ADVENTURE: Garden dinner party in San Francisco // EATING: Fuori Supper Club // CRAVE: Summer squash and burrata!
You know those amazing looking dinner parties you see in lifestyle magazines, Anthropologie catalogues and part of dream-wedding blog posts? Long, white linen-covered tables littered with elegant wine glasses, romantic candles, and delicate china, tucked beneath twinkly white lights and snuggled amongst a secret garden of flowers and trees.
I found one in San Francisco.
I’ve always wanted to experience one of those romantic dinner parties, meeting interesting guests and enjoying exquisite food and wine in the comfort of a gentle summer night.
I stumbled across the Fuori Supper Club and it seemed like it would be exactly that type of dinner experience.
And it was!
The Fuori Supper Club is the brainchild of sommelier Leslie Rosa and her friend, chef Giulia Michetti. Leslie has an extensive background in organizing wine tours in the Bay Area and Italy. She used her expertise to perfectly match delicious wines with each course of our meal. Giulia is a chef who previously worked in Cotogna and now works at Hearth.
Adding to the mystique of the evening, the address is given out only a day or two prior to the supper. We arrived at an unassuming private residence in the Castro on a warm summer Sunday evening, and were greeted warmly by the home owner and his pet bulldog.
We followed the host through the house to the gorgeous back yard and were welcomed with glasses of spumante under swaying palm trees.
Guests arrived over the next hour or so, mingling in the backyard amongst the greenery.
The chef brought out a few appetizers to warm up our appetites. We started with little sections of apricots, stuffed with ricotta and fennel pollen sprinkled on top.
Crusty pieces of bread were topped with a tender duck rillettes and onion jam. Crunchy, savory and sweet.
Leslie gathered our group and our attention and gave a short intro about the company.
Each Fuori supper always donates a portion of the profits to an organization that promotes sustainable living. For our dinner, the Fuori Supper Club partnered with Climate Action Now, a group dedicated to converting unused spaces around Bay Area public schools into gardens with and for the students.
We then grabbed a spot around the picturesque table and prepared our tastebuds!
With each course Leslie introduced the wine, commenting on its origin, notes and the motivation behind each food and wine pairing.
Our first course was a delicious burrata, grilled squash dish and mint, paired with a rosé from Calabria.
I can’t resist the texture and flavor of burrata so this was one of my favorites.
Next we enjoyed a dish of smoked trout, hard-boiled eggs, roasted potatoes, and avocado atop bagna cauda dip.
During the evening we also had a few other special treats. The Climate Action Now group (the organization receiving part of the profits from the dinner) attended and spoke to us about their initiative.
Another surprise, a local Castro resident and author read us several excerpts of a new book she had published. Each made you laugh, smile, reflect or just think.
The main course was Tuscan-style pork ribs — a new way of cooking ribs and flavors that I hadn’t experienced before! The ribs were accompanied by some stewed red peppers that gave a nice contrasting flavor.
Another favorite, Giulia put together a gratin of polenta and cauliflower that had a great texture and extra flavor from the cauliflower.
Another fun part of the dinner is the new people you meet. We were seated by a pair of couples who enjoyed traveling together and enjoying the local wine shops, having visited Italy together to experience the wines there first-hand. We also sat with one of the owners of the private residence. An entertaining evening, we listened to stories from each, traded restaurant and travel recommendations, and discussed politics. Great conversation all around!
Finally, dessert was everything you’d want in a summer treat. Described as fresh fruit “bruschetta,” various softened peaches and fruits were scattered atop toasted orange-flower water pound cake.
Light and sweet, this was paired with another spumante from Veneto. Love ending the evening with bubbly as the sun set and the lights sparkled even more against the night sky!
This was the first of many dinners to come from Fuori Supper Club! The next two will be in Sonoma then Oakland and, if anything like the first dinner, will promise to be another enchanting evening affair.