Sometimes I jump on the bandwagon early, sometimes I’m a little late to the full party. Unfortunately for me (although fortunately for my waistline), I only just learned that Burbelmaiers has been hosting pop-up dinners for a max of 18 people during the off-season. Last night I was lucky enough to attend their Proper British Roast, which was so damn delicious I can’t wait to have my leftovers for lunch today!
We started with a smoked Mackerel pate with wonderful granary toast, a sweet/spicy gooseberry chutney, and Malt-vinegar pickled pearl onions. Everything except the bread was made in-house, and a fantastic start to our meal.
Next up was my favorite of the night…a potato-leek AND STILTON soup. Had I not been out in public, I would have licked the bowl. This was a rich and delicious treat right to the bottom of the bowl (please don’t tell my nutritionist).
Chef Pete came out to show us the full cracklin’ pork roast, and a few of us immediately said “OOOH…British porchetta!” And indeed, that’s exactly what it was. It was served with a scoop of mashed parsnips, roasted potatoes, and a Yorkshire pudding. This is where I admit that I had NO idea that Yorkshire pudding has nothing to do with pudding. At first I thought it was a popover, but then I saw that it had a no top, but rather, a concave space that was filled with gravy. Thanks to having just eaten the entire bowl of soup, I was already feeling full, so I had about a third of it and will enjoy it again for lunch today.
The salad course was exactly what we needed at that point; baby watercress with fresh pea shoots (see pic below for a pea AND shoot–I won the centerpiece!) and a lemon-shallot vinaigrette. Light and refreshing.
Then came dessert…a proper British Trifle. Custard, ladyfingers, port, sherry, and a stuuuunning RHUBARB filling. That’s all I have to say about that. THEN we had cake. It was the chef’s birthday and one of the attendees is a good friend who makes amazing cakes (see below). He does this as a “hobby.” We were lucky enough to see pictures of some other creations of his–full 3D piano cakes, a log cabin, and more. Insane talent.
The true bonus in addition to the food was a lovely group of (mostly) strangers who sat at a communal table and truly connected over the experience. I chatted with Pete after the dinner and told him about our HOdowns and how I think this space would be perfect for us–but that will have to wait until the fall/winter, as it’s all he can do to keep the pie cases full for the spring/summer.
Cost was $65pp and there was an optional tip jar for the staff, which we were happy to contribute to. Their next event (Cinco de Mayo) already has a waiting list, and if the weather is looking good, they may be able to seat some folks outside, but that’s something that will be determined in the days leading up to the date. Regardless, y’all need to get over there and try some pies! And if you do, say hi to Courtney and Pete and tell them you read about this dinner on HO. http://burbelmaiers.com
Bottom line: the chef has serious chops, and he and his wife Courtney were wonderful hosts. Their staff was attentive and professional (something I don’t see a lot of at the shore), and it was a wonderful evening.