October’s Full Moon Dinner Benefiting the Family Resource Center
On All Hallows’ Eve legend says the line between the spirit world and the earthly world blurs allowing ghosts to return to walk the earth again for one night only. Scared and hoping to avoid ghostly encounters the tradition of dressing up for Halloween began. On October 31st when venturing outside after dark people would dress in costume so that if they encountered an unfriendly spirit they could trick the phantom into thinking they were a fellow ghost and thus be left alone.
Today the tradition of dressing up in costume continues as part of the American Halloween experience, though in a more playful manner. When the date for our October Full Moon Dinner fell one week before Halloween (on 10/24/18) we wanted to incorporate both fun and mischievous traditions of the holiday and so came up with the theme of Let’s Play Dress Up. Then using techniques from molecular gastronomy and her own creativity Head Chef Lori conceptualized a menu for the evening that featured food in disguise taking familiar flavors and ingredients and transforming them into unexpected dishes. The October Full Moon Dinner was also a benefit for the Family Resource Center who received the proceeds from the dinner totaling over $800.
To begin the meal diners were served a surprise amuse bouche of dehydrated olive soil, radish, and goat cheese foam made using whipped xanthan gum. The first course followed, a watermelon salad with compressed watermelon, basil gelee, feta mousse, and a walnut lace cookie. The light, slightly sweet starter was paired with a 2017 Sauvion Les Fondettes Sancerre.
For the second course our chefs constructed a seafood Neapolitan tower from crispy dough layers and fresh caught fish served over a red pepper roulie. The seafood course was paired with a chilled glass of 2015 Domaine Ferret Pouilly-Fuisse. Then, taking a twist on a classic French dessert, the third course presented by Chef Lori was a savory foie gras creme brulee served with a glass of 2014 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas from the central coast of California.
Our palate cleansing intermezzo followed, a perfect bite of liquid pea ravioli spheres served with a sprig of fresh mint. Pulling from her molecular gastronomy knowledge Chef Lori used cold oil spherification to make the unique dish dropping cooled oil into warm agar (a vegetarian alternative to gelatin made from a seaweed base) to form the ravioli spheres.
Our smoked beef tartare for the fourth course was served still smoking (see video below), the technique adding a fun and aromatic element to the dish that complimented the savory aspects of the beef and the egg yolk, which was cured with alder wood smoked sea salt and sugar for 16 hours. The tartare was served with a fresh herb salad and a glass of 2010 Numanthia Tempranillo, known for its deep and dense flavors.
Dessert for the October Full Moon Dinner was a beetroot, dark chocolate, raspberry, and black olive dish conceived through the principles of Foodpairing, a culinary technique that creates dishes by matching the key aromas for each ingredient. In this dish the beetroot shares woody notes with the chocolate and olives while also matching to the lighter, floral notes of the raspberries. Put all together the seemingly disparate ingredients act in unison to produce a uniquely harmonious dessert. It was paired with a glass of 2013 Terraza Single Vineyard Malbec, a wine with complimentary berry and chocolate flavors.
October’s Full Moon Dinner, however, was not just a delicious dalliance into the world of molecular gastronomy and Halloween hijinks, it was also a benefit for the Family Resource Center, a non-profit group that works to end family violence in the Virgin Islands and offer support and shelter for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. At Lucky Chops Lounge we are proud to support this local USVI non-profit and want to thank everyone at our October Full Moon Dinner who helped us raise $825 for the FRC.
The next Full Moon Dinner at Lucky Chops Lounge is Saturday, November 24th. The theme will be Black & White as November’s full moon is the White Moon and the date of the full moon falls just after Black Friday. Like previous Full Moon Dinners, the evening will feature a one night only menu with five delectable courses for $95pp. For our November Full Moon Dinner, a Caribbean Wine Club pairing will also be available for only $30pp.
Full Moon Dinner dates for the 2018/2019 winter season:
November 24, 2019 // THEME: Black & White
December 2018: no full moon dinner
January 21, 2019 // THEME: Packages & Parcels
February 19, 2019 // THEME: Little Baby Things
Full Moon Dinners are held at Lucky Chops Lounge in Cruz Bay (at the former Fish Trap restaurant space) and hosted in partnership with St. John Catering. Full Moon Dinners are one night only events with limited available seating, so reservations are required (340-690-3868).