Burlington can now boast dining establishments serving cuisines from Somalian to Nepalese. But Cajun food, from the good old U.S. of A., has been elusive. Until now. Beginning October 21, ArtsRiot will kick off its Kitchen Takeover dinner series with the first installment of Big Easy Monday.
Pop-up and catering company Until Next Time… will serve up New Orleans-style dinners every Monday from October 21 until December 9, from 6 to 10 p.m., according to Felix Wai of ArtsRiot. He, Tara Pfeiffer-Norrell (Bluebird Tavern’s events coordinator and restaurant manager) and her chef-husband, Kevin Norrell, a cook at Burlington’s Hen of the Wood, were residents of the Big Easy before coming to Burlington.
The series is a way for them to eat the food they crave. They chose Mondays because of a long-standing N’awlins tradition of restaurants serving inexpensive dinners of beans and rice that night. Big Easy Monday will do just that, with a filling plate and a pint of beer for $8. Other offerings will vary each week; the first installment will include barbecue shrimp, French-fry-and-roast-beef po’ boys and sweet potato pie for dessert. Wai also says he’s trying to source New Orleans beer for the occasion.
Fans of other genres of Southern food should mark their calendars for November 17, when Grammy Award-winner Chris Thomas King, known for his featured role in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, shares an evening of tunes at ArtsRiot in collaboration with Signal Kitchen. That night, chef Brian Stefan of Southern Smoke will cook dinner to accompany the show.
On November 10, a series of pairing dinners featuring brewed libations will premiere with help from Citizen Cider. ArtsRiot Kitchen’s chef Richard Witting will prepare five courses paired with five different experimental tipples from Citizen Cider. Though Wai doesn’t want to give away too much, he says to expect treats along the lines of ginger dry cider.
On November 7, ArtsRiot will offer an antidote to all that indulgence: an Ayurvedic feast in conjunction with Rogue Yoga. Just as the season of pop-up dinners wraps for the holidays, TomGirl Juice Co. will host a fundraiser on December 19. The theme: a dinner of juice pairings.
If you can’t wait for a special event, don’t forget that ArtsRiot Kitchen serves hard-to-find Chinese specialties from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 5 p.m. to close on Saturday.