Archive for Monday, December 6, 2010

Dinner and a show: 715 Restaurant offers dinner with a side of butchery

Private dinner gives guests a look into the kitchen

Chef Michael Beard uses a boning knife and meat hook to cut underneath the pig's ribs during a live butchering. Guests who attend 715's Butchery Dinner will get to see first-hand how Beard makes use of every part of the pig during a planned demonstration.

Chef Michael Beard uses a boning knife and meat hook to cut underneath the pig's ribs during a live butchering. Guests who attend 715's Butchery Dinner will get to see first-hand how Beard makes use of every part of the pig during a planned demonstration.

December 6, 2010, 3:47 p.m. Updated December 7, 2010, 12:40 a.m.

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Butchery Dinner with Chef Michael Beard

Where: 715 Restaurant, 715 Mass.

When: 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12

What: A private dinner featuring a whole hog butchery demonstration, antipasti and a casual five-course meal.

Cost: $75 per person.

For reservations: Call the restaurant at 856-7150

Michael Beard’s comfort zone is in the kitchen. The next best thing if you take him away from the stove? Behind a table with a pig, ready to be carved.

That’s what guests will get Sunday night when Beard and general manager Matt Hyde host what they’re calling a Butchery Dinner at their restaurant 715, 715 Mass.

The private dinner, which still has a limited number of reservations, will include a session in which the Italian-trained Beard will demonstrate how he butchers a whole hog each week for the restaurant’s use in the hand-created pork products that pepper many of its entrees. It’s a kind of look-and-learn approach that Beard and Hyde hopes will be filling both physically and mentally to their guests.

“During our anniversary week, we did just a demonstration in butchery and we had a great turnout there,” Beard says of two-hour show-and-tell he did in October. “We realize that there is interest in this, and we thought we’d just take it a step further and make an event where people could see that as well as see some prepared products.”

Chef Michael Beard uses a boning knife and meat hook to cut underneath the pig's ribs during a live butchering. Guests who attend 715's Butchery Dinner will get to see first-hand how Beard makes use of every part of the pig during a planned demonstration.

Chef Michael Beard uses a boning knife and meat hook to cut underneath the pig's ribs during a live butchering. Guests who attend 715's Butchery Dinner will get to see first-hand how Beard makes use of every part of the pig during a planned demonstration.

This time, the seminar experience will be combined with food and drink and revelry similar to something that’s become popular in the business — the wine dinner. Though, Hyde says, it’ll be more of a laid-back learning experience than a stuffy, erudite affair.

“Frequently, you’ll have a wine rep or a wine maker come to the restaurant and you’ll plan a menu around five or six wines that they pick out. They tend to be somewhat formal or fancy affairs, that I think can be kind of intimidating to people, even people who like food and wine. Sometimes they feel like it’s going to be a class environment, and they’re going to have to know what they’re talking about,” Hyde says. “Here, we’re just going to try to make it a more comfortable thing.”

To maintain that feeling, the restaurant is planning to keep this dinner to just 18 to 20 people, so the setting isn’t overwhelming or inhibiting to the diner’s experience.

“We’re going to keep the number of attendees really limited because we want everybody to be able to see and participate and ask questions and also enjoy talking to one another,” Hyde says. “A lot of times, private dinners like this, you tend to end up with 30 or 40 people, and it tends to be a big production.”

And a big production, it’s not, according to Beard, who pictures it more as a wine and dine with the past.

“My grandfather saw his parents do a lot of the farming and butchering and then he basically kept that and didn’t really pass that on to my mother,” Beard says. “I think there’s a lost generation, and so I think that there might be a little bit of an unknown, but there’s a little bit of a familiarity of, ‘That’s just what my grandfather used to do.’”

Pork chops, a 715 specialty, are cut by Beard himself. They're popular among guests as well.

Pork chops, a 715 specialty, are cut by Beard himself. They're popular among guests as well.

The dinner also highlights another trend in Lawrence dining besides the private meal: The act of getting to know the person who’s behind the food. Hyde points to several Lawrence restaurants that have also allowed their chefs become a part of the meal itself, such as Pachamama’s (Ken Baker), Genovese (Armando Paniagua) and The Burger Stand at the Casbah and Esquina (Robert Krause).

“I think Ken has worked really hard over at Pachamama’s to kind of build that relationship with his clientele, people that really appreciate his abilities and his thoughtfulness with how he cooks. Krause has a similar kind of thing, particularly when he was doing the restaurant in his house (Krause Dining). And Armando has been really successful with that at Genovese,” Hyde says. “And it makes perfect sense. Food is such an intimate thing.”

Comments

Eric Neuteboom 4 years, 7 months ago

You know, I really like Michael, but I and my family have been to his restaurant several times (5 or so) and have been tremendously disappointed - from service to food - each time we've been there. I'm pulling for him, but given how bad our previous experiences have been (not to mention how costly), I'm not sure we'll be back.

farmgal 4 years, 7 months ago

agreed. the service is really bad. it's a shame, because i think he's done a lot of innovative things (innovative for lawrence), but the poor service is unacceptable.

Kash_Encarri 4 years, 7 months ago

Really? I've been there a handful of times myself and have always had good service and excellent food. Not to mention the $7.15 lunch specials for those that are curious but don't want to spend too much to find out about a place.

