ADVENTURE: A monthly dinner pop-up in Outer Richmond // EATING: B.L.U.D // CRAVE: Dear god, give me more of their chicken roulade!
I’m just going to put it all out there and say that B.L.U.D is my favorite pop-up dinner I’ve had in San Francisco.
So savory, so filling, so something I wish I could put in my mouth more than once a month.
B.L.U.D is a pop-up restaurant that happens once each month hosted at Pizzetta 211 in the Outer Richmond (which, side note, if you haven’t been to Pizzetta 211 you also need to go). Three women work together to pull off each of B.L.U.D’s dinners including two chefs, Mel Lopez and Joyce Conway. Mel is the chef at Pizzetta 211 and Joyce is the Chef de Cuisine at Zero Zero so you know they know what they are doing.
You’re also probably wondering what B.L.U.D stands for. Prepare to be impressed — Bitches Liven Up Dinner.
These three saucy ladies describe their dinner pop-up as “bomb food, beer and wine, 90’s hip-hop, and R&B” — if that doesn’t sell you, you probably need more fun in your life.
Each night they offer two seatings, one at 6:00PM and the other at 8:30PM, for reservations of 2 or 4 people. Each dinner is a different six course tasting menu assembled around a particular type of cuisine for around $60-70.
When we arrived a few people were milling about waiting for the restaurant to open. As soon as it was 6:00PM we were all quickly seated and got the party started! The old school hip-hop, rap and R&B started immediately providing a funky, fun ambiance to our entire meal.
My date and I had the pleasure of sitting at the bar. In a small space like this, that meant a front-row seat to all of the cooking action!
Mel and Joyce were constantly working together to pull each course together, mixing cocktails and platting ingredients.
The first course was an amazing baba ganoush dip with roasted garlic and mint with homemade pita bread. This pita bread was unreal — crisp with a little char, but still doughy and fluffy on the inside.
Next we had smoked salmon with wax beans and cherry tomatoes. Garnishes of dill lebni, almonds and nigella seeds added some great contrast and crunch to this dish.
Then we enjoyed two short rib “tacos” wrapped in red leaf lettuce with blackberry-hoisin BBQ sauce. Again, great flavors!
Keeping with fresh, summer ingredients, the chefs used corn in their next course. They made pierogis (a type of dumpling) by hand and added their own twist.
These had sweet corn, truffled pecorino, and a sour cream and chive sauce that made them irresistible. Definitely one of my favorites!
This little bit was an “intermezzo,” or basically a palate cleanser of a melon sorbet ice.
Don’t stop yet — there’s more! My favorite dish of the night was this chicken roulade.
The chicken was accompanied by fregola (a type of round pasta noodle) with pistou (a type of pesto), plus summer squash and feta. To top it off, each dish was embellished with a pair of fried squash blossoms.
The different savory and salty flavors in this dish were amazing. From the soft cheese, to the crunch of oil in the blossoms, to the blend of pistou herbs, each bite was a different kind of savory and deliciousness.
Finally, we are at dessert! The chefs had prepared little pockets of peach pie, dropping each into the deep-fryer to give the dough a satisfying crispiness. Add a scoop of honey lavender gelato and you have one beautiful dessert.
The B.L.U.D dinner pop-up is a no-frills operation — in order to make reservations, you’ll need to go through their Instagram page. Pay attention for posts with sneak peeks for upcoming menus or announcing the next dinner date to make reservations.
The Pizzetta 211 is a small space with about 20 seats so make sure to jump on those reservations fast! Like I mentioned, reservations can be made for 2 or 4 people so choose your dining companions wisely! If you’re vegetarian let the chefs know — we saw them accommodate several dishes for vegetarians throughout the night.
If you love exploring a new take on foods you already love, add B.L.U.D to your must-eat list!
Learn more about B.L.U.D and their latest pop-ups on their Instagram page.
Want another fun tasting menu dinner that gives you a great bang for your buck? Check out Mr. Pollo in the Mission.