Sunday Dinner Club chef/owners Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp welcomed us in to their private dinner club with open arms, and we left with full stomachs. The four-course meal was paired with beverages from Vinic Wine in Evanston, hand-selected by owner Sandeep Ghaey especially for Les Dames.
Once up the steep staircase into the second-floor dining space above the delectable Honey Butter Fried Chicken (also owned by Cikowski and Kulp), guests were greeted with a welcome drink, the “Haroset,” a tasty blend of Virtue Cider, Dead Arm Shiraz and Bellota acorn liqueur (from my recent Spanish trip), served cold with a cinnamon stick garnish. This started off the Jewish-themed menu with a kick!
After a debriefing on the history of Sunday Dinner Club by our hosts, we enjoyed the piping hot “liquid gold”(as Ina called it): Homemade Chicken Soup with organic chicken breast, root vegetables and fresh egg noodles. The second course was “Lox and Bagels,” or in this case, silky smooth House-Cured Salmon with everything cream cheese, preserved lemons, radish sprouts and BroBagel chips. These two courses paired beautifully with the Bertrand Crèmant de Limoux Rosé ($16/bottle), a crisp, clean bubbly.
The entrée was the SDC version of Cholent (aka “Jewish Cassoulet”): braised Slagel Farms brisket with locally sourced barley, cranberry beans, fall veggies and fresh beet horseradish, gilded with a farm egg. The wine was the Chilean 2011 Casa Donoso Clos Centenaire, a cab/carmenère/cab franc blend ($15.29/bottle), which had just the right jammy heft for the soulful beef preparation.
The sweetest was saved for last: coiled Apricot Rugelach paired with Halvah Ice Cream and sesame crunch, paired with the 2011 Gunther Schlink Desire Beerenauslese Ortega ($10/375 ml bottle) dessert wine.
After everyone signed up for the SDC mailing list—now over 6000 strong—we ventured out into the frigid night, sated with delicious food and wine. L’Chaim! To Life!