April’s Please dinner: six courses and a five-star experience

April 1st was a big day for us – it marked the first day of my birthday month (yes, I celebrate all month darn it.), the day we found out we had been named Best Vegan Dessert in Cincinnati for 2011 by CityBeat, and it was the day Derek and I attended Please catering’s dinner that featured Phro*Zen as an amuse bouche. Needless to say, I was pretty excited about the whole thing.

As per the request of the chef, Ryan, who orchestrated the menu, I created a fennel vegan ice cream. Not being a fan of fennel, the experimentation process was a bit of a challenge, but Ryan was happy with what I came up with, so I made a bunch of it and brought it to the dinner. After dropping the ice cream off to the chef hard at work in the kitchen downstairs, Derek and I went upstairs to the space where the dinner was to be held. We were greeted with favors on a side table, carefully arranged by Rosie, who owns The Brush Factory boutique with locations in Brighton and Oakley.

 

Favors of seed cones to welcome guests and spring.

The space itself was open and beautiful, and had a view of the city that I love so much that made for a perfect backdrop as the evening began. The table was set and ready for guests to sit down to enjoy a few drinks and conversations before the dinner began.

Before guests arrived. It gets considerably more crowded with conversations and "mmm"s.

The attention to detail was already apparent in the place settings and favor table, and was carried over to a greater extent in the menu. A copy of the menu was provided at each setting, and gave guests a preview of what they’d be tasting. First up? Phro*Zen.

Our fennel flavored Phro*Zen created for Please's dinner.

After being named the best vegan dessert in Cincy, I can’t say I wasn’t a little nervous to see everyone’s reaction to an often disliked anise flavor. It’s like licorice, or those little Christmas cookies, and a whole lot of people (myself included) aren’t fans. Ryan being the artist that he is, however, was able to pair it with exactly the right flavors to make it something everyone enjoyed – I did immensely! A scoop of anise flavored Phro*Zen was placed atop a plate of “coffee soil,” and drizzled with sesame oil. What is coffee soil? I’m not sure exactly, but it was sort of like a coffee cookie crumb. In short, the combination was delicious, and totally changed my view of what anise should taste like.

The night continued with five more courses, all crafted to highlight the unique flavor of each ingredient, many of which were chosen for their seasonality and local availability.

We stayed at the table for hours, while Ryan presented each dish, and everyone enjoyed the food and the company. We even stayed past the meal’s finish, which was a completely delicious take on peanut butter and celery. I’ll never think of that snack in the same way again. Ryan came up to visit with the dinner guests after he was finished with everything in the kitchen, and we all got to munch on extra goodies leftover from our favorite courses (we had seconds of the Phro*Zen to my delight).

The menu, which you can see more of on Please’s Facebook page, was unforgettable, and wrapped everyone in an experience that allowed us to explore some different food, some interesting combinations, and some lively conversation for an entire evening worthy of repeat. We’re proud to say that Please is coming to Cincinnati in May, and we’ll be working with Ryan on a dinner, the details of which are to come. Love.

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3 Comments to “April’s Please dinner: six courses and a five-star experience”

  1. Sounds wonderful! How did you get word of/tickets to an event such as this?

  2. Sounds amazing! How did you get word of / tickets to an event such as this?

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