Photos – Valentine’s Dinner 2010

Posted on 02/20/10 in Past Events, 15 Comments

We had a great time cooking at the mansion and so glad to see all of you there dining with us!

Thursday night we started things out with a performance by Angel Olsen. She’s working on an album right now and if you want to check her out, you can find her at The Whistler in Logan Square.

The duck hearts were lovely. They were cut and scored, then marinated in Ponzu and Vanilla overnight. Right before service they went into a hot saute pan and sizzled briefly in super hot duck fat. We used duck from Gunthorp Farm in LaGrange, Indiana.

Friday night was a bit more intense. Some folks from Chicago Tonight stopped by to film for a news story about underground dining. That was the same night that The Gipsy Trio was performing.

The pork sausage for the main course was made fresh daily, ground and encased in lamb casings, thinner and more delicate than pork casings. We started first with whole Berkshire pork shoulders from Faith’s Farm and Gunthorp, trimmed down, then used the bones to make a stock for the sauce. I made a dry rub and seasoned the meat before grinding. The dry rub was oregano, dry mustard, paprika, sage, coriander, and fennel. I added Carmenere wine to the ground pork during the stuffing which helped the meat move through the stuffer as well as added some depth and flavor.

And for dessert! It was a taste of 2 ice creams, the vanilla served in between 2 slices of flourless chocolate cake, and a spicy chocolate ice cream with a tamarind chocolate ganache. The heat in the chocolate ice cream arrived via Mexican Pequin chiles.

Thanks to everyone who dined with us over the weekend. If you haven’t seen the final mural, check it out here.

Also, a few photos from Friday night’s dinner…


  1. Rebecca

    That sounds amazing, Efrain!!

    Posted 1-12-2010 , Reply

  2. Rebecca

    …especially the candied bacon and duck heart. Wow.

    Posted 1-12-2010 , Reply

  3. chEfrain

    can’t wait. i have to order 20 pounds of duck hearts from gunthorp farm. “oh boy” <--- in the voice of donald duck

    Posted 1-19-2010 , Reply

  4. Dan McDonell

    Please reserve 4 seats for Sunday, Feb 14. What do you need from me to confirm them?


    Posted 1-21-2010 , Reply

    • chEfrain

      Hey Dan,
      I just checked your reservation and you are confirmed. I look forward to meeting you at dinner.

      Posted 1-21-2010 , Reply

  5. alyssa

    …and now i read the menu!!… bummer to miss this. soon, soon:)

    Posted 1-21-2010 , Reply

  6. Nola

    I am so glad to join you for this lovely dinner! It should be fun.


    Posted 1-22-2010 , Reply

  7. Sarah

    We just bought our tickets for Saturday the 13th. We are looking forward to celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary with you that evening. Can’t wait!

    Posted 1-26-2010 , Reply

    • chEfrain

      Thanks for celebrating your anniversary with us! We’re looking forward to it.

      Posted 2-1-2010 , Reply

  8. Leona

    This will be my inaugural dinner and my gastro juices are already flowing! I’m still a newbie in Chicago (3.5yrs) and I’ve just discovered you. Can’t think of a more exciting way to spend a solo Valentine’s Day. Yummy!

    Posted 2-9-2010 , Reply

    • chEfrain

      So glad you’re joining us. I’m sort of new to the city too. I’ve been here for 3 years. It’s the best place to live and eat!

      Posted 2-9-2010 , Reply

  9. Rachel Shaftman

    The food tonight (2/14) was so amazing! Thank you!

    Posted 2-14-2010 , Reply

  10. Jeannine

    Hey what was the address of this place again or the contact person you used to set this up…I want to do a private event there and I just dont remember

    Posted 8-5-2010 , Reply

    • chEfrain

      1900 S. Prairie Ave in the South Loop. It’s the Keith Mansion. The owner is Marcy Baim

      Posted 8-11-2010 , Reply

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