O.N.C.E. on a Whim

O.N.C.E. (One Night Culinary Event) dinners are amazing pop-up dinners featuring nearly all local food, masterfully prepared by Cuisine En Locale. As of last night, I've been to 21 O.N.C.E. dinners, and enjoyed all of them!

I sat down to a wonderfully prepared and decorated table, and began looking at the menu. Each menu was embellished with different designs of stamps, and the amount of preparation that went into our dinner was definitely evident.

The first two courses were my favorite dishes of the whole night. We started with a stuffed Island Creek Count Neck clam with Stillman chorizo, and a choice of Alex's Ugly Sauces. I went with the Dragon sauce, since it's my favorite. Lamb Tartare with grilled San Francisco lemon, served with Soluna Farms Minted Sofia's Yogurt followed the first dish, and was absolutely as amazing as you can imagine. So good!

The third course was sea scallops on an oceanic bed of North Star Farm kale and Winter Moon golden beets with a Green River Ambrosia Cyser reduction. Very tasty, and followed by the leafy Roxbury greens with Stony Brook butternut squash seed oil and Maine sea salt.

The fifth course required me getting over a bit of squick I had about popping the meat out of the shell of the shrimp, but I drew on my courage, became brave, and definitely enjoyed this course! It was Maine shrimp with popcorn grits and maple bacon lardon. The sixth course was another adventure, with Stillman's pig's head two ways. The first way was Coppa di Testa, head cheese, and the second was breaded torchon on a pickled green Stillman Farms tomato. Have I mentioned how amazing JJ Gonson's pickles are? She's won awards for them, seriously, they are that awesome!

Another one of my favorite courses of the night came next: Valicenti Organico New Hampshire mushroom tagliatelle with Stillman oxtail ragout and Danby goat cheese from Formaggio. Wicked good, and followed by the wonderfully warm Winter Consomme: chicken and pork broths with Soluna Farms lemongrass, Old Friends Farm ginger, and brunoise of North Star Farm carrot and parsnip.

The last savory course was Soluna Farm rosemary and fennel-flavored Stillman pork roulade with North Star Farms portobello mushrooms, served with Pommes "Anna" and Three Rivers barley miso. I loved the potatoes, so tasty. I was fortunate enough by the final course to still have a little bit of room, so I enjoyed a ladyfinger sponge layer cake with New Hampshire honey mousse and Vermont cider gelée, served with Stillman apple compote. It was a wonderfully sweet ending to an excellent night.


  1. Thanks for the great write-up, and lovely photos! We loved creating the event!


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