by Steven Doyle photos by Robert Bostick
Last Sunday we witnessed the latest edition of the pop-up restaurant with a heart, Café Momentum. For those that follow along each day, you already know that Momentum works with Youth Village. The young men in the program at the Youth Village are offered real-world training and hope for not only a career in hospitality, but at life.
The ultimate goal for Café Momentum is to become a full on not-for-profit restaurant that continues to work with Youth Village daily. In the past year many steps have been gained towards the goal, raising nearly $100,000 to date.
One of the organizers Chad Houser recently said, “We are now in the process of applying for several grants, including one from Crystal Charity that would accomplish our entire fundraising goal. We have finished our start-up and operating financials, and even completed the business plan. We are meeting weekly with various civic and business leaders exploring any and all ways to reach the ultimate goal – to turn Cafe Momentum into a brick and mortar, permanent restaurant.”
The latest pop-up was hosted by Jay Jerrier at Il Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum and cheffed by The Grape’s Brian Luscher. Luscher was busy most of last week with all the final details and the result was nothing short of splendor.
The dinner began with several passed appetizers including Flammkuchen. This is basically a German tarte flambée, or their version of a pizza. Appropriate for a kitchen supplied with a custom Italian wood burning oven. Flammkuchen is made with crème fraîche, onions, and lardons. And of course lardon means bacon.
The first course was a red curried Billi Bi, or cream of mussel soup. The second course was a Barnegat Lighthouse Monkfish with almonds, capers & tarragon, lemon scented couscous.
Most of the dinners have been BYOB, but since Cane Rosso has a liquor license Oak Cliff Cellars generously supplied the wine for the evening.
The third course was something that chef Luscher seemed most proud of and sent plenty of tweets and Facebook messages showing off his Smoke Roasted Suckling Pig with natural jus, country sausage, fricassee of corn, yams & peppers.
The fourth course was a Porcini Dusted Kobe Beef Hanger Steak with red wine reduction monte au foie gras, sautéed chanterelles, duck fat roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts petals.
The evening was finished off with a Chocolate Espresso Pots De Crème, candied orange zest and pistachio Florentine.
Chef Houser was pleased with the final dinner for 2011 and invites those interested to make any year end donations they can towards the cause. He said, “Thank you for believing in these young men. In a world where they’re referred to as “throw-aways” (yes, this is the term I learned was used to describe them), you have given them the greatest gifts of all – hope and love.”