Saturday, May 4, 2013

Dinner Partying- Feastly Style!

Anya’s Russian Feast

One of my favorite activities since moving to Washington, DC has been attending underground dining events.  Last night I participated in a Feastly dinner hosted by the talented Anya Kroupnik.  The dishes for this feast were inspired by Anya’s Russian heritage and she tied the menu together with a very Russian ingredient:  beets.  I never liked beets until I recently attended another Feastly event where another popular Feastly hostess, Grace Lichaa, prepared them perfectly.  I couldn’t stop eating them! 

We got the party started the right way:  with beet-infused vodka shots!  These were slightly sweet due to the beet sugar, and had a very mild beet flavor.  We chased them with "Zakuski," Russian for "little bites," which included pickled garlic, cucumbers, and tomatoes. 

The first course was a creamy beet soup topped with crunchy cucumbers, dill, and coconut milk.  (This is Anya’s husband’s favorite dish she makes): 

"Not Your Babushka's Borscht"

Other guests at the dinner admitted they also never cared for beets before coming to this dinner.  After trying this soup, however everyone requested seconds and thirds- no one could get enough!

We then moved on to a traditional Russian potato and marinated mushroom medley seasoned with sunflower oil.  This was accompanied by Vinigret, colorful beet salad mixed with potatoes, peas, carrots, and onions:

"Vinigret"

Again, I couldn’t stop munching on these beets!   I should have saved room however, because Anya followed this with a new recipe she created for the event:  a Sweet Beet Tart with Caramelized Onions and Pomegranate Molasses:

"Rustic Beet & Onion Tart"

After all this, we had a Russian chocolate black bread spread with Russian jams such as plum-butter, and topped fresh berries and coconut milk.  Wow.  This was a legitimate feast, all dishes were vegan, and the Feastly price was only $30 per person.   I can’t begin to express how great a deal this is, and as a bonus you meet a room full of fascinating people!

Do you want to try beets prepared so perfectly that you can't stop eating them?  Of course you do!  Lucky for you, Grace Lichaa will soon be selling her pickled beets at the Dupont Farmer’s Market starting in June.  

For those of you who have never tried Feastly, here’s the link:  http://eatfeastly.com/

Come out to a dinner- maybe I’ll see you there!


p.s.  I know you were hoping I would post a crazy Russian/Ukrainian Dinner video.  You weren't?  Here's one anyway:  


You are welcome.


~Grace