It was late summer last year when I received a mysterious and intriguing direct message beckoning me to a special dinner by a woman named Tutku. We had met in passing at the Paladar, but never formally, and I never turn down an invitation to a secret supper, so I decided to go! It IS my job after all, and someone has to do it. So, with my best friend on my arm, we sauntered down the warm streets of Nevada City to this undercover experience. We would soon discover that it was not so private after all. Filled to the brim with locals, the room felt vibrant, and we found our seats when the meze began.
Dish after dish emerged from the kitchen and as lovely as the food tasted, it was only part of the feast for my senses. I am unusually perceptive at events like this. I want to feed all the parts of me, and I can’t help but watch like a hawk for how dining events unfold. I am particularly aware of how to run an operation like this. I expect the chef to be hustling in a hidden room, plating ferociously, and perhaps a little disheveled. Not Tutku. Dressed to the NINES, greeting individuals, speaking eloquently before the meal in front of the entire crowd, and watching her dishes emerge from the kitchen, Tutku was like an orchestral conductor. She WAS the whirling dervish effortlessly bringing together all of the elements we needed.
She read Sufi poetry, sang Turkish songs WITH the musicians, and each course came out with a purpose. We were encouraged to engage deeply with our table mates, and the conversation only enriched each moment. I was full, and it wasn’t just because of the meze. The wheels were already in motion, and I wanted my Paladarians to taste her magic. Tutku wasn’t “auditioning” for the Paladar. She was doing her own thing, and I was lucky enough to witness. The Aşk Paladar is Chef Tutku Tezveren’s ballad. A song she has heard her whole life; a song written in her bones. This weekend, let the flavors of Anatolia transform you. Allow the mystic spices of Turkey to lead your imagination to faraway places. Aşk (pronounced USHK) translates to “falling in love with the beloved” or “divine love” by the Sufis of Turkey. Get ready to fall in love with Tutku.
Red lentils creamed with caramelized onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, spices, topped with a drizzle of grass-fed butter (opt), red Urfa pepper, and mint. (GF/VEG)
Ground lamb with fresh herbs & spices or spinach & feta stuffed filo dough served with garlic yogurt – topped with grass-fed butter and Marash pepper.
Fire-roasted eggplants, garlic, fire-roasted peppers, tomatoes, fresh parsley topped with olive oil, grape vinegar dressing, and fresh spices. (GF/ VGN)
Crimini mushrooms stuffed with rice, sweet currants, pine nuts, sweet caramelized onions, fresh herbs, spices, and cooked in homemade tomato sauce. (GF/VEG)
Bulgur rested with Pomegranate molasses, homemade tomato/pepper paste, cucumbers, peppers, fresh mint, fresh parsley, fresh dill, chives, lemon, & olive oil dressing.
White bean salad, slivered red onions, served with thinly chopped fresh parsley, sumac, and a stuffed egg on the side. (GF/ VGN/VEG)
Little balls of grass-fed lamb mixed with fresh parsley, sweet onions, served with vegetables, and mushrooms on skewers. (GF)
ALI NAZIK KEBAB
Char-grilled smoked eggplant puree mixed with yogurt and topped with tender slow-cooked lamb stew served with char-grilled anaheim peppers, and char-grilled heirloom tomatoes. (GF)
Oven roasted eggplants topped with sautéed tomatoes, green peppers, sweet onions, garlic, fresh parsley, with Urfa Biber, and Turkish spices. (GF/VGN)
Ancient grain bulgur roasted in grass-fed butter with pine nuts, sweet onions, homemade red pepper paste, topped with fresh dill, and fresh parsley. (VEG)
Yogurt sauce, cucumbers, fresh dill, garlic topped with olive oil, fresh mint, sumac, and heirloom tomato. (GF)
Pomegranate, fig, apricot, and walnut rice pudding.
Flaky filo dough stuffed with walnuts, honey, and cinnamon.
Slow cooked Turkish figs stuffed with walnuts, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and topped with creamy mascarpone. (GF/VEG)
Allowable Dietary Preferences: Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten Free.
Please answer the questionnaire at the Tock Ticket check-out to inform us of the dietary needs of your party. We kindly decline walk-in changes to the menu.
Tutku Tezveren was born in Ankara, Turkey. Growing up in a household of passionate chefs, including her mom and her uncle, Tutku’s childhood was steeped in the aromas and flavors of the nuanced, unique Mediterranean and Aegean traditions of Turkish cuisine. Food has been the most significant foundational aspect in Tutku’s life, bringing all of the family together in conversation, timeless sharing, music, poetry, and spiritual connection. Tutku’s deep love for the Art of Eating evolved organically into combining experiences of physical nourishment with spiritual nourishment, pairing music, poetry and even meditation with her conscious cooking. Thus, she weaves the fundamental expressions of life into a form of ritual, carrying her lineage and stories to the hearts of her community. With the intention of invoking passion and deeper common connection, she has combined her creations and launched “Tutku’s Mezes – an Organic Intimate Catering” company based in Nevada City, CA where she currently resides.
