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Out and About: Richmond’s Underground Kitchen Pops Up in DC

About this time last year, I traveled down to Richmond, Virginia for one of my many weekend road trips. I loved my visit and found the city to be a hip destination with more than enough to keep this traveler occupied. But more than anything else, I discovered that Richmond had a huge food scene, with emerging chefs sharing bold flavors and a sense of flavor-fearlessness with a community of like-minded gourmands.

As a result of Richmond’s push-the-envelope culinary vibe, neighborhoods have been revitalized and trends have been developed. One of those trends is the Underground Kitchen.

The Underground Kitchen is a top-secret supper club that first began in Richmond, but has expanded to DC (LUCKY US!) The meal features 5-7 courses cooked by one of Richmond’s hottest chefs, with beverage pairings. Past featured chefs for Richmond events have included Mike Yavorsky of Belmont Food Shop, Owen Lane of The Magpie and Mike Ledesma of Patina.

Anyone can register for to be added to the e-mail list to be notified of upcoming dinners, but only the fast will score a ticket to this every-month-or-so event.  The email contains three pieces of information — the date of the dinner, the date + time when the tickets will go on sale + a clue about the next location. And in typical secret-dinner-club style, even if you are able to obtain a ticket, you won’t know the location until the day of the event, adding to the allure of the experience.

Tickets aren’t cheap, and run around $175 per person, but for the foodie elite (and fans of Richmond’s food scene) it’s a unique event that is pretty much one of a kind in the DC area.

Here’s a photo journey with my experience at the March Underground Kitchen event!

Underground Kitchen- Elevation Apartment in NOMA

The March event’s email teased “Elevate your senses” which proved to be a clue to the venue for the event– the Elevation apartments in NOMA.

 

Underground Kitchen- Lobby

Elevation’s lobby– so pretty!

 

Underground Kitchen- appetizer

Upon signing in, i was immediately handed a glass of wine and a date stuffed with manchego and wrapped in serrano ham. YUM!

 

Underground Kitchen- Menu

The evening’s menu, created by 23-year old chef Jacob Seagrave from Richmond’s Deco Ristorante. (Yes, 23 years old!)

 

Underground Kitchen- quail

First up, quail with duck crackling, segmented blood oranges, tender greens and a citrus vinaigrette.

 

Underground Kitchen- Lobster

Course #2: Butter-poached lobster salad with fried okra and spoon bread. I have to say that fried spoon bread was so delicious– I could have eaten a bowlful of just that!

 

Underground Kitchen- fish course

Course #3: Pan-seared Robalo. I had never had this fish before, but found it light and delicious– especially when paired with the spicy and fresh chile peppers and crisp jicama relish.

 

Underground Kitchen- Beef

Course #4: Surf and Turf with beef short rib and scallops over polenta.

 

Underground Kitchen- pork

Course #4: A porches roast from Virginia’s Lockwood Family Farms served with a horseradish chimichurri over a cauliflower puree.

 

Underground Kitchen- dessert

Course #5: Dessert was a sugared puff pastry served with a chèvre mousse (well, ice cream that had melted… but it was still delicious!) and a blackberry rhubarb compote.  

 

Underground Kitchen- view

After the meal was done, we were treated to a view from the Elevation rooftop… definitely a treat and an especially nice way to end a special meal!

 

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One Response to Out and About: Richmond’s Underground Kitchen Pops Up in DC

  1. Sonja April 14, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    I was at the same dinner! I was sitting off to the side and not at the main table so I guess we didn’t get to meet. I loved this meal and I wish we could turn back time and eat that smoked quail all over again… 🙂
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