While some restaurants take Mondays off, others take the opportunity to offer special dinners on that typically slow day. Here are a couple of upcoming Monday-night feasts that will have you looking forward to what's typically the worst day of the week.
"A Tribe Called Betts" Wine Dinner
Beast + Bottle
719 East 17th Avenue
On Monday, June 20, Beast + Bottle chef Paul Reilly and co-owner Aileen Reilly will welcome master sommelier Richard Betts for a hip-hop addition to their Musical Chairs wine-dinner series. This round will feature the songs of A Tribe Called Quest as a tribute to the band's Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor, who passed away earlier this year.
"If I came to the table with one idea," says Betts, "it was that we not do another dumb, boring wine dinner like everyone else is doing."
And that's just fine with Paul and Aileen, who have previously thrown dinners with soundtracks from David Bowie, the Beatles and the Notorious B.I.G. "We've always had this underlying musical theme," Paul points out. "The idea is to make wine dinners a little more fun and a little less stuffy."
Betts, who had never met Reilly in person but had enjoyed dinners at Beast + Bottle before they cooked up this idea, came up with the Tribe Called Quest theme. Reilly says he and his team tasted beverages first before writing the menu. "It was kind of backwards for us," he says of the process. "Then we played the music in the kitchen."
Betts is more than a wine expert with the top distinction from the Court of Master Sommeliers; he also owns Sombra Mezcal and Astral Tequila — so he has included pairings with two of his products in addition to wines from New Zealand, California and Australia. Reilly's menu ranges from roasted oysters and short rib with pepper relish to salt-cod ravioli to ash-roasted bison coulotte.
The dinner is $110 per person (not including tax and tip); reservations can be made by calling the restaurant. For a complete menu, see the Beast + Bottle Facebook page.
Bad Apple Pop-Up Dinner
The Inventing Room
2020 Lawrence Street
Chef Jon Mendoza has been running Bad Apple, his pop-up dinner and catering company, for the better part of four years now. He and his crew will be taking over the Inventing Room, chef Ian Kleinman's sci-fi dessert bar, on Monday, June 27, for a five-course dinner beginning at 6 p.m. Mendoza, who has previously worked at Uncle and Opus, is a passionate forager with a penchant for putting wild Colorado flavors on a plate. "This is an edible world if we're educated enough to know what's out there," he explains. Mendoza has experimented with using foraged foods in high-end cuisine for years, but he says he wants his food to come across as no-fuss. "I want everything to look like it's not manipulated," he says, "like it's something you could make at home. But then when you taste it, you think, 'I definitely couldn't make this at home.'"
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The combination of classical culinary technique has yielded past platings with ingredients like cattail soubise and pickled green strawberries. Mendoza says he has been following Kleinman's high-tech culinary career for years and hopes to schedule regular Monday night pop-up dinners at the Inventing Room going forward. This inaugural meal, with alcohol included, is $75; tickets, limited to fifteen guests, can be purchased on the Bad Apple website. Here's the menu for the Bad Apple pop-up:
Garden crudite and umami butter.
Strawberry gazpacho, spring relish with succulents and savory granola.
Scallop crudo, dill ash and cucumber.
Rack of lamb in dandelion butter, garden gremolata, milk and alliums.
Summer berry mille feuille, lemon verbena mousse, chevre ice cream and sweet balsamic.