A Celebration of Our Vices

Vice / vīs /

 “immoral or wicked behavior or habit”

IMG_9272

For good or for bad, we all have our own vices – some we’re ok with fessing up to and others we may prefer to keep to ourselves.

So this month, we chose to give our menu a little bit of a twist and found imaginative ways to celebrate those vices through our taste, touch and scent.

As guests arrived, we welcomed them with “Champagne & Cigarettes,” a Mezcal scented ceviche “cigarette” and a glass of bubbly.

Then we dove into our childhood vice, “PB&J” – considering fois gras was officially legal once again in SF, we had to take advantage. Our fois gras mousse and port geleé “sandwich” spurred a ton of great childhood reminiscing among our guests – we figured we’d start the night off on an innocent note.

That quickly changed with our next course, “Street Drugs,” a dish and experience that felt slightly dirty and wrong. Free-based balsamic injected into a spherical mozzarella ball, topped with a key bump of olive oil powder = a culinary speedball.

IMG_9284

IMG_9293IMG_9291

From there, we brightened it up a bit with the “Psychedelic Salad,” mesclun greens with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette and not to forget, the Buzz Button (otherwise known as the Jambú flower). The effects of the Buzz Button? First, your salivary glands activate. Then your tongue begins to tingle. That tingle turns to a prickle, and suddenly your whole mouth is numb. Yes, we had a reason for this dish addition … activate your salivary glands for the next course. Don’t worry, the numbness fades after a minute or two.

IMG_9297 IMG_9298

After our brief ginger cocktail booze break, we moved on to “Arrogance” – a glass of White Burgundy and royal caviar, served on a square mirror to ensure you ample time to admire yourself as you as indulged.

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 12.53.36 PM

IMG_9306

Next up “Shrooms,” a Tuscan mushroom soup served with a rich glass of Brunello di Montalcino, a favorite of ours from our last trip to Italy.

And our final savory course, “Jealousy,” a local roasted rib cap served with a mix of root vegetables, accompanied by a glass of Chateauneuf‐du-Pape.

IMG_9307

And last but definitely not least, our sweet finish, “Decadence” – salted caramel pot du crème and a sip of Monbazillac.

IMG_9318

Thanks again to all of you who joined us, what an awesome night!

Until next time …

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

2015 SPICE Dates Coming Soon … oh, and we had a baby BTW!

Marley McGuire Long learning some proper knife and chopping skills.

Marley McGuire Long learning some proper knife and chopping skills.

First off, we should probably apologize for our lack of updating this blog in a while. For those of you who know us well, we just had a new baby a few months ago, so hopefully that’s a pretty good excuse to get us off the hook for the short term. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t still been cooking up a storm, just been a little less connected to technology lately.

Of course, Ben’s already got our new daughter (Marley) in the kitchen, teaching her some crazy knife skills. We figured we better start her young.

Secondly, a special thanks for 7×7 Magazine for the love this week by including us in their “10 Fabulous Underground Supper Clubs in SF” article. You guys are awesome, thanks!

We’ve currently got our calendars out and are working on nailing down new SPICE dates for February, March and April. Stay tuned, we promise to be in touch soon with more details!

In the meantime, hope 2015 has been a great one for everyone thus far and is treating you as well as it’s been treating us – looking forward to seeing you at our table soon!

Cheers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Italian Inspired SPICE – SAT. 2/9 DINNER SOLD OUT

Italian Inspired SPICE - SAT. 2/9 DINNER SOLD OUT

We wanted to let everyone know that our Italian SPICE Dinner is completely sold out for Saturday, Feb. 9th.

For those of you who can’t join us tomorrow, we hope you can attend our next dinner!

Happy Friday!

ITALIAN SPICE DINNER – FEBRUARY 8, 2013

WE’RE BACK!

