We went to Beej's first-ever underground dinner last March and had a blast, but weren't able to make the others he held during the year (he hosts one quarterly-ish).
The dinner was in a super-cool location: the 2640 Co-op on St. Paul Street. Located in an old Methodist church, the co-op is a partership between the church and Red Emma's bookstore. The space was big and sort of crumbling - it felt like eating inside a semi-ruined church. Which you don't find much in America.
I didn't take any pictures during dinner, but I do have the menu, and it was fantastic:
Roasted Chestnuts with Parmesan and Rosemary
Wild Jonah Crab
Tsar Niccolai Estate Caviar
Hudson Valey Foie Gras
Red Pear and Veuve Cliquot Jam
Pistachios, Challah, Petite Mache - Nasturium
Pan-Roasted Sea Scallop
Butter Poached Lobster
White Truffle Cream
Flaming Lucky Sorrel
Local Apple Cider Granita with Calvados Macerated Apple
Butterut Squash Maplebrook Ricotta Ravioli
California Grapes (Roasted)
Mussini Riserva Balsamic
"Stuffing" Bread Pudding
Bowtie Brussels Sprouts
Black Pepper Crusted Waygu Short Rib
Karate Mustard and Cognac Pan Sauce
Salted Caramel Cake
Chai Ice Cream
Vanilla Poached Pear
With the first few courses, we drank a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne. When we moved on to the Turducken, we switched over to a 2005 Chateau Haut-Bergey that we've had sitting in our cellar for a few years. We're not sure if we bought it or if it was a gift, but either way, it was really lovely - soft and interesting.
My favorite parts of dinner were the foie course (the champagne jelly was especially good), the white truffle cream served with the shellfish (super subtle), and the clementine mostarda that came with the turducken. I'm pretty sure Cooper's overall favorite was the short rib, which really was excellent.
And the dessert was phenonmenal.
As always, one of the best parts of the meal was sitting with and meeting new people. Between these dinners and the wine dinners we went to at Dogwood, we've gotten to meet so many interesting people. At this particular dinner, I met local food lovers Tamar and Robbie (aka Robert of Cross Keys) for the first time in real life.
We also met a couple who run a non-profit called God's Economy, which funds development and educational projects in Africa. (The husband of that couple is also part of the third generation of his family running Clement's Pastry Shop in DC. Their son was in the kitchen, working with Beej.)
Good food, good company. Such a nice way to send out 2012.