Hatchet Hall in Culver City is celebrating its third anniversary with an enchanting “Fuss and Feathers” dinner series, which takes place every Thursday evening through Aug. 30.
Chef Brian Dunsmoor is offering an extensive 13-course tasting menu and beverage pairings by candlelight in the restaurant’s 12-person rustic private family room. The recipes and techniques are inspired by the early years of the country.
The food is made by hand in the wood-burning hearth, with no assistance from any modern technologies.
“We believe that we can look further into the future of American food by first looking to the past,” Dunsmoor says. “What is American food? Where did it come from? And why? Beverage pairings will follow the same tack, focusing on the tastes of the colonial era, forgotten spirits and indigenous varietals. Above all else, each will be produced using minimal intervention, a sense of place, and the aim to elevate each dish with which it is paired.”
“Old Fuss & Feathers” was the name given to General Winfield Scott, the longest-serving officer in American history and an infamous gourmet. In a letter reassigning another officer to Chesapeake Bay, he famously wrote, “You are very fortunate … it is just the season for soft-shell crabs, and hogfish have just come in, and they are the most delicious pan fish you ever ate.”
As luck would have it, our menu included a delicate soft-shell crab with wild sour plum in the fashion of beach plum. As for pan fish, Dunsmoor served a local sand dab meunière amandine roasted on the bone, which was eaten by hand and delightfully doused in brown butter.
There was an oyster roasted and served in tinder, with an intoxicating smoky aroma, topped with cured mullet roe. Course four featured a wispy prawn head topped with sturgeon caviar, easily eaten whole. In fact, utensils made a very rare appearance throughout the evening.
But the most dramatic moment of the evening was presentation of the whole roast suckling pig, which even impressed our tablemates, Dina and Steve Samson. The Rossolbu and Sotto owners were having a date night out from the twins and dished all about their newest venture, Superfine Pizza, which launched downtown this week.
The three- to four-hour experience comes in at $150, which includes food, tax and tip. For $225, dinner will be all-inclusive including a pre-dinner cocktail hour, wine pairings and an after-dinner drink in the restaurant’s Old Man Bar, with tax and gratuity included.
Hatchet Hall, 12517 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City; (310) 391-4222, hatchethallla.com/fuss-feathers/