Smoke billows from a glass box on the bar into the front room of Monica Pope's Montrose home. Cocktail company Three Lumps of Sugar is greeting guests with smoked margaritas. The tequila already has a whiff of it, but the box adds even more smoke to the sweet limeade—and more than a dash of magic.
Welcome to Pope's bohemian experience Outstanding in My Backyard. Future events will hopefully be outside, surrounded by the plants that help supply the meal. "Nothing should stop us from 'living alive,'" said Pope in a statement. "That includes eating where our alive, flavorful, and nutritionally dense food lives." Last weekend, though, it was simply too hot to dine among the flora and a who's who of Montrose luminaries packed in to Pope's downstairs surrounding the kitchen.
This was the first in a series that will run every Sunday until Aug. 28. The menu each week is different, so fans of the James Beard Foundation Award nominee and onetime Top Chef Masters competitor may want to spend more than one weekend at MoPo's antique-filled home.
At the first event, guests were greeted with homemade bread served with brie and chicken liver spreads. Bacon-wrapped, chorizo-filled dates whetted attendees' palates for big flavors. The meal was served buffet style with a range of salads, including one that paired rusty-colored amaranth leaves with a rainbow of heirloom carrots. The week's loose theme was English breakfast with all the basics, including baked beans, roasted tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms, and homemade sausage, stuffed by grill master Tim Smith.
Smith is just one of several guests who will be popping in, including Poitín chef Dominick Lee and Tony Luhrman of El Topo food truck. Other events will include cocktail classes from the Ladies of Libation, and the opportunity to shop "MoPo's Favorite Things" such as vintage kimonos by Kimono Zulu and art by Celeste Tammariello.
Brunch is $55 for adults, with up to two kids under 12 eating for free. Click here for tickets.