WICKER PARK — A lamb harvested from a Wisconsin farm 101 miles away from Wicker Park was the spotlight of an interactive five-course dinner this week, along with the two farmers who raised the animal.
Married for 43 years, Darlene and Steve Pinnow of 120-year-old Pinn-Oak Ridge Farms in Delavan, Wisconsin were the guests of honor Tuesday at Storefront Company's "Discovery Dinner Party," which included a half dozen renditions from a single lamb.
The meat was prepared by Chef Bryan Moscatello, sous chef David Park and pasty chef Kym Delost.
An array of wine pairings from pinot noir to cava and riesling were arranged by Storefront Company's managing partner John Dalesandro.
The five-course dinner, part of a new series intended to connect farmers with diners and chefs, included a flavorful consomme soup containing shank; ravioli stuffed with lamb neck cured in coriander and citrus, and an entree of seared back strap brushed with licorice and blood orange glaze.
In addition to the lamb itself, pastry chef Kym Delost's lamb-fat-infused ice cream served as dessert along with chocolate cake got plenty of "oohs" from patrons.
Park's inventive salad sorbet which used kale, argula, and romaine lettuce combined with lemon juice elicited various reactions, too.
Darlene Pinnow said all of the lamb on the farm she owns with her husband are raised on a vegetarian diet and processed onsite at their federally-inspected plant.
In addition to Storefront Company, the Pinnows partner with 24 producer-partners to supply lamb to 90 stores and restaurants, including downtown's Spiaggia at 930 N. Michigan Ave., West Loop's The Girl and the Goat at 907 W. Randolph St. and Gold Coast's gourmet pizzeria Bar Toma at 110 E. Pearson St., which tops its pizza with lamb.
Among the dinner party guests were food writer Audarshia Townsend, who attended the restaurant's opening party in April and called the new Discovery Dinner series "a great idea" for a neighborhood restaurant.
"Usually you have to go to downtown restaurants to do these kinds of dinners. I love the idea of parties with local purveyors," Townsend said.
Storefront Company's next "Discovery Dinner Party" will take place March 5 and highlight bovine cattle from CDK farm in Lena, Illinois. Tickets are available for $79 per guest (including wine pairings) and must be reserved in advance by calling Storefront Company at 773-661-2609.