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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 15 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 46
Theater, served extra crispy - Café Nordo is back with another dramatic dish
Arts & Entertainment
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Theater, served extra crispy - Café Nordo is back with another dramatic dish

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

THE MODERN AMERICAN CHICKEN
CAFÉ NORDO (AT WASHINGTON HALL)
Through November 24


If you were not one of the fortunate few who attended Café Nordo's first pop-up restaurant and theatrical, you can make up for that now. Chef Nordo Lefeszcki is now serving his latest offering, The Modern American Chicken, Thursdays through Sundays.

Having attended a few of their theatrical evenings focused on food, education, and entertainment, this particular evening surprisingly has much less educational content than Nordo's previous productions. Indeed, from a gastronomic perspective, you would think you'd learn much more about free-range chickens versus the horrid conditions and inhumane treatment afford most corporate chickens. But if you fear being a captive for political food arguments, fear not.

This evening features more information, ultimately, about the fine wines provided with each course than with the ugly details of how chickens are manhandled. The atmosphere is elegant, the servers serve with panache (although occasional griping is heard), and the food is sublime.

A PLETHORA OF POULTRY
To entice your palate, here is the menu, all items involving chicken and/or eggs: Parsley Shot topped with Crème Fraîche and a Savory Lemon Curd; Spinach Salad with Poached Egg, Shredded Parmesan, and Phyllo 'Nest' with Warm Goat Cheese Bechamel (served in an eggshell, of course); Chicken Consomme with Chopped Liver Dumpling (it's sort of made for you at the table with hot broth poured over an assortment of ... well, it's a surprise); Roasted Chicken with Handmade Sumac Chicken Sausage and Habanero Cherries; and Chocolate Panna Cotta with Marionberry Coulis. They tell you it's chicken liver when the dessert arrives. It's a joke. But it surely looks scary.

The flight of wine starts very white and slowly gets redder. The wines are light and refreshing, and most seemed very local.

For the non-imbiber, there is water. For the vegetarian, the press info says there is not a veg option this time around, but Brown Paper Tickets does list one. Contact them if you feel you need clarification.

The entertainment is atmospheric with accordion and piano work from the talented Annastasia Workman, who composed a large chunk of the evening's music (it's not entirely clear if she composed every musical piece - sorry for the inexactitude). The serving staff are often seen on other local theater stages and include Maximillian Davis (who plays the maitre d'), Opal Peachey (a Nordo regular), Devin Bannon, Carter Rodriguez, Evan Mosher, Kate Kraay, and Becky Poole, who plays her specialty - the saw.

They do a bit of singing about chickens, and sometimes engagingly move around the room bawking a bit. The tables of six encourage those who don't know each other to meet their tablemates. This is a leisurely dinner, close to three hours in length - sit back and enjoy the company, and the company. It's a decadent feeling.

The script is by Terry Podgorski, along with the design of the room, and the food is designed by Erin Brindley, who also directs the production. These are the geniuses behind Nordo. We can look forward to whatever they brew up next, while gently encouraging them to continue to refine the theatrical portion of the evening, bringing the script and the story up to the heights that they already achieve with their fabulous food.

Still, Café Nordo is unique. We are extremely lucky in Seattle to have two different kinds of dinner theater, and neither one is anything like the pablum that 'dinner theater' had devolved to by the mid-1980s. Nordo's offerings are a little rough around the edges, but that just makes them feel 'handmade.' For more information, go to www.cafenordo.com or www.brownpapertickets.com/event/463496, or call 1-800-838-3006.

Discuss your opinions with sgncritic@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/SeattleTheaterWriters.

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Theater, served extra crispy - Café Nordo is back with another dramatic dish
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