Introducing… Chicago summer!
It was a little late to the party this year, but it still showed up. The rest of us were hanging in the cold and rain until mid-July, getting ever so slightly drunk, until summer made its fashionably late appearance. Its easily forgivable, since it arrived with everything in season at the farmers market in tow. Oh summer, you always know how to make an entrance.
That said, we prefer to wait until the peak of produce season to schedule our annual vegetarian dinners. Because the focus of the food is not only that the dishes are vegetarian, but that they are also vegetable and fruit focused, showing off nature’s most beautiful season for produce.
Starting with chilled melon soup. Not just any melon soup, but summer melon soup. If you haven’t had the opportunity to taste a perfectly in season melon, we want to rectify that immediately. Store bought melons cannot compare to the juicy, sweet flesh of market melons. Blended with sweet peppers, garnished with little orbs of melon, and dolloped with sweet savory honey yogurt, this soup is summer food lovin’ at its finest.
Ratatouille is a classic SDC dish, one of our favorites for sure. This rendition sandwiches between oozy robiola nonna nonni cheese and the ever-amazing Cellar Door Provisions bread. Honestly, there’s not much else to say about this course other than it will be a stellar experience for your mouth and soul.
Israeli couscous falls somewhere between couscous and pasta in terms of texture. It’s unique chew makes it a good vessel for carrying caramelized mushrooms and a soft cooked farm egg. A drizzle of extra good extra virgin olive oil finishes with finesse.
Who doesn’t want to eat polenta fries? Don’t answer that question because we don’t want to know. Instead, come eat polenta fries with us! The filling is flaked with grated sarvecchio cheese, and the crispy fries top market lettuces with pimenton dressing, fresh corn, and cilantro. Think the best elotes salad you’ve ever had plus polenta fries. Who doesn’t want to eat that??
Ah, falafel. After ten years of operating SDC, we’ve yet to serve you. Menu bucket list, checked off. Our version of the classic chickpea fritter is plated with good fixin’s: creamy hummus, pickled fennel, fresh plums, heirloom cucumbers, and tangy green goddess. And to sop up all that goodness: bonus za’atar fry bread, which is a major upgrade from pita bread in our humble opinions.
PB&J is something of a beloved thing for SDC desserts. For those of you who remember the peanut butter ice cream cookie sandwich and grape jam craze from many years back, the Veggie Dinners 2015 dessert promises to live up to its predecessor. Behold! Concord grape baklava and peanut butter ice cream. Think layers of wafer thin filo dough, peanuts, honey, and concord grape jam crowned with peanut butter ice cream. Introducing… dessert heaven.