Last month, we had dinner prepared by a chef dressed as a bear. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. Cow by Bear is a pop-up dinner experience, complete with an anonymous chef, secret location and dinner with a group of strangers. We were invited to check out the concept for ourselves and I couldn’t resist the opportunity.
The intimate, 10 seat dinners are held every Saturday at an address that is emailed to you the day before. The four-course dinner menu with wine pairings changes, but the constant is a 45-day dry aged ribeye as the main course.
On the night of our dinner, we waited outside the designated location until it was time. We were greeted at the door by Bear and our hostess for the evening.
Once seated, we were given a rum-based cocktail, “The Glamour & The Squalor,” and a few snacks to munch on. I didn’t take any photos of the snacks but everyone in our group really enjoyed the crispy spiced black eyed peas and the pimento cheese toasts.
Autumn Fruit Salad
Our first course was a generous plate of mixed greens, pears, cranberries, candied pecans, and blue cheese. It was paired with a 2013 Triada La Rioja Chardonnay. Most of the other diners had used Uber for the night, a very smart decision considering all the wine pairings.
Cinderella Pumpkin Soup
Our second course, and one of my favorites, was the pumpkin soup. Unlike most pumpkin soups, this was more savory than sweet. It was also topped with pepitas for crunch and a spicy oil that brought some hearty heat to the dish. I’ve thought about this soup often since our meal.
Dry-Aged Ribeye with red wine demi glace
Of course, we were all looking forward to the ribeye, which we got a peek of before it was cooked. The meat was tender, with an intense depth of flavor that can only be achieved through dry aging. We enjoyed our steak and my only wish would be for more steak and less potatoes.
I didn’t write down the name of this dessert. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the four glasses of wine and two shots of rum. I do remember it being intensely chocolate, topped with caramel sauce and salted peanuts.
Throughout the night, Bear did come out and interact with us. However, he never spoke, which made conversations a little hard. Overall though, we had a great experience. It’s always a little awkward dining with a group of strangers, but everyone comes in with at least one thing in common: a passion for food. It’s fun to meet new people over good food and wine and we don’t have many opportunities, so I love dining events like this.
You can find out more information about Cow by Bear dinners on their website. There, you will also find the email to try to reserve one of these dinners. From what I heard from the other guests, it usually takes a few months from when you first email them and when they have an opening.
Please note, as indicated above, we were invited to check out this pop-up dinner experience and our meals were complimentary. All opinions expressed are my own.