So it’s Sunday— and I typically never post on Sundays— but today called for a spontaneous weekend post because we went to this EPIC pop up dinner with Snap Pea Underground on Friday and it was literally one of the coolest culinary experiences I’ve EVER had.
So of course I needed to share it with you lovely people today!
If you follow me on snapchat, you’ve already got a sneak peek from our incredible night, so just bear with me through the repeats.
So first of all— what is this whole pop-up dinner?? Basically, a local chef in the Raleigh-Durham area puts on an Underground Pop Up Restaurant Night at a surprise location in the area once a month and designs a new 9-course-menu specific to that special venue. The attendees get an email 24 hours before the dinner with the address of the surprise location, bring a bottle of wine, and prepare for the night of their lives!
Our surprise location was the Sarah P. Duke Gardens— one of our favorite spots in Durham— and it was absolutely magical! The area was decked out with long tables and market lights right next to the coy pond, one of the most picturesque areas in the garden.
When we first arrived, we poured big glasses of red wine and wandered through the gardens, enjoying all of the stunning flowers and that awesome ambiance!
Once the “cocktail hour” was finished, we sat down for our long-anticipated meal! The menu was inspired by the Duke Gardens themselves, with each dish dedicated to a specific area of the garden. Better yet, all of the ingredients were locally sourced and the menu was entirely pescatarian (total win!).
YOU GUYS. I can’t put into words how special this menu was. The dishes were unbelievably unique— between interesting flavor combinations, pops of unexpected spice, and the fresh, seasonal ingredients, it was unlike any culinary experience I’ve ever had before! The chef put so much creativity and passion into each ingredient of every dish, and it was so cool hearing about his inspiration for every choice.
Unfortunately, it did start to rain a bit during the middle of our meal, but we all came prepared with umbrellas, so were just created our own little umbrella tent and kept the fun going! Don’t mind the wetness in most of our pics below 😉
So here’s the menu for the evening:
// simple roasted carrots with pecan dust //
// fried egg salad with the most incredible spicy fish sauce dressing i’ve ever had. this dish looks nothing like it tastes. nothing. //
// a gorgeous spring soup with a “mess of peas”, orecchiette, and parmesan broth //
// thick, crusty market toast with morel mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns //
// whey grits with purple mulberry and fermented ramps //
// moscato cake with rose gel, grapefruit curd, pistachio & cardamom glass //
// homemade marshmallows: kefir lime leaf, hibiscus flower, and vanilla bean //
Nights like tonight make me so grateful that we live in such a unique, cultural city with so much community. These three hours we spent enjoying this delicious food and wine were made even better by the wonderful people we met there. People from such different walks of life, all coming together because of their love of food and their community— it was a pretty beautiful thing.
If you live in the Triangle area or ever visit Raleigh-Durham, definitely look into Snap Pea Underground before you go. It was such an unforgettable dining experience and I sincerely hope we get the chance to attend another one in the future!
Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday everyone 🙂