One Thursday a month, the Design District’s new pop-up concept by Michael Schwartz, ella, stays open late to feature a pop-up dinner by its award-winning owner, playfully called ella after.
“The cafe is closed at night and we have this great space, so I thought why not do some dinners? It's like the whole restaurant becomes a chef's table,” says Schwartz.
The first dinner earlier this summer was such a hit that the restaurant group decided to make it a monthly occurrence. The four-course menu changes every month, with Schwartz creating and testing many of the dishes in his own personal kitchen.
“It's turned into a testing ground of sorts. I've been doing a lot of that in my new kitchen at home so that's been really fun,” Schwartz adds. “Especially figuring out how that translates to the constraints of the line at ella!”
For this month’s dinner on Thursday, August 27 he is utilizing the flavors of late summer on the menu. The meal will begin with a lentil fritter with watercress sauce and creme fraiche amuse bouche; followed by roasted turnips with bottarga and white miso; pompano a la plancha with lardon and green clam sauce; Slow Braised Lamb Shoulder with apricots, green olive, yogurt and sprouted grains; and for dessert, hempseed baklava with stewed peaches and saffron ice cream. Each course comes with a creative wine pairing by the Genuine Hospitality Group’s Beverage Director, Eric Larkee.
As for his inspiration on the rotating menu, Schwartz says, “There really isn't a theme dictating it, other than things we want to eat and exploring that in a tasting menu format.”
The dinners are $75 per person with seatings available in two-hour time slots. Tickets for the dinner must be purchased in advance at brownpapertickets.com.
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