Portrait of a Foodie: Underground Kitchen and Gelati Celesti Opening

This is Portrait of a Foodie, a weekly review of my food-centric life. You know you've had a good week when you go to the opening of Gelati Celesti and eat UNLIMITED amounts of ice cream...and I wasn't shy about trying all 30+ flavors. The boozy rum raisin and the highly caffeinated 'Dark as Dark' coffee ice cream were my favorites.

I also went to a "secret" 5-course dinner at an undisclosed location with a mystery chef. It was my first Underground Kitchen experience, and I didn't know what to expect from the pop-up dining club. All week, I obsessively checked my inbox for news of the dinner, and 2 days before the event all was revealed: I would wine and dine at the 2300 club, a Civil War row house in historic Church Hill. I was transported into another world, one where you sip cocktails in the drawing room and retreat to the smoking lounge for cigars and scotch. The food was sophisticated and southern, and I was particularly impressed with Chef Michael Hall's banana foster foie gras! Enjoy the pictures.

Gorgeous table setting at the Underground Kitchen dinner at the 2300 club

Gorgeous table setting at the Underground Kitchen dinner at the 2300 club

Sparkling Wine (Papet del Mas Brut Cava) and Byrrh cocktail

Sparkling Wine (Papet del Mas Brut Cava) and Byrrh cocktail

Smoking lounge art...I have a thing for english bull dogs

Smoking lounge art...I have a thing for english bull dogs

Complementary cigars 

Complementary cigars 

Appetizer of banana foster foie gras 

Appetizer of banana foster foie gras 

The "Cat Sea Pig" - scallop wrapped in catfish wrapped in bacon with brussels sprouts 

The "Cat Sea Pig" - scallop wrapped in catfish wrapped in bacon with brussels sprouts 

Evening Jazz to go along with the swanky Underground Kitchen dinner

Evening Jazz to go along with the swanky Underground Kitchen dinner

After-dinner scotch and cigars

After-dinner scotch and cigars

My new friend showing me how to smoke a cigar...I was really bad at it.

My new friend showing me how to smoke a cigar...I was really bad at it.

Parting gift filled with local richmond coffee, cookies, and tea

Parting gift filled with local richmond coffee, cookies, and tea

Look into the 2300 club kitchen

Look into the 2300 club kitchen

Opening night at Gelati Celesti - it was a packed house

Opening night at Gelati Celesti - it was a packed house

Pints of fresh ice cream

Pints of fresh ice cream

pumpkin ice cream

pumpkin ice cream

Ice cream scoop wall art

Ice cream scoop wall art