Last night, I took a break from my job as social media maven of Epiphany to actually sit at a table, instead of the bar, and
have The Professor pay for dinner, instead of just leaving a generous tip in exchange for my services.
It was a benefit dinner after all.
Seated family style–with my “family” quite unexpectedly including my new boss and his wife—
we everyone but me indulged in local brews from Druid City Brewing Company (that Porter is a delicious 9.0% killer) and a five course small plates menu, highlighting locally grown produce from a number of my favorite farmers’ market friends.
The eggplant marmalade, with caramelized onions, shaved Parmesan (or some other equally sharp and yummy cheese), and fried peppers was a perfectly balanced sweet, salty, and umami experience. I did, in fact, ask for seconds.
Seconds were also required for the lightly fried okra (which The Professor called tempura), with cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, and a pork jus.
Boss’s wife: What is on it?
Me: Pork Jus. Jus! Essentially…pork juice.
Boss’s wife: I know what jus is.
But that came last.
In between, we were treated to roasted cabbage with peanuts, plums, mint, and what must have been magic angel dust because The Professor ate all of his, even after The Boss’s Wife said it reminded her of kimchi. (This, of course, was nothing but a ringing endorsement in my opinion. And we know anything with cabbage that comes out of the Epiphany kitchen is bound to be good.)
And then the…“THE CARROTS.”
Yes, I announced them to the table as “the carrots,” because we know by now that Chefs Tres Jackson and Joel Frederick have some sort of culinary power that turns carrots into a texture you have never before experienced. Pairing them with avocado, radishes, pepitas, and–no joke, this is what I was told–“sauce” (of some ilk) was genius and happiness and rabbity fun.But the Vitamin A kept coming, in the form of another vegetable that the good people at Epiphany consistently improve upon in surprising additions and preparations: the sweet potato. I thought last year’s iteration on the menu was good, but this year they’re roasting them in hay, adding black garlic, smoked (yes smoked) yogurt, and a sweet almond raisin chutney. Reinventing for Thanksgiving? If someone can help me figure out how to roast hay and smoke yogurt, absolutely.
The only thing missing was dessert…but I don’t begrudge them that in the slightest. (One might say the Druid City Northporter is actually thick and caramelly enough to be called dessert.) But if I HAD to pick the perfect end, it would have been the Beet Cremeaux, which would have fit into the vegetable theme….and also is the most deliciously surprising, tastes-like-red-velvet-flan, how-could-you-ever-want-to-eat anything-else-again, treat on the dessert menu.
So if you missed it last night–or you’ve yet to go to the restaurant–make sure you save room for it next time.