Like a circus ringmaster, chef Johnny Church has been coordinating monthly themed pop-up dinners for his Sunday Night Supper Series at his Downtown MTO Café. And for the latest edition, Church and his collaborators—including one who’s preparing his own Downtown restaurant—seriously outdid themselves.
Church assembled some of the city’s top young talent for the April 19 supper, dubbed Korean Brasserie, with each course served by a different chef. Dishes included pig ear and kimchi terrine from former Comme Ça executive chef Daniel Ontiveros, a seared abalone and mushroom hot pot with a wildly complex broth from Church himself, and fork-tender Korean barbecue shortribs with tofu cavatelli from Yusho’s Brian Lhee.
In his first official Las Vegas appearance since last year’s departure from Comme Ça, Brian Howard—now working on the upcoming Harvest & Larder restaurant and Grazing Pig charcuterie shop in the Arts District—impressed with his smoky, savory heritage pork tartare, comprising a trio of pig parts including hearts and served with dashi gelée and rice cracklins. If you’re worried you missed out, “There’s always a possibility a dish like this could end up on the menu,” Howard said with a smirk.
If his estimate is correct, we’ll find out the secrets behind his Downtown projects on September 15. Howard hasn’t shared a lot of details about what’s coming, but after the victorious pop-up dinner, he offered this description: “We’re going to be antagonistic.”
An antagonistic charcuterie shop? I can’t wait.