The natural-wine-dedicated restaurant Dame opens tomorrow, September 14, in the venue formerly home to Cocotte at 2930 NE Killingsworth St., and the owners, nationally recognized sommelier Dana Frank and The Knock Back co-owner Jane Smith, have shared the opening day wine list and dinner menu with Eater.
Speaking with Eater, executive chef Eli Dahlin (The Walrus and the Carpenter, Damn the Weather) said, “Natural wines have opened up an whole new world of flavors for chefs to work with. The flavors are diverse—some natural wines have flavor profiles similar to sake, for instance.” Dahlin says natural wines can pair well with ingredients that notoriously do not go well with wines, such as artichokes and asparagus.
Dame is set up to offer something for everyone, from snacks to accompany a single glass of wine, to a complete meal for the entire family. Dahlin says the one thing he hopes his dishes do not do is compete with the wines. “My experience is that with pairings, either the food or the drink always comes out on top,” he says. “We're creating very simple vegetable and fish dishes.”
Dahlin describes everything at Dame as “made from scratch” and says he’s dedicated to using the whole animal and “flower-to-stem” cooking. Frank, Smith, and Dahlin each have some roots in Eastern Europe, and many of the dishes take this direction, such as the corn, lemon, and basil soup. "In Romania,” says Dahlin, “many soups involve a souring agent, such as green cherries. With this soup, there's just enough lemon in there to balance the sweetness."
Starting at 5 p.m. September 14, Dame will operate Wednesday through Sunday, from 5 to 10 p.m. Here are the opening day menus: