The first of a two-parter Supper Club took place August 14 at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney. The second part will occur on August 29 at Morgans Wine Merchants in Dublin as a celebration of the Croke Park Classic, which will pit the UCF Knights against Penn State. For Knights fans who aren't able to make the trip but would like to experience a bit of the Irish air while watching the game, there's a special showing of the CPC Saturday morning, August 30. I'll tell you about that below.
The Dublin dinner is sold out, and if it's anything like the Supper Club that celebrity chef Kevin Dundon and his Raglan Road crew put together, it's going to knock everyone's Irish woolen socks off.
The dinner began with a salad of heirloom tomatoes — golden, red, cherry — dotted with balsamic vinegar drops. It's been a long time since I've tasted tomatoes that luscious. And it included a tomato sorbet that tasted a little like a frozen bloody mary. It was paired with a Vocoret Chablis.
Next was a fish and chips like none other any of us had experienced, either in taste or presentation. Instead of the usual cod that might be used in traditional f&c, Dundon chose monkfish, the firm-fleshed fish that is often referred to as the poor man's lobster. It was jacketed in a batter of pale ale and fried to a beautiful golden hue. It sat atop a platform fashioned out of the "chips," which were more like little Lincoln Logs. They had been fried in duck fat, so I don't really need to say anything more about them. The Raglan Road house tartar sauce was perfect with both the fish and the chips. The presentation included a small wooden box labeled Cookes of Dublin, which is the quick-serve restaurant adjacent to Raglan Road. A plate of glass had been placed on it, and inside were seashells to carry out the theme. Instead of a wine, Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA was the accompanying beverage, which was perfect.
Following the fish course, the Raglan Road crew carried in two spit roasted baby lambs that were carved in front of us. The meat had a wonderful crust of rosemary and salt, and it was served with minted peas and fondant potatoes. And as we finished the lamb that had been plated for us, the servers moved about the room and offered us more. I accepted some because I still had some Campo Alegre from Toro Spain and I needed something for it to wash down.
Dessert was something Dundon calls Strawberry Fields Forever. It was served in a salad dish and featured a creamy platform topped with crushed Oreo cookies to resemble soil, or field. And on top of that were big, plump strawberries. Clever and delicious. Chandon Rose sparkling wine added its own sweet note.
Guests were sent on their way with a small box containing cookies and a tea bag so they could have a tea and biscuit break the next day.
Dundon will again be host at the Dublin Supper Club. But back here at Raglan Road there will be a whole weekend of celebrations called the Great Irish Hooley. And to go along with it, RR will have a Croke Park Classic-watching brunch on Saturday, August 30 at 8:30 a.m. You can watch the game on the big screen with other Knights fans and enjoy some of the terrific cuisine. There will be half-time prizes, and at game's end, when everyone is enjoying the Knights' victory, the Hooley will kick in with entertainment and fun. To book, call Raglan Road at 407-938-0300.