Going Underground for a Good Meal

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I had the luck to attend one of chef David Anthony Temple's Underground Dinners. Temple began his career in Louisiana and traveled around the world before settling here in Dallas, where he started working with Tom Spicer. His passion is using the best local and regional ingredients to make dishes that people both enjoy and are surprised by. These days he's focusing on these Underground Dinners, which have changing menus and a secret location.

The event I attended was a nine-course chef's tasting menu highlighting seasonal and rare foods. The theme was travel. "I will be taking your palate on a trip through the cities that influenced my cooking," Temple explained. "Each course will be a representation of my time spent in that city and my favorite dish in that place."

Here's a lowdown of what was served:

Birth: Baton Rouge and New Orleans
Crab AuGratin with Tiger's Blood and Garden Chive

Child: Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Pork Belly with Bay Scallop and Basil Oil

Teenage: Shreveport
Crawfish Gumbo with Trinity Ragout

Growth: Dallas
Spiceman's Salad Greens with Plum Thia Vin

Glamour: Las Vegas
Seared Lamb and Yellowfoot Shrooms with Cous Cous Carbonara

Freedom: San Diego
Fresh Uni of Coronado Island with Green Tea Rice and Wasabi

Border Jumping: Tijuana, Mexico
Pork Tamale with Sweet Corn Puree

Paradise: Hawaii
Sashimi of Hamachi with Hamachi Poke

Present: East Ellum
PB&J Pistachio Butter and Raspberry Crisp with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

The food was stellar. I think my favorite was the lamb, although the pork tamale and dessert were pretty tough to forget too. Perhaps even better than the food was the whole experience.

You get an email announcing the dinner and how many people they can take that night. You email back that you intend to go and once it's full, it's full. Temple doesn't reveal the location until the last minute and then swears you to secrecy.

The setting turned out to be really cool, with a sort of an art gallery, courtyard, loft vibe going. I know it's a crap shoot, but we lucked out people wise and ended up going out with our dinner companions and newfound friends after the event because we enjoyed their company so much.

It's BYOB and cash only, and the menus are at Temple's whim, so it's definitely for food adventurers only.

If you want to try a less secret Temple dinner and do a good deed at the same time, you might want to check out his Slow Food Dinner on April 26. It'll be a five-course tasting menu focusing on fresh, seasonal, local vegetables paired with fish. Like all of his dinners, the event is BYOB. Tickets are $75 a person and there are only 30 tickets available.

All proceeds go to Slow Food Dallas, a nonprofit group that "educates people about how their food choices affect the rest of the world." The national campaign has more than 80,000 members all over the world. Here in Dallas, they've gotten the land for a community garden in 5-Points and are now working on a site plan and logistics like renting equipment to clear the land, how they're going to water it, etc.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting here.

Follow City of Ate on Twitter: @cityofate.

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6 comments
Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Dang, thought I was reading about some foody stuff...then a ding dang writing composition class broke out.

Gordon Rives
Gordon Rives

I'm glad I was not the only one who saw all the red flags...

Kimberly
Kimberly

He doesn't pay taxes or have any city permits. He owrs everyone, sells weed, and its at Exposition Galkery. Love that you condone this POS.

JonnyDallas
JonnyDallas

"These days he's focusing on these Underground Dinners, which have changing menus and a secret location." Poorly constructed sentence. -5 points.

"Los Vegas" = Really? Don't try to blame it on the spell checker. -10 points

"I know it's a crap shoot, but we lucked out people wise and ended up going out with our dinner companions and newfound friends after the."= After the what? Failure to proof your work is the likely culprit here, I can tell from the rest of your piece that you are at least capable of forming almost complete sentences. -20points

I'm going to stop now. I tried to read more, but...we are already at 65 and it would just get worse.

The idea for this story is great. The execution of this story is terrible.

Borborygmus
Borborygmus

Did you pay sales tax on your meal? Of course not. Cheater.

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

I'm generally pretty forgiving about blog posts, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what the hell the author is getting to here. Like "-65" poster above, I gave up before finishing the whole post. Even skipping to the end didn't help as the last sentence reads "Tickets can be purchased by visiting ." Tickets? Visiting? What?

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