The WINTER WHITE Dinner: Totally Chic

Osso Buco
Roman-Style with Orange Peel and Sage

We recently hosted another Sunken City Supper Club event. Featuring a five course fixed menu, this season showcasing “The Winter White Dinner.” The decor was all white, and we playfully incorporated white foods into the menu.

The Sunken City Supper Club is a fresh, local and secret place to periodically mingle with friends and neighbors – to enjoy the camaraderie, great food, wine, the awesome intimate jazz standards (and perhaps a little dancing too) performed by local musicians Barry Anthony and Bill Ryan.

The guests are emailed the menu in advance so they can bring wines to complement the dinner. The Sunken City Supper Club is a “moveable feast” – the location varies. In the Fall it was held at my home, this time, at the beautiful home of our dear friends, Sally & Al.


San Pedro, Los Angeles, California 1929: An entire block along the coast slips seaward and continues to slump into the ocean until 1933. Two of the houses on the seaward side of the street fall into the sea. Others homes on the block are moved to various locations.

This area became known as Sunken City, well known to the locals, hence the name of our Supper Club. The region is unstable, not moving now, but it is fenced off for safety purposes.


Mingle Time
Unique Almond Pizza
Pork Potstickers with Apricot Dipping Sauce

Amuse Bouche
Scallop Verrine

Elegant Leek & Celeriac Soup
Smoked Gouda Crouton

White Asparagus over Butter Lettuce
Homemade Tarragon Mayonnaise and Shaved Avocado

Osso Buco alla Romana with Orange Peel and Sage
Pomme Puree

Panna Cotta with Blueberry Coulis and Fresh Berries

Dinner is Served

Our amuse bouche, a scallop verrine, is made with a layer meyer lemon creme fraiche, a layer of finely chopped red bell pepper,  finely chopped scallion and serrano chile, and finely chopped scallop ceviche “cooked’ in meyer lemon juice, with a sprig of dill. To eat, one must sink the spoon down to the bottom of the glass to enjoy all the flavors. Kudos to Gail for creating this awesome recipe!

The soup is an elegant celeriac and leek soup, garnished with toasted sesame oil and black sesame seeds, served with a smoked gouda crouton. I served this soup at a party last month. The recipe can be found here. Additionally, the recipe for the Unique Almond Pizza we served during “Mingle Time” can be found on this post from last year.

The silky salad is white asparagus over butter lettuce with homemade mayonnaise, shaved avocado, a drizzle of fruity olive oil, salt and pepper.

Asparagus is peeled then simmered in salted water with a bay leaf until tender, then drained and chilled A special thank you to the folks at Gourmet Trading Company for the donation of this delicious white asparagus!

Homemade Tarragon Mayonnaise

I used Julia Child’s method for mayonnaise in a food processor. Cooking for a crowd, I did not want to use raw egg, so I made this mayonnaise with soft boiled egg yolk and pasteurized egg white.

  • 3 soft-boiled egg yolks
  • 3 T. pasteurized egg white
  • 3  T. tarragon vinegar
  • 1 t. Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Big pinch freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 c. grapeseed oil
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 2 T. fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Put the egg, vinegar, mustard, salt, and white pepper in the work bowl of the food processor; process for 10 seconds or more, until creamy. With the food processor running continuously, pour in the oil very slowly in driblets at first, to start the emulsion process. When the sauce has definitely thickened, you may add the oil in a thin stream. Do not stop the machine at this point, but cease pouring every few seconds to be sure the oil is being absorbed. Then continue until the remaining 1 1/2 cups of oil are incorporated. Add fresh tarragon. Stop the machine and check the mayonnaise for taste and consistency. Adjust the seasonings.

“Mayonnaise is one of the finest and most important sauces in classic cuisine. The shame is that few of us ever taste the kind of fresh handmade mayonnaise that deserves such culinary status – and even dedicated home cooks don’t realize that making their own is a simple process that takes only minutes and, if you use a food processor, almost no effort at all,” Julia Child.

Osso buco with orange sage sauce, and pomme purée. Fried sage leaf garnish (not shown). Please scroll down for the simple yet elegant osso buco recipe.

Vanilla Panna Cotta topped with blueberry coulis and fresh blueberries. Another thanks to Gourmet Trading Co. for these wonderful blueberries from Chile. Finish with powdered sugar and mint.

Party Scenes

Old friends + new friends + good food + good wine + good music = good times!

Osso Buco Recipe
Cooking for a crowd: using all four burners to cook the veal!

Pat the meat dry than dust with flour. Sauté in olive oil until golden brown.
Tuck sage leaves between the meat. Pour in  1/2 c.Proscecco.

Let reduce by half. Add  1 1/2 c. beef stock.
Season veal with salt and pepper. Add orange peel strips.

Cover and braise in a 325° oven for about two hours until the veal is very tender. Remove veal from the pan and keep warm. Remove fat from the braising liquid. I like to use a fat separator. Strain the liquid into a clean sauce pan. Heat and whisk in beurre manié (little pearls of butter and flour kneaded together) to get the right sauce consistency. Adjust seasonings. Whole sage leaves fried in butter make a terrific garnish. And remember to serve this course with a little spoon for scooping out the prized marrow too! This delightful recipe was inspired by Rena Salman in her cookbook Healthy Mediterranean Cooking.

“The Best of Fall” Sunken City Supper Club Event Posts:

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Pomegranate

Oyster Rockefeller Soup

Crostini and Other Appetizers

28 thoughts on “The WINTER WHITE Dinner: Totally Chic”

  1. Wow you guys really know how to eat – and party. You really worked hard on that osso buco – four burners no less – but it looks like it was worth it. A wonderful night with friends.

  2. Everything looks spectacular LL and I love the white theme running throughout, you know how to party, that’s for sure! The soft boiled egg in the mayonaise is a perfect solution, I’ll definitely remember that!

  3. Lori I never knew about the sunken city tale.. I guess Long Beach locals are still a little too far removed. 🙂 Beautiful dinner.. I love the idea of Winter white with dashes of white food.. what a fun event! And Roman style osso buco.. yumm, it all looks fab!

  4. What a gorgeous and elegant dinner! The osso bucco looks really good! I love the white theme! I have a few all-white dishes that I’ve been wanting to put together in a themed multi-course meal like this, how fun!

  5. So, if I moved west and parked myself by your door, would I get an invite? I’ve already noted the soup. And the osso bucco will find it’s way to my home before winter’s end. I have four burners! Kudos!

  6. The meal, the tablescape were all stunning. Anytime, you can make a fabulous meal, bring friends together, music and wine-all is perfect in the world.

    This almost sounds like an underground supper club. Is it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.