In such a food-blessed metro as ours, it’s easy to lose sight of our dining scene’s other strengths. One is an astounding bent toward collaboration, especially between chefs at the pinnacle of their respective games.
This is what popped (up) into our heads when we first heard that chefs John Ng of Zen Box Izakaya and Erik Sather of Lowry Hill Meats will host a pop-up next week.
Chef Ng’s passion and approach to cooking traditional Japanese cuisine has created a style of ramen unique to Minnesota by focusing on the use of fresh, local ingredients. Chef Sather, meanwhile, channeled his culinary-school background in the direction of old-world skills, while working directly with family farms in a way that allows Lowry Hill Meats to provide custom cuts and dry-aging unlike any other butcher shop in the Cities.
Though their trajectories aren’t identical, they’re riding similar waves. Neither chef needs to do this. But in the spirit of experimentation and growth, they’re teaming up to host a pop-up that suggests much tastiness ahead.
For four hours only (or until they sell out) on Monday, November 4, Zen Box and Lowry Hill will serve dishes from a menu they’ve designed specifically to dial up flavors of Japanese comfort, with the sort of hearty, custom flair only Lowry Hill Meats could provide.
Practically speaking, this looks like a pair of specialty ramen, including a “Barnyard Ramen” made from turkey and chicken dashi triple bone broth, pulled chicken, smoked mushrooms, soft boiled egg, arugula, gobo chips, and black garlic chicken oil.
Ratcheting things up a notch is a tantalizing “Fiery Bird Ramen.” She’s got a spicy turkey chicken bone broth accompanied by pulled chicken, arugula, and a soft boiled egg, finished with black garlic chicken oil and piquin chili. If you ask us, that sounds like a perfect recipe for warming patrons from the inside out as temperatures prepare to plummet.
Maybe pepper-centric spoonfuls aren’t your bag? Ng and Sather thought of that, too. Look for a salt-and-pepper smoked pork brisket with pickled mustard greens, or Kasu-marinated and smoked chicken leg quarters served with roasted mushrooms.
No matter what, Zen Box and Lowry Hill have got you covered… and at pop-up prices mere mortals can afford. Dishes will range from $9 to $11 each, while beer and wine will be available a la carte rather than as a paired menu.
Lowry Hill Meats
Monday, November 4, 5 to 9 p.m.
1934 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis