A Celebration of Land & Sea….

BKKAs we’re all emerging from the depths of winter, we thought it would be a fun idea to celebrate all things outdoors with a dinner indoors featuring dishes focused on ingredients from the Land and the Sea.  Once again with the help of our amazing friend and wine oficianado, Ananda Neil, we put together an incredible 8-course tasting menu with wine pairings throughout.

We started our night off with a little White Burgundy paired along side a dish of Grilled Octopus with Roasted Potato Puree & Romesco Sauce.

Next we featured our famed Fried Quail and Waffles course. The waffles sit on top of a mixed berry compote and we highlight the quail with a house made Rosemary Honey. Married with the rich and sweet flavors of the dish, Ananda served our guests a wonderful Riesling that was perfectly fruit forward with an acidic finish.


Bringing things back to our love of the ocean, we served our guests a Seared Scallop over Braised Fava Bean and Kale Ragout, alongside an incredibly rich and bold Roussanne blend.

Aaron Plating

After a few courses that were a bit on the richer side we wanted to lighten things up with our Roasted Beet Salad with Shaved Pickled Red Onions & Candied Pecans. Known as one of the best Rosé producing areas in the world, we were fortunate enough to lighten the dish up even further with a wonderfully crisp Bandol Rosé. This quickly brought back memories of our recent visit to Provence!

Well on our way we wanted to do something in honor of our friends on the East Coast, and our trips to their beach house, in Wells, Maine.  Logically we had to have lobster on the menu.

The first thing that came to mind was our famous Lobster Bisque with a light and crunchy Puff Pastry Cap. As guests broke through the light pastry and discovered the rich, creamy and aromatic bisque, we poured them our first red of the evening. Something about a rich soup with a hint of cognac pairs really well with an amazing Beaujolais!

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Back to the Land of Land we wanted to feature something that had a bit of spice. Not as in, “shit that’s spicy”, but more in terms of allspice, cinnamon, etc. For this we served our Slow Roasted Pork Belly Over Spice Lentils & Sage Jus. As our friend Action Bronson would say, “Fuck that’s delicious!” For wine on this one, we featured a super bold wine from the French region of Gigondas.

To finish the savory session of the evening we decided to do something light and sauce free – to let the simple ingredients speak for themselves. We charred up some lemon scented broccolini on the grill to give it a little smoke flavor. Over that we served a fresh Pan Roasted Sea Bass with a hint of a house made Arugula Pesto. Contrary to popular belief, we decided to go with red wine for this course. We stayed a bit on the lighter side with an amazing Burgundy from the Cote de Beaune.


To finish the evening this month we HAD to share our recent love affair with our friends at Homestead Cookies here in San Francisco. I mean chocolate and sea salt could not go any better together. Inspired by our baking friends we decided to make some Coffee Ice Cream and create a one of a kind Homestead Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich. I’m sure you can only imagine how deliciously evil that dessert was. To keep the palate sweet we paired this dish with our final wine of the evening, a special limited release Monbazillac.

Needless to say it was another evening of pure bliss, laughter and bottles from the downstairs cellar well into the evening with new friends.

See you all next month!

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A Celebration of Our Vices

Vice / vīs /

 “immoral or wicked behavior or habit”


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.



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.

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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.

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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.


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


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

Until next time …

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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!


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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!



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

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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 …


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!

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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

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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!

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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

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Finally Forking Spicy!

The month of March brought an extremely special SPICE to life – Forking Spicy finally!

The entire evening has already been rehashed by our dear friend (and Kelly’s business partner), Jason Anello on his New York based foodie blog – Forking Tasty. So … we’re just gonna send you straight there.

There’s not a single word we could have used to tell the story any better! (I mean, come on now, he’s a Sicilian Italian from Brooklyn).

more pics here


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A Very Spicy Valentine

For some reason, Valentine’s Day – a holiday that is supposed to encapsulate any and all things romantic – has somehow become one of the more stressful and almost despised days of the year for many. So … we thought we’d try to change that.

February’s SPICE brought together couples and singles, a menu more affordable than the standard SF Feb. 14th pre fixed menu, and an atmosphere that discouraged dresses, sports coats and by any means, red roses!

Actually, I take that back … we did sneak in a few petals but at least these kind were edible.

We hope our guests left February’s dinner with a slightly new (and more optimistic) outlook on Valentine’s day, and perhaps even excited for it to roll around again next year. And for those that didn’t, well, we hope you at least enjoyed the food. The full menu is below and more photos here. Until next month …

Cheers from The SPICE Crew!


Amuse Bouche

“Breakfast In Bed”

Roasted Bacon Rubbed w/ Ras al Hanout and Cayenne Pepper on Pain de Mie

Brut Sparkling Wine with Fresh Pomegranate, Vanilla, and Lemon Essence

“A Dozen Roses”

Salad with Hearts of Palm, Blood Oranges & Beet Juice

2009 Domaine des Cassagnoles, Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne, France

“Steak & Lobster”

Lightly Seared Beef Filet with Lobster Powder and Fried Potato

2009 Domaine des Cassagnoles, Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne, France


2008 Strange, Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley

“Cupid’s Arrow”

Grilled Polenta Cakes with Sauteed Purple Cauliflower and Local Mushrooms

2008 Strange, Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley


2008 Vina Robles, RED4, Paso Robles

“A Box of Chocolates”

Roasted Chicken with a Homemade Chocolate Mole Sauce

2008 Vina Robles, RED4, Paso Robles

“Valentines Explosion”

Blue Velvet Cake, Conversation Heart Frosting, and Red Hots Ice Cream

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