Restaurant pop-ups are popping up all over town. These one-night-only events are a fantastic way to experience new and exciting menu items, often prepared by guest chefs. Café Gratitude on Larchmont has been hosting a series of unique dinner pop ups that I’ve covered for the Buzz, each one a great chance to sample innovative ideas in the plant-based cooking world.
I was lucky, along with Buzz co-publisher Patty Lombard, to be invited to Café Gratitude on Larchmont this past Wednesday evening, to experience the latest in the series; a Latin-inspired dinner pop-up prepared by Café Gratitude Executive Chef Seizan Dreux Ellis and Gracias Madre Executive Chef Diane Briscoe. Now that’s a dynamic food duo!
Wow! Just Wow!
Café Gratitude was transformed to what felt like an intimate supper club for the evening, with lights dimmed and candles lit on each table. Upon arriving at the host desk we were greeted with the usual warmth and kindness of the staff and then handed a gold envelope that contained a restaurant gift card. Sweet! Seated in what our fabulous waiter Brad referred to as the cozy corner, we had a birds eye view of the restaurant and the guests. There was a lively vibe as we all waited what promised to be a fabulous dining experience, judging from the preprinted menu set on the table.
Once all of the tables were seated (this was a sold out event) both chefs came out to greet us to share some of the details of the menu, in particular Chef Briscoe’s birthplace of Columbia as an inspiration for the dinner. Then Chef Ellis instructed us on the proper way to eat corn ribs; a vegan version of baby back ribs and dinner was on its way.
With the four-course meal, we had a choice of beverage pairings, either wine or non-alcoholic, with the first three courses. Patty and I chose one of each and then shared so that we could have the full experience. From the first spicy bite of the corn ribs amuse bouche to the last creamy morsel of flan, this was a dining experience as good as any, vegan or not. With every bite Patty and I oohed and aahed at the well-crafted flavors and seasonings and the wines that were perfectly matched to enhance each course. We both agreed that we hope these items will become a part of the regular menu.
If you’ve been missing out on these fabulous evenings so close to home, here’s the inside scoop on how to get in the know.
1- Become a Gratification Rewards member. It’s free of charge and lets you earn rewards points towards meals and exclusive discounts. If you allow access to your email you will be the first to know and have early access to special events such as this.
2- Follow Café Gratitude on social media.
3- Stop in for a delicious meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner, any day of the week and ask a staff member about upcoming events.
Thank you again, Café Gratitude and Chefs Ellis and Briscoe for a divine evening on the Boulevard.
About Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.
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