Issue 30

Supper Club: Old Market Progressive Dinner

Supper Club: Old Market Progressive Dinner

Publisher’s Note: Omega Omega Omega (Tri Omega), the culinary fraternity at the Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College, strives to provide students with opportunities to apply and develop their skills through unique experiences. One of these experiences is the Supper Club. The Supper Club selects a restaurant once a quarter and works with the chef of the restaurant to provide a unique dining experience to challenge the palate and minds of the students with the unique ingredients and techniques found in that chef’s kitchen. The article and photography for this article are also done by students.

A progressive dinner in the Old Market was the theme of the 2015 fall quarter Supper Club. M’s Pub, Le Bouillon and V. Mertz each created a three course meal, complete with wine pairings and a dessert. Three groups of diners started at a different restaurant and rotated to the next, which allowed everyone to eat a course at each establishment. The buzz of excitement was in the air as this was the first time many had dined at these restaurants. They were more than ready to see what the chefs had created for them.

M’s Pub, is located at 422 South 11th Street. Open since 1972, it is the oldest restaurant in the Old Market. The interior is fresh and bright with a warm welcoming staff.

The first course was a beautiful charcuterie board laid out on the table with smoked salmon mousseline, duck prosciutto, Moody bleu cheese and pickled vegetables. The mousseline was creamy and smooth with light flavors that didn’t overshadow the salmon. The peppered duck prosciutto was a bit smoky with a touch of spice from the pepper and melted in your mouth. Moody bleu cheese had a little smoke and was a bit firmer in texture, which made it a perfect choice for a lot of the creamier components on the board. Pickled Brussels sprouts, briny olives, okra and peppers balanced it all perfectly.

The second course was an escargot pot pie. Inside the flakey puff pastry was a rich, creamy herb sauce, smoky escargot and succulent shrimp.

The third course was a lamb chop and ground lamb sausage with pickled peaches, couscous and a yogurt dipping sauce. The lamb was rich in flavor, cooked and seasoned perfectly and placed on a bed of creamy couscous. A pickled peach and cardamom carrots added the right amount of tartness to the rich dish.

Dessert was a port Concord grape tart with crème anglaise and edible flowers. The grape was a bright balance of tart and sweet that paired perfectly with the lush crème anglasie. The edible sugared flowers were a beautiful touch.

Le Bouillon, located at 1017 Howard Street, is an artsy, light, eclectic space with a Parisian atmosphere that focuses on the comfort food of France.

The first course served was an Imperial wagyu steak tartare and socca. The tartare was very flavorful, with a smooth and silky mouthfeel and a surprisingly light horseradish note. The pickled onions and parsley crema were a nice balance to the lush beef. The soccas (chickpea crepe chips) were a nice crisp vehicle to enjoy the entire dish in one luxurious bite.

The second course was a Parisian gnocchi with roasted lamb, fall vegetable and parsley. The gnocchi was made from Rosa Maria goat cheese and pate a choux pastry which was light and fluffy. The carrots and parsnips were crisp and sweet while the roasted lamb was tender and rich.

The third course was called pot on fire, which is a variation of stew made with wagyu beef, duck liver and fall vegetables. The wagyu short ribs were hearty and perfectly tender. Foie gras (duck liver) added a luxurious richness to the dish. The carrots, Brussels sprouts and leeks lent a nice vegetal note while the polenta added a creaminess to the stew.

Dessert was a variety of pastries that included madeleines, financiers, rich chocolate tarts and lush raspberry cheesecake. Each of these pastries were a delectable ending to a delicious meal.

V. Mertz, located at 1022 Howard Street, is a fine dining French restaurant tucked in the heart of The Old Market Passageway. It has an intimate atmosphere with some of the best service in Omaha. In addition to the three courses and dessert, V. Mertz also offered an amuse bouche with a play on jalapeño cheddar popcorn, a tasting of the previous course and an intermezzo of cantaloupe sorbet with olive oil and nasturtium juice.

The first course was a three bean salad with tomato jam and ricotta cheese. The beans were local and very fresh. The ricotta was rich and creamy and added a perfect texture to the salad while the tomato jam added a wonderful acidic note.

The second course was a stunning salmon with melted heirloom tomato. The coffee rub added a bit of smoky depth to the savory, fatty salmon which was perfectly cooked. The melted tomato, cucumber and micro mint gave a beautiful acidic balance to counteract the rich fish.

The third course was a maple smoked duck with bleu cheese, dates and parsnips. The crisp savory duck was very tender and paired well with the sweet fig and date compote. Parsley root purée added a fresh, herbal flavor to the dish.

Dessert was a play on s’mores with toasted marshmallow ice cream, ember caramel and hibiscus flowers. The ice cream was beyond creamy with cocoa nibs that added a textural contrast. The smoky caramel was reminiscent of a campfire which paid homage to its inspiration.

As the meal came to an end, the students met up to discuss the creations they had enjoyed and it was unanimous that each and every restaurant outdid themselves.  M’s Pub, Le Bouillon and V. Mertz all gained new customers that night from the students and guests who dined with them during this special supper club.

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