Dinner in the Dark at Washington Place Bistro was about to round third and head for home, everyone at our table was wondering what Adam Bostwick's baseball-themed dessert was all about.
The monthly dinner, which benefits a different local charity each time it's staged, holds lots of secrets. Diners don't know who'll be cooking until they arrive or exactly what's on the menu until each course shows up at their table. The brainchild of chefs Jeff Jarrett (Amp 150), Brian Okin (most recently of Fountain) and Ellis Cooley is a lot of fun, especially as one attempts to decipher the clues on the evening's menu card.
The cow under Fabio Mota's name (Club Isabella) was self-explanatory, as was the fish under that of John Roskowksi (Washington Place Bistro). (Fair warning: It's unwise to even guess what the exact preparation will be, because you will be wrong. The beauty of Dinner in the Dark is the chefs get to stretch out and offer creations that are often vast departures from the cuisine for which they're known). But still we wondered: What was up with that baseball?
Take Me Out to the Ballpark
Stadium Mustard Ice Cream, Soft Pretzel Bread Pudding, Beer Caramel Sauce and Homemade Cracker Jack
Yes, please. I wasn't embarrassed to be the first at my table finished.
And, yes, the Stadium Mustard ice cream works — if you like Cleveland's famous condiment, that is. (And, yes, we know Bertman Ballpark Mustard is what's served at Progressive Field, but we're going to allow for a little artistic license.)
Bostwick was most recently a chef at the now-shuttered Melange. I'm just putting this out there to the universe: I'd love to see this on someone's summer menu ... soon.
Here was the rest of the evening's menu that led up to Bostwick's bases-clearing creation:
• Cocktail by Joe DeLuca and Tobin Northrup
Botany Collins: Watershed Gin, Vodka, Elderflower Liqueur, Cointreau, Rhubarb Bitters, Lemon, Herbs, Soda Water
• Amuse Bouche by Washington Place Bistro
Savory English Pea and and Coconut Cream Panna Cotta, Dressed Pea Tendrils, Black Truffle Honey
• Matt Anderson (Umami Asian Kitchen)
Cold-water Lobster, Vine-ripened Tomatoes, Baby Swiss Chard, Tomato Sriracha Vinaigrette
• Nate Barker (Welshfield Inn)
Seared Scallop, Michigan Fiddlehead Ferns, Pickled Beets, Onions and Shiitake with Star Anise, Chili and Peppercorn, Roasted Fennel, Micro Celery
• John Selick (Ahuja Medical Center)
Asparagus Salad with Sliced Radish, Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Truffle Oil
• John Roskowski (Washington Place Bistro)
Salt-crusted Bronzini, Smoked Red Pepper Coulis, Squid-ink Polenta, Micro Fennel, Mezuna, Basil
• Intermezzo by Washington Place Bistro
Durlan Mousse, Blueberry and Limoncello Gelee, Thyme Pastry Chip
• Fabio Mota (Club Isabella)
Rare Sirloin Ramen Noodles, Poached Egg, White Cabbage Slaw, Shredded Nori, Dried Bonito Broth
Jeff Jarrett announced at the end of the night that the next Dinner in the Dark is set for June 11 at Fat Casual BBQ in Macedonia and promised some "twists and turns" with this one. Visit the website for more information.