My sister-in-law, Tess Richard, and I, armed with a little poem we had been emailed, set out for the 100 block of Gay Street last Friday night looking for a very special party.
It was another of the super fun “Trust Fall” dinners. Trust Fall is an underground supper club. Attendees vie for a limited number of tickets that sell out in a matter of minutes — maybe seconds! They don’t know where they are dining until the day of the event when they receive an email that usually tells them the location. But, in this case, all we got was a rhyming riddle.
“What secrets remain — oh, the suspense!/Your clandestine affair is set to commence
You’re about to join a most unusual tribe/Whose primary intentions are to eat and imbibe”
We definitely wanted to find that party! We were aware that the chef for the evening would be Dustin Busby, the proprietor of the Hoof food truck. His partner in the endeavor, handling the wine pairings: Blackberry Farm sommelier and director of food and beverage, Andy Chabot. But where was the darn place?
“Our wandering clan moves from place to place/But our Village stays hidden with nary a trace
The white rabbit is fast and follow you must/The door may seem small, but to fall you must trust”
You only are allowed to purchase two tickets to the Trust Fall dinners. Tess and my brother, Jimmy Moxley, had arrived in Knoxville about 4 that day. I told her I had something interesting for her to do. My husband, Alan, and Jimmy were on their own.
“Finding our wonderland entails cunning and wit/It’s not for the timid. Are you ready to quit?
Surely not, I declare! This game you will play/Your journey begins on one hundred South Gay
Search the block close until you can spy/A darkened storefront with a torch to read by.”
Tess and I went up one side of the 100 block and down the other looking for darkened doors and torches. Nothing. We did it again. We saw two other couples whom we suspected were looking for the same thing. Then we lost the other couples. They must have found the location! Then I got a text from one of my friends who is on the host committee. (We aren’t allowed to reveal their identities.) “You walked right by earlier,” the text said. “Retrace.”
We did. Finally, we noticed some folks gathered in the tiny little office of a graphic design firm called The Village. In the window, almost unnoticeable, was a burning candle. The torch!
As soon as we entered, we were ushered through the space and onto a back porch where a charcuterie tasting was set up and champagne was being poured. It was a non-vintage Stephane Coquillette.
“All this was just beef and cucumbers until my partner, Dustin Busby, got ahold of it,” Christopher Burger said.
After 45 minutes, it was time to change locations. We were escorted down a staircase, and soon we found ourselves underneath Gay Street. We went north under the road and came out beneath the Gay Street viaduct.
It was delicious and very smoky. Which is why it paired so nicely with the Ramey chardonnay from Sonoma Coast.
Next up was my most challenging dish of the evening: wild burgundy escargot with bread and onions.
Wine pairing was Bergrstrom pinot noir from Willamette Valley. I really like pinot noir.
Wine was an Altesino Brunello di Montalcino.
Then, it was time for a little break. We took a stroll into a courtyard surrounded by an urban forest.
A wonderful Feraud-Brunel Chateauneuf-du-Pape was the wine. Yum.
And the “big” wine: Chappellet cabernet sauvignon from Napa Valley.
It was served, according to our menu cards, with a 2007 Niepoort Garrafiera tawny port. But, at this point in the evening, I really couldn’t swear to what we were drinking! Just that we liked it! I loved the “food suggestions” on the wine’s website: Garrafeira is a fine and elegant port and is best appreciated on its own and in good company. Ha.
I think Matt Gallaher, who sat to my left and who knows a thing or two about fine dining, summed up the evening best. “Without a doubt, this will be the best food and wine pairings served on Sept. 26, 2014, anywhere in the Southeast!”
Bravo to everyone involved with putting this evening together. And thanks so much.
(Click here to read about a previous Trust Fall dinner.)