CALIFORNIA HERITAGE: INDIGENOUS RESEARCH PROJECT (CHIRP) was created to research, document, preserve, and protect California Indigenous Nisenan culture. As an important first task, CHIRP has been following the history and stories of the Foothill Nisenan people of the Nevada City Rancheria. They have played an essential role in the re-introduction of the Nisenan people to the non-native community now residing in the Nisenan homelands of the Bear and Yuba River watersheds. Nevada County where the Nisenan once had a federally recognized reservation.
CHIRP lead efforts to restore the Nisenan exhibit at the Firehouse No.1 museum in Nevada City, California, where some of the last remaining Nisenan Tribal artifacts are archived and available for public viewing. CHIRP continues to support the Nisenan in their quest to re-establish themselves as the Indigenous people in the foothills where their families have resided for thousands of years. CHIRP’s area of influence is mainly the counties of Sierra, Yuba, Sutter, Nevada, Placer, and Butte.
About Jason O’Keefe:
Jason’s music is Spirit singing in Gratitude for this blessed life. Alchemy of sound infused with prayers for a world of peace & harmony.
About the Mezo’s Mosaics:
Mucahit Yaman Lamba is bringing rugs, pillows, lanterns, candles holders, and all of the magical handmade beauty from Turkey to grace the space. We are so grateful to have authentic textile art and otherwise. The great efforts to bring this unique art to us does not go unnoticed.
2ND ANNUAL GREAT PALADAR COOK-OFF PRIMARY
Are you interested in participating in our 2nd annual cook-off? Last year, a distinguished panel of judges tasted over ten delicious dishes prepared by ten wonderful locals. The judges narrowed it down to four finalists who then came together to create a beautiful Paladar for our community. Then, the guests voted a winner! It was just so much fun that we wanted to try it again. This time, our judges will narrow it down to three finalists. We are so excited. Here is the application to enter below:
Thanks to all of the generous Paladar members who have chosen to participate in the quest to lower the seat prices at Polly’s Paladar! The first goal is to generate $1000/month using the patronage platform, PATREON.COM. We are 10% funded! This income goes directly toward making seat prices lower which opens up the supper club experience to more people. The costs are rising! Consider giving us as little as $1/month. Read this: If 17% of followers who love Polly’s Paladar (in all of our platforms combined) gave $1/month, we could lower prices dramatically. That is incredibly do-able! There are some great rewards as well. Patrons can hear interviews recorded with past chefs, see menus before anyone else, get a free beverage at Paladars, and even grab some house-made shrubs. We also have a reward to receive VIP access to early ticket releases! Also, for the die-hards, we have a tier giving automatic seats and drinks to every Paladar as long as the donation is active!
NO PHONE POLICY:
A word about phones. The reasoning behind wishing for an interpersonal connection and a desire for guests to completely relax in the present moment when they are at the supper club holds water. The photographer takes pretty pictures. The guests eat. Food aficionados take photos of their meals. It is fun. It is real. It is a thing. For this one night, power the phone down. Give it a try! It is okay to keep the mystery alive at Polly’s Paladar!
ABOUT THE MONEY, HONEY:
To clear up a bit of confusion, I have decided to spell out a little bit how the supper club functions. When you buy a seat at the ticket link, you are paying $80 to Polly’s Paladar. Your 20% service charge goes straight to the staff and servers, 8.375% sales tax goes to “you know who,” and a tiny bit goes to Tock (WHOM WE LOVE). So, please be clear that the service charge goes to our incredible staff and NOT the MAN!
BRAND NEW WEBSITE!
It has been a long time coming, ladies and gentlemen. The website I made in the Fall of 2011 for this supper club has left the building. Thank goodness! So, behold — a brand new, built from scratch, dynamic, visually beautiful, and direct way to discover all things Paladar. My dear Shawn Hart spent much time perfecting this extensive website, and he outdid himself. Take some time to peruse this incredible virtual space of Polly’s Paladar.
Amani Mudd (16) and Bella Davis (15) are two of the best teenagers on planet Earth. They are both available to babysit at ANY seating. I repeat, ANY SEATING! Please email [email protected] to request this extra service for the kiddos. Dine downstairs, and right upstairs, your little one/s are in the land of fun and games. Ages 3-12 preferred (but this is not set in stone). Bring a prepared dinner for your child. If no one requests this service by MARCH 8TH, I am letting them off the hook, so if you are thinking about it, get right on that. $10/kid/hour. Side note: If you have a breastfeeding infant and want to come to the Paladar, please know that you are more then welcome. It can get loud, but most of the time babies hear that as white noise. We also have options available for private breastfeeding, if preferred.
INSTAGRAM SEAT CONTEST:
Win two seats to #aşkpaladar by following these rules:
1. Follow us on Instagram at @pollyspaladar.
2. Tag as many friends as you want in the comments. You get your name in the hat for EACH one!
3. For extra credit, #regram this photo to your account and your entries DOUBLE! Remember to add the hashtag, #pollyspaladarseatcontest so that I can see it! If you have a private page and I cannot see it, DM me.
If you see this on any other social media platform other than Instagram, pop on over, because this is where the contest is. Comments on #twitter or #facebook DO NOT count!
The seats are a $160 value! Taxes and fees do not apply, but they do not add up to THAT much either. This unique dining event is going to be super fun! Ready, set, go!
WINNER ANNOUNCED ON MARCH 8TH