After a long break traveling around the world and working like crazy we’re finally back in action. I must say. We are so excited for this dinner! While spending some time eating and drinking our way through Tuscany over Christmas, Kelly and I were inspired to bring back a little piece of our trip to all of you. As we started thinking about this dinner we thought, “what the hell. If we’re going to do it let’s go big.”

Now here’s where the fun begins. We’ve managed to wrangle together some of our favorite underground Italian Chefs. John Churillo (or “chu” as we call him) has always been our go to guy for homemade pasta. When you grow up visiting family in the south of Italy every year and you’re the only one of your 75 cousins to hang with grandma in the kitchen you learn a thing or two. What was even better is that when I gave him a buzz he was delighted to tell me that he had just returned from a wild boar hunt and we all know what that means for us! CINGHIALE!! Now that we had our pasta man locked it was time to call in the troops from across the country.

We are excited to share that our long time friend and founder (Jason Anello) of the famed Forking Tasty Dinners in Brooklyn will be joining us in the kitchen for a very special meal. SPICE and Forking Tasty will unite for a one night only, chef’s table, Italian celebration. Drawing from Ben, John and Jason’s extensive travels through Italy we’ll present a 7-course meal that’s sure to keep you guessing what’s next. Following the traditional style of Italian suppers you’ll work your way through an unexpected series of dishes, flavors and presentation. Drawing on northern, southern and foreign influences the meal will be an over-the-top tour for your taste buds and emotions alike. We’ll also pair select Italian and Californian wines that match the dinners flavor progression from small to big. This one comes with major bragging right so grab a seat while you can. We only have room for eight (8) food friends so they’ll go VERY fast. The dinner contribution for this one will be $80

Image | Posted on by | 1 Comment

All Beer-ed Out

Just a quick thanks to all of you who joined us this weekend for our SPICE Oktoberfest. Not sure I’ve ever seen that much beer consumed in one evening – you should be proud!

For those of you who couldn’t make it, we missed you! And posted the menu below as a reminder that you shouldn’t miss the next one …

ON THE MENU:

Quail Scott Eggs

Homemade Soft Pretzels Stuffed w/ Caramelized Onions and Cream Cheese w/ Fresh Mustard 

Schnitzel w/ Beer and Mushroom Sauce

German Sausage & Fixin’s

Käsespätzle w/ Bacon and Truffle

Barley Syrup Caramel Corn

Beer Pairing Highlights:

Lagunitas Bavarian Styled Doppel Weizen

Hofbräu Oktoberfest

Festbier by Victory Brewing Company 

Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam

… and about 20 others with crazy German names that I can’t remember how to spell!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SPICE Oktoberfest Celebration

Join us this Saturday, October 22nd, for a fun and festive evening in true Oktoberfest style!

With this year marking the 201st anniversary of the original Munich Oktoberfest, we thought … well of course we should join in the celebration with a SPICE Oktoberfest.

As many of you know, with the closing of Amberjack earlier this year, we’ve been on the hunt for a new venue. Unfortunately, the reality is, we still haven’t found one. So we figured, what the hell, let’s bring SPICE back to our home where it all started almost two years ago. Yeah yeah, we know this is VERY last minute but … we just couldn’t let another month go by. We miss you guys damn it!

So in honor of the wonderful month of October, Ben and Kyle have reinvented some of the most traditional Bavarian food most commonly found at Oktoberfest celebrations around the world – a variety of homemade sausages/wursts, pork chops, sauerkraut and cabbage. And although we love our wine, the hero for this Saturday’s SPICE will be our international brew tasting station!

So grab your beer stein and throw on your lederhosens if you feel so inclined and come celebrate with us!

We’ve only got room for 30, so RSVP as soon as possible if you want to attend. Please make note that this month’s SPICE will be a casual, non-seated event.

When: Saturday, October 22nd @ 6:00pm

Where: Noe Valley, San Francisco (the specific address will be sent upon confirmation)

Member’s Share Contribution: $50 per person

Purchase Tickets Here: Tickets

ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit

(a toast to good cheer!)

The SPICE Crew

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Eat and Be Married!

This month, we had the honor of hosting our first wedding rehearsal dinner in the fabulous coastal town that is Half Moon Bay. However … it wasn’t just any wedding. This was the wedding that literally hundreds of people had been waiting for (including us) for quite some time … one of our dearest friends and pseudo big brother, Dante Marcello Pellegrini, got hitched! Seriously. And best of all, it was Jody Adams that walked down the aisle to meet him.

So in proper Italian and North Carolinian form … we helped them prepare for the big day the night before with FOOD, and LOTS of it, that represented both the bride and groom’s background and cultural heritage.

As guests arrived, they were greeted with a glass of Prosecco and an amuse bouche of roasted beets w/ feta cheese, pickled onions, caramelized almonds and a balsamic reduction. Then as people made their way to the bar, we also served two passed apps – miniature cuban sandwiches and black pepper cornbread with a honey cream fraiche.

For dinner, we started off with local butternut squash soup with meyer lemon cream and shaved artichoke hearts, and a handmade caesar salad. For the entrees, we offered a meat and vegetarian option – grilled polenta with roman style braised pork shoulder or grilled polenta with heirloom tomato marinara sauce and a truffle scented wild mushroom medley. And the sides? … white bean ragout with braised leeks, grilled summer vegetables, and braised kale with pancetta and toasted pine nuts.

And we can’t forget dessert … another labor of love – homemade “Brittscotti” made by a great friend of ours, Britton Montalvo.

Thank god for our behind-the-scenes “crew” – Kyle, Mary “mom” Delaney, Deb “mom” Long and Jim “pops” Long for helping prep, cook, serve and continually fill our wine glasses! It was a true family affair.

Dant and Jod, HUGE CONGRATS to you both!!! We loved every minute of being a part of your amazingly special wedding weekend. Salute!

Posted in Travel | Leave a comment

Back from Bali

Hello SPICE Friends!

First off … apologies that you haven’t heard from us since May. We’ve had a lot going on this summer and are finally coming up for air. We wanted to update you all on what we’ve been doing, where we’ve been and what’s on the horizon for the rest of the year.

June brought some unexpected change for us with the news that Amberjack Sushi (one of our usual homes for our larger SPICE dinners) had been sold and has officially closed up shop. On a side note, we want to thank Raymond and the entire Amberjack crew for opening their doors and welcoming SPICE for the last year and a half! We will miss you all more than you know!

As a result, we have been on the hunt for the past few months trying to find a new home for our 30-person SPICE dinners. (If any of our members have ideas, we’d love to hear from you! Shoot us a note at spicemembership@gmail.com or on our FB page). We’re open to any and all suggestions … lofts, cafes, churches, restaurants, art galleries, etc. – the more creative the better … only requirement is that it’s got a kitchen.

The following month brought happier news. Nissa had a birthday and Chef Kyle got hitched! (we’re anxiously awaiting to see honeymoon photos).

It also brought us (the Long’s) a much needed break (and a ton of culinary inspiration for future events). With the help of many socked away miles, we hopped on a plane at the end of July and headed south east to Bali, Indonesia.

Along with scuba diving adventures, volcano hiking and hours of cocktail consumption on the beach, we also did a ton of “taste testing” through our visits to the spice fields, rice paddies, and some of the most amazing traditional warungs in Ubud (Naughty Nuri’s was our favorite – best BBQ ribs and martinis in town!)

Once we find a new pad, we’re hoping to host an Indonesian inspired SPICE soon! In the meantime, we’ll be in touch shortly about an August event on our horizon. It’s a joint event in SF with some close friends of ours AND this one will be outdoors, so cross your fingers for some warm weather in the coming month. It won’t be a traditional SPICE dinner, but will of course involve some tasty treats whipped up by Chef Ben Long.

We’re looking forward to hopefully seeing you all soon – it’s been much too long and WE MISS YOU!

Until then, eat and drink well!

The SPICE Crew

Posted in Travel | Leave a comment