sort of like facebook in real life! 
There were 8 guests which is a perfect size as you all get to share one table and get the opportunity to talk to each and everyone, and mind you, there is always so much to talk about over a dinner. There were people from the US, from Switzerland, from Great Britain and from Berlin, and English was the language of the evening. There was expertise in lots of interesting fields, a lot of humor and just a general love to talk about food. Restaurant tips were swapped ('I am pretty sure it's called Bora') and lifetime-dreams (the farm!!!) shared. And last but not least, I learned what it is like to have dinner with Stephen Hawking. All in all, a great bunch of people!

But this is a food blog right? So what about the courses served then? Well, I am kind of running out of supperlatives, it feels like I already used them all during my last posts on supper clubs. It really amazes me what two laymen working in a tiny kitchen can achieve! The quality of my photos however also amaze me, but in a negative way. Sorry about that, for whatever reason, I am not satisfied with the pictures I took and they  really don't do the lovely arranged dishes justice.
The dinner started with an Aperol which, just like the wine, I had to skip that evening (Note to future-me: make sure to be able to drink alcohol next time you go to Metti una sera a cena!!!). 
The appetizer was a stockfish cream on croutons. The croutons were perfectly crisp, and the stockfish cream fluffy and balanced in flavor. The drizzles of olive oil were impecable, after all the chefs are Italian. 

The first course was a Leek and Saffron Risotto with Gorgonzola Cheese. I make risotto quite often myself, as I like its texture a lot, but boy do I have to sharpen my risotto skills! This must have been softest and smoothest and silkiest risotto I ever had, as a matter of fact, I think this was my favorite dish that evening. The hosts really put a lot of effort into choosing their products, so the gorgonzola was actually bought in Italy and brought to Berlin by the chefs. I wish I could make monthly trips to Italy just for grocery shopping...

Schie con Polenta was the second course, a dish which gave away the home region of the hosts, as it is a dish typical for Venetia. The briny shrimp were laced with garlic and accompanied the creamy polenta nicely. 

As an intermezzo, we were in for a treat of parmesan ice cream. Here is another great thing about supper clubs which my sister who was with me pointed out: Supper clubs give you the opportunity to eat and enjoy dishes which you might have not necessarily ordered from a restaurant menu. Raise your hand if you would have ordered parmesan ice cream! See? You get the point. A wild estimate of 70 % of the guests probably wouldn't have gone for the parmesan ice cream were they to choose an ice cream at a restaurant, but all of us were positively surprised by the ice cream at the supper club. Ice cream with unusual flavors vs. guests: 1:0!

The dessert was Sicilian cannoli filled with mascarpone cream with sprinkles of orange zests and lavender blossoms accompanied by a fruit tartare, made of amongst other fruit Kiwi which, again, were imported straight from Italy! 

Grappa (again, I missed out this time) and coffee was served to round of the dinner, and finally, the hosts were also able to get out of the kitchen and share a drink with their guests.

  copyright of all photos j.

In case you hadn't already guessed by the lovely arranged food, the hosts are both artists, and the dinner takes place in their living room cum studio cum gallery which makes a lovely and inspiring setting for a dinner. Cooking, after all, should also be considered an art!

Thanks to the hosts for a unique and tasy evening, and thanks to the other guests for contributing to making this dinner a night to remember!

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