Maybe it's the way you treat the staff.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Surprising.

We've had excellent service and excellent food every time we've gone there.

What's gone wrong on your visits?

Eric Neuteboom 4 years, 7 months ago

First off, Tom, I sent you a private message. I can't repeat what I said to you here, but your comments are unwelcome. Frankly, I'd rather you disappear than make nasty, mean-spirited comments. But you know how to contact me too, tough guy, so feel free.

As far as the service (and the way we treat the staff, Kash) it's been bad across the board. Out of respect for Michael and what he's trying to do, I will decline to go into detail here.

As far as respecting the servers, we are always courteous, respectful and tip well, as both my wife and I have worked in the service industry before. Finally, for those who wonder why we've gone back, it's because I like Michael, and would prefer to support local businesses, even it we've had a few bad experiences.

Eric Neuteboom 4 years, 7 months ago

Your hypocrisy and ignorance are staggering.

notajayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Whatever happened to Hannibal_Lecter? Did he get disappeareded? Seems he would have been the first to comment on this thread.

riverdrifter 4 years, 7 months ago

H_Lecter was sizing you up earlier today at the liquour store. He's never far away from you, mumbling something about fava beans...

EJ Mulligan 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree! I absolutely love it. The service is good, but not impeccable (Free State sets that standard, imho), but it will get there. The food is wonderful, and I love all the local and house-made stuff.

walkthehawk 4 years, 7 months ago

we agree, too. we eat there as often as we can get away from the kiddos . . . sometimes just for dessert. the service--truly--has been wonderful, without exception, and we have nearly always been very impressed by the food as well. 715 has the best lunch deal in town, quality and quantity to price, and we have enjoyed dinner and brunch there as well. we think you are doing great, 715 staff . . . our only fear is that the restaurant is a little out of Lawrence's league.

John Reeves 4 years, 7 months ago

The food and service are TOPS. Now that S&P are on the table, I'm even happier. One of the best rooms in town.

farmgal 4 years, 7 months ago

the food is very good, but it is expensive for most people. the service was really bad. glad you had better service, but not the case with us. i can never understand why it is so hard to be a pleasant, attentive wait person. the gal running the bar & the waitress we had were both very unpleasant. never smiled once. no excuse for that. no matter how good the food is in a place, we don't go back again if the service is this bad.

bangaranggerg 4 years, 7 months ago

Well, I know where I'm going for my next pork chop.

maudeandcecil 4 years, 7 months ago

This is a cool idea and I LOVE this restaurant! Best service in town and the food is amazing. Also 715 does an excellent job of featuring local food on its menu. I hope they're around for a long, long time.

superhans 4 years, 7 months ago

Change the name. "715" is pretentious as hell. Of course, so are most of the residents of Lawrence.

livetocook 4 years, 7 months ago

"Innovative for Lawrence". Charcuterie dates back centuries and hand-made pasta isn't new to the culinary world. Farmgal- if you are looking for "innovative cuisine" please refer to Ferran Adria and El Bulli or molecular gastronomy. You are part of a growing culture that follows 'Top Chef' and are now a food expert. Chef Michael Beard is producing food that comes from passion, culinary tradition and his own philosiphy- A true chef. Farmgal- I think by "innovative cusine", you meant "smoke and mirrors cusine". ( Where a chef produces a menu based soley upon terminology and fails to execute technique properly).

matthyde 4 years, 7 months ago

Superhans-great idea to change the name...how 'bout we call it "superhans is a douchebag." Just kidding. We just wanted to make it easy for people like you to spell. Happy holidays!

econ101 4 years, 7 months ago

Would it be too much trouble to just change the name to PretentiousAsHell? Superhans will eat there every day, which oughtta keep you afloat. Wait... Superhans doesn't leave his mother's house except to fill his prescriptions, but maybe you could get a discount on the new awning and signage by leaving out the vowels: PrtntsSHll. Catchy! Now, where exactly is your restaurant? And how much is your lunch special?

KUnlv13 4 years, 7 months ago

Upon first reading this headline, I really thought this was a dinner/murder mystery show.

God I've been in Vegas waaaaay too long.

superhans 4 years, 7 months ago

Real professional, Mr. Hyde. I'm sure that charm is going to keep your restaurant afloat.

Trollololol.

roosmom 4 years, 7 months ago

Oh my! You people have taken this article way out of context and made it a major "soup opera!"

livetocook 4 years, 7 months ago

Matt Hyde- 99% of the "food experts" on this comment thread probably can't pronounce bechamel, project proper food cost or keep labor under 30% but, they sure as hell can be quick to judge your hard work and passion for the business. Keep up the passion and hard work. P.S. Amy K. is an excellent cook.

livetocook 4 years, 7 months ago

A note to the "food experts"that reside on LJworld.com-I would like you to butcher, cure and age 80+ lbs of Jamon Serrano, pickle 100 lbs of brisket for corned beef, and make a proper stock. Next let me see your pasta dough. How about 4 gallons of veloute? Clarify some butter without burning the piss out of it? Produce some marinara that didn't come from a jar? How is your hollandaise?( I bet you added the butter when it was too hot and scrambled the eggs.) Roux is 1 part butter to 1 part flour right? TO THE FOOD CRITICS OF LAWRENCE: see above.

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