Each Friday and Saturday night through the end of July, visitors to Mill Avenue will have the chance to enjoy a four-course gourmet meal at Tempe’s first pop-up restaurant.
Pop-up restaurants are common in larger cities, especially among younger chefs or those who are between restaurants and trying to keep cooking, like Tony Andiaro.
Andiaro, who’d been cooking up Italian dishes with locally grown produce at Phoenix’s Quiessence Restaurant and Wine Bar until last month, will bring some of his recipes to the six dinners served at his pop-up restaurant, Supper.
“I gathered a list of seasonal ingredients before planning my menus,” Andiaro says. “I see what’s available and create dishes from there.”
Each weekend will see a new four-course menu designed and prepared by Andiaro and two cooks he worked with at Quiessence.
The first weekend’s menu consisted of a terrine of heirloom tomatoes, squash blossoms, marinated cucumber and basil vinaigrette, along with roasted eggplant raviolo lunga and a slow-cooked, two-wash ranch chicken. A dessert of melon sorbet with Utah cherries, a tuile cookie and orange mint rounds out the meal.
Customers can also order wine by the glass.
Andiaro says many dishes will be similar to the European- or Italian-inspired dishes patrons of Quiessence might remember, but he’s also looking forward to the chance to experiment and cook for a new crowd.
“It’d be nice to get a different demographic than we had at Quiessence,” he says. “Quiessence was very much a place for special occasions, and I’m looking forward to reaching more people.”
Andiaro will use Ncounter, a breakfast and lunch hotspot that closes each day at 3:05 p.m., as the home for his temporary restaurant.
Cooking in a strange kitchen takes some getting used to, he says.
“I kind of compared it to living out of a hotel room,” he says. “When you have your own kitchen, you know where everything is.”
But even if the kitchen’s layout has changed, Andiaro’s cooking philosophy hasn’t.
“I keep the same philosophy, which is to use local, seasonal food from local farmers,” he says.
Supper will be open to 30-40 people each night, and reservations can be made by calling (480) 447-7248 or emailing TempePopUp@gmail.com.
The meal costs $45 per person, about half of what diners would have paid for similar fare when Andiaro worked at Quiessence.
Patrons can check the weekly menu on Supper’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/SupperPopUp.
Andiaro is looking forward to six “fun nights” cooking at Supper before trying to figure out where he’s going next.
“I think it’s going to be special because it’s here and gone,” he says.
• Julia, a junior at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is an intern for the East Valley Tribune. Contact her at (480) 898-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.