I've attended a fair share of pop-up dinners, but none were quite as cool as the debut Drop Leaf Dinners I attended back in September. Polly Nevins and Pete Ternes (Middlebrow Beer Co.) started the dinner series "celebrating accidentally iconic places and the communities they create," which kicked off at tiny Lakeview hot dog joint Flub A Dub Chub's, with food from Charles Welch (a former Sepia sous chef who will have a new restaurant soon) and cocktail pairings from Lindsay Betland (The Drifter, The Heavy Feather). It was a fun evening all around—I attended solo and had a ball with three strangers at my table—with some seriously tasty fried chicken among the offerings. Nevins and Ternes also used the dinner to announce their goal for a new restaurant, which will employ and rehabilitate 18 to 24-year-old Chicago residents, and which they aim to open sometime in 2016. Drop Leaf Dinners was the first step toward that.
The next dinner takes over Let's Roast Cycles in Noble Square on November 22 at 5pm and celebrates Milwaukee Avenue and its bicycle culture. Food will be inspired by German bicycle maker Ignaz Schwinn, who made Chicago the center of the bike making industry, and will focus on German fare. Expect a four-course dinner from super-talented chef Won Kim (the forthcoming Kimski, which will offer Korean-Polish street food at Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar), plus radlers and cocktails from Rory Toolan (The Heavy Feather). In addition, Middle Brow will provide beer for one course and Anne Kostroski from Sauce & Bread Kitchen will make pretzels. Tickets are $40 and include four courses and pairings. Snag one here.