So your favorite American holiday is already over. Streaks of red, white, and blue flash in your mind. Fireworks ring in your ears. And bourbon, beer, and barbecue are just a memory. Now you have to wait a whole year to do it again. Or do you?
What if there were a place where you can experience 'Murica for the entire month of July? The Dutch has brought back its Summer BBQ Series, taking place every Wednesday night until July 31. Because Andrew Carmellini doesn't just celebrate on the Fourth; he celebrates all month.
The series, which began last year and was a great success, has been brought back due to popular demand. Chef Conor Hanlon recently announced the barbecue styles and menus for July. Dinner is served family style and priced at $30 per person. Short Order attended the first barbecue of July -- the All American. "I wanted to make an all-American-style cookout for the Fourth of July weekend," Hanlon says.
Cocktail specials are offered to complement the American feast. Choose from $3 PBR tallboys -- the perfect barbecue match -- $30 pitchers of Pimm's Punch or $9 specialty cocktails such as a sweet and refreshing cucumber Collins or a strong and smooth bacon old-fashioned (arguably the best old-fashioned in the city and served à la Mad Men with one huge ice cube).
Last week featured traditional American staples such as Dad's BBQ chicken, corn dogs, sliders, corn on the cob, watermelon, house slaw, and cornbread, but it was anything but simple. The burger featured the Dutch's "secret sauce" as well as homemade bread-and-butter pickles on a homemade sesame brioche bun. All we know is that the secret sauce has mayo and jalapeño.
"Growing up, my father would always grill chicken in the summer, although he wasn't the best cook," Hanlon says. "He always managed to burn the chicken. His technique would be to then cover it up by smothering the burnt chicken in barbecue sauce. It grew on me, so I wanted to re-create it. That's where Dad's BBQ chicken comes from." The chicken is brined, marinated in homemade barbecue sauce, and then cooked sous vide. When an order comes in, the meat is placed directly under the broiler to char the skin. "The result is a more refined, juicier version of my dad's burnt barbecue chicken."
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Though tomorrow night's menu won't feature Dad's BBQ chicken, it will include barbecue pork steaks, St. Louis spare ribs, pork cutlets, beer-braised beans with maple syrup, corn casserole, and cornbread. Also, each week features special desserts by pastry chef Josh Gripper.
"The entire series is great, but we're really excited for July 17," general manager Fabrizio Madeddu says. "It's the Korean barbecue, and our Korean chef, Jaie, is simply amazing. Last year we had 350 reservations." So if you want to save yourself a seat for a feast that includes kimchee pork belly, bulgogi beef skewers, beef ribs with Korean chili glaze, and banchan -- small dishes of food served alongside Korean rice -- pick up the phone and find someone to go dutch with at the Dutch on this family-style meal priced at $30 per person.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha.