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Side Dishes: Isole Dinner Club returns


Published September 26, 2012 at 7:49 a.m.

Ever wondered what members of the Middle Eastern Druze religious community eat? Richard Witting did. The chef behind Isole Dinner Club is sharing his findings this Saturday at his first dinner since he reestablished his pop-up concept with the help of PJ McHenry and Felix Wai, the promoters behind ArtsRiot (see State of the Arts, this issue).

When Witting, also owner-operator of Firefly Catering, hosted dinners at the now-defunct Upstairs Underground in Winooski, he says, “Oftentimes, it was hard for me to do all the research, find all the food, manage guest lists, make phone calls.” Now that the self-described “culinary anthropologist,” formerly chef at ¡Duino! (Duende), has ArtsRiot taking care of the organizational aspects, he’s free to focus on the food and music.

At Saturday’s event at the Soda Plant, at 266 Pine Street in Burlington, Grup Anwar will provide the aural accompaniment to a night built on cuisine from the mountainous Golan Heights region of the Levant.

The three-course dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. with mezzes, perhaps including the paper-thin pita unique to the secretive Druze. Lamb will be featured in the main course, and Syrian atayef pancakes for dessert. Of course, arak and Golan wines will provide appropriate pairings.

Witting says he hopes that, with the help of ArtsRiot, Isole Dinner Club will soon become a monthly, or bimonthly, happening.