Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dinner in the Dark- Sterle's

I haven't blogged about one of my favorite Cleveland food events in quite some time. Dinner in the Dark is a monthly dinner series, that is chef-driven and a totally unique experience each time for event attendees.

Dinner in the Dark brings together six different chefs each month, cooking together, often for the first time, at a different restaurant. The participating chefs and the menu for the evening are not revealed until the guests arrive, keeping them ‘in the dark’. It is not literally in the dark, which is the most common question that I've been asked.

They encourage diners to let go of your inhibitions, and to just enjoy great food and wine from some of Cleveland’s best chefs. Each course is complemented by a carefully selected wine or artisan cocktail. The other great thing about each month's event is that a portion of the ticket proceeds benefit a local charity chosen by the participating chefs that month.

I had been a while since we had attended one of these events, but Mr. H and I went last month to the event at Graffiti: A Social Kitchen, and then we just attended the June dinner at Sterle's Country House last week.

The chef line-up was exciting, because I hadn't had food from most of them.
I love that this event exposes me to chefs that I may not have had food from before, and occasionally, I get to try a product that I've never had too.

Like lamb's quarters in the first course of this month's Dinner in the Dark, from Chef Myron Blackmon from Sterle's.
This leafy weed can taste almost meat-like. Most of us probably have this growing in our yard, and we cut it down. It paired well with this chef's play on breakfast.

But, the event had kicked off with an amuse from Chef Walter Hyde. He described this bite-sized pork slider as the result of a crazy, creative chef conversation. Ah, I'd love to be a fly on the wall sometimes. 
Yes, that is a cheese ball cut in half to act as the bun. That alone is impressive.

Other courses included a beautiful scallop from Chef Matt Barnes at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (the charity of choice for June).
A summery tomato salad from Patrick Fisher of Sara's Place.
I would never think to pair raw tuna with tomato, but it all worked really well together.

Then we had some blue marlin from Danny Schutte at the about-to-open Cafe 55 (as part of the Hub 55 Project).
The last savory course was duck from Ameer Pettit at Sterle's.
The meal ended with dessert from Courtney Bonning of Bon Bon Cafe in Ohio City.
See, nothing "scary" on this menu, and you are not dining in pitch-blackness. This monthly series might push you a little out of your comfort zone, but in the best way possible. If you're going to try foods that you haven't had before, or even just testing your comfort with letting go of control in the dining room, then this event series is for you.

You can have a truly unique dining experience, in the hands of our area's best chefs, while knowing that a portion of ticket sales is going to support a different local charity each month.

Next month, Dinner in the Dark heads to M Cellars in Geneva. You can purchase tickets online here for the July 13th dinner. Only 44 tickets remain, so don't wait! If you can't make it to the July dinner, stay tuned on their Facebook page for future event dates.

Nothing to disclose. I enjoy attending and supporting these events on my own. No affiliation or compensation is exchanged.