Live Shots: Stag Dining "Speakeasy" Clandestine Dinner, 01/29/2011

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These days, it's hip to be in the know of well-kept secrets. OK, maybe that's confusing, but what I'm trying to say is there's an ever-growing list of underground events going on in San Francisco, but if you don't know about them, well, than you better start getting on it. Now. I'll give you a hint. Secret restaurants are popping up everywhere and it's the kind of eating experience you don't want to miss out on.

Case in point: this past weekend, Stag Dining Group hosted a clandestine dinner at a mysterious locale, which included a myriad interesting dishes, from Japanese lobster custard to skewered duck hearts in mole sauce.

The chefs, Ted Fleury and Jordan Grosser, were bustling in the kitchen to get six courses out to almost eighty people at the same time, while Cocktail Lab was busy concocting a new libation for every course, filled with everything from chili peppers to flaming cinnamon sticks. And boy, my drinking habits are not up to snuff these days … I could not keep up!

The food was tasty and carefully crafted, and I especially loved dessert, a thick creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a see-through thin olive-oily piece of cinnamon toast. My only crit note was the lack of carbs in the meal. I definitely felt the need for one dish that might be considered “hearty.”

Stag Dining is comprised of a bunch of affable dude-bros who have been friends for years and decided to collaborate to create a supper club. Beyond the delectable delights, I also loved that they did a spiel about their values, right down to their handmade recycled menus and to the fact that eating sustainably is really becoming a must. Sometimes people overlook the “spiel” -- but I'm one of those people who is constantly giving them and feel that it's so important to educate whenever possible. (My broken record spiels include: “Check your bathroom products … they might contain parabens!” “Non-organic strawberries taste like crap … and can kill you!” “Did you know that health care in other countries is way better than in America? Write a letter!” It's something people still do!)

So folks, now you're a little in the know for something well worth being in the know about, start exploring some of these hidden edible treasures, which are sure to tantalize and tickle your taste buds.