Seasonal Pantry – My Review

Last night, Lauren and I had the honor of having dinner at Seasonal Pantry.  Some friends got us a gift certificate as a late wedding present.   During the day, Seasonal Pantry is a artisanal food shop, most of which is made in-house.  At night, they move out some of the display cases, setup, a table and host a supper club.

For those of you not familiar with the supper club model, you’re typically sitting down to a meal where you don’t know what the menu is going to be or it’s constantly changing, which was the case at Seasonal Pantry.   And, you’re sitting down with people you don’t know.   It’s very much an unconventional restaurant. And… it’s an ABSOLUTE blast.

The owner & chef of Seasonal Pantry is Chef Dan O’Brien.  You may have seen him in the first episode of this season’s Top Chef, where he was eliminated in the first episode.  In between one of the courses, it was fun hearing the inside scoop about Top Chef and what his experience was like.  I’m rooting for him for fan favorite!

The meal started with a quick amuse bouche.  It was pickled carrots with soy and peanuts.  Didn’t snap a picture but it was delicious start to the meal.

Oh and throughout the meal there was a red and white wine being poured.  The white was a Muscat and the red was a Cote Du Rhone.  Unfortunately, didn’t catch the rest of the details.

The first official course was a pumpkin curry soup with a hit of chili oil and micro greens served in these individual Le Creuset pots.  At the bottom of the pot was a coconut custard.    It had flavorful spice but not paralyzing.    The cool/sweet custard was really nice against the spice of the curry and chili oil.

The next course was a scallop ceviche.  The scallops were just slightly seared but then served cold.  There was chile peppers, avocado, and healthy hit of lime juice (I think.)   If you could get all the parts in one scoop, you had all these different sensations going on in one bite: creamy, spicy,  and sour.  It was delicious.

Next was fresh tagliatelle with a house onion powder, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and goat cheese.  Chef Dan shared how they had spent 3 days trying to bake the onion powder into the tagliatelle but it didn’t work out so they scrapped.  (Wow, 3 days making pasta and you scrap it?!?) This was one of my favorite courses.  It tasted like there’d be meat in the pasta but it was meatless.   Had a heavy onion flavor, which was DELICIOUS.

This was salmon, pearl onions, mushrooms, parsnip puree in a beurre rouge sauce.   I’m not sure how they cooked the salmon but it was different from I’d ever seen it before.  The whole place was delicious.  The gave us a roll with this course, which I used to slop of every last morsel of that sauce.   Butter-based sauces FTW!

The finale was a grapefruit parfait.   It was funny.  Chef Dan gave the helm of dessert making to a veteran pastry chef.  She toils in her kitchen and Dan lets her do whatever she wants.   I don’t think Dan knows what’s going to be for dessert until it comes up into the dining room and he’s always blown away.  I was blown away with this.    There was multiple layers of deliciousness that I can’t even begin to describe.

As a going away present, Chef Dan presented us all with a wrapped chocolate chip cookie, which was sweet & delicious.  Not the greatest chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had but solid.  Lauren actually challenged Chef Dan to a cookie bake off, which he accepted.  I’ll be reporting back later on how that works out.

All in all, this was an amazing meal.  It surprises me that you don’t hear about Chef Dan O’Brien in the same vein that you hear names like Chef Jose Andres or Chef RJ Cooper.  He certainly deserves being in that kind of company.

Lauren and I are anxious to go back to Seasonal Pantry for some of his many other offerings, like fried chicken and donuts.

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