A North Fork Favorite. Ali Katz Kitchen's Black Cat Supper Club Review.
Black Cat Supper Club.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I need to state that Hummingbird is a known, big fan of Ali Katz Kitchen, and of Chef Allison Katz and Chef Fritz Beckmann specifically. That said, the culinary and pastry accolades are well-earned.
There was considerable buzz among the “foodie” community here on the North Fork when Ali announced “Black Cat Supper Club,” their first pop-up dinner in their new digs in Mattituck. While their first pop-up here, she and and Fritz are experienced pop-up dinner chefs! And true to the vision, Ali partnered with another North Fork enterprise, Saltbird Cellars. Owner/Winemaker Robin Epperson-McCarthy co-hosted along with Ali. Those in attendance celebrated the release of Saltbird’s 2016 Harbinger Red Blend. The dinner was planned to pair well with the 2016 Harbinger, and the Harbinger was also featured in Fritz’s gastrique which complemented the herb roasted lamb and polenta of the main course.
So, here’s the skinny. It was great. There was a warm and supportive crowd—the event sold out well in advance. The space is small, so with fewer than 30 seated, it felt intimate in a very good way. Tables of 10 encouraged some meeting, mixing and mingling among guests during dinner. Ali, Fritz, Robin and friend Paula DiDonato (Owner of The Giving Room in Southold) were welcoming, and glowing -- with pride—both in the appreciation of the support of the local community and the opportunity to “show off” big time. The menu was sophisticated, including items such as duck liver mousseline with mushroom ragout and house-made toast points, hand made short-rib filled raviolo, and the aforementioned lamb, which was tender and delicious. The 2016 Harbinger was decanted and flowed freely throughout the meal. It matched the meal beautifully, and Robin was gracious, and delightful, admittedly holding back her wine chemistry geeky-ness, while providing some background of each of the selections. I plan to be checking out Saltbird Cellars wines, and keeping my eye on them for future purchases. Many at our table knew Robin from Peconic Lane where Saltbird wines were previously featured. Pre-dinner upon seating, we also tasted Saltbird’s 2015 Migratis Sauvignon Blanc from Robin’s private collection, and it was lovely. Dinner was pronounced fabulous by those around me, and I personally felt like I was experiencing a meal I would enjoy in a fine restaurant, I was going to say—in Brooklyn. I say Brooklyn because it had an eclectic feeling to the experience and menu that made me think of the restaurants I eat in there. I left my comments about dessert for last. Stellar doesn’t describe it sufficiently, as it was declared by the reputed “pickiest foodie” at our table, “the best Panna Cotta I’ve ever had.” The Panna Cotta was wonderful, flavorful, the perfect consistency. It shared the plate with supporting elements—roasted plums—gorgeous and slightly sweet, and an anise almond biscotti—all of course made by Allison. It was the piece de resistance to an otherwise incredible dinner. Pinch me. It WAS real, right here on the North Fork in the dead of winter. Bravo Ali Katz Kitchen. And a warning to all readers, another is being planned, so if you would like to attend, be sure to act quickly. Having proven the formula, it is likely to sell out fast. I will surely be there!
Click here to learn more about Chef Allison Katz and Ali Katz Kitchen.