On Friday night, Yale Pop-up’s newest culinary venture, Fortnight, made its debut, offering diners a five-course Valentine’s Day meal.
Fortnight is the third project of Yale Pop-up, a student group founded in 2013 that organizes a new food-related enterprise each semester. Unlike the group’s first two projects — the Underground Noodle Collective and Nom — Fortnight will be open only every other Friday night and will serve a new prix-fixe, five-course meal each time.
Approximately 60 people attended Fortnight’s opening dinner on Friday in the Davenport Dive, which had been transformed with brown paper table coverings, dimmed lights and white Christmas twinklers. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, the theme of the night’s meal was “Stages of a Relationship.”
“The opening went well in general because we’d tested this menu before,” said Lucas Sin ’15, one of the founders of Yale Pop-up and head chef for Fortnight. “Our timeliness was good. Nothing was slow.”
The first course, “Love at First Sight,” featured a sweet potato and carrot soup. Cameron Yick ’17, who attended the Fortnight opening with his girlfriend, said the waiter told him the soup was poured at the table to represent falling in love. Later courses included “The Honeymoon Phase,” “Meeting the Parents” and “Breakup,” featuring a heart-shaped cake broken in half. The finale, “Make-up Sex,” was all about the chocolate.
Carolina Rivera ’16, who directs Fortnight, said the Yale Pop-up team had been planning Fortnight’s opening night for several weeks. The next menu theme for Fortnight has yet to be determined, she added.
Sin said the team members met to deliberate what ingredients and tastes matched the different stages of a relationship. While the “Breakup” stage, for example, required some sort of spicy kick, he said chicken and egg would be more suited to the “Meeting the Parents” stage. For the last course, Sin said he wanted something surprising yet inevitable — a chocolate pot de crème.
Rivera said the only glitch of the evening was that the team of cooks and administrators was initially short-staffed, although the staff found reinforcements.
Sin said one of the highlights of the evening was when he went to deliver one of the final courses to a table and realized he was serving one of his food idols, Burkhard Bilger, a contributing writer for the New Yorker, here dining with his son.
“I said something ridiculous like, ‘I’m only 20,’ and then I ran to the kitchen and I cried,” Sin said. “Bilger said he really enjoyed himself and they ate everything. I’m so happy.”
Citing the raspberry ice cream, which had jalapeño in it, Yick said he was most intrigued by the inventiveness of the meal’s flavor combinations.
Thomas Yabroff ’16, who also attended the opening, said the atmosphere of Fortnight was different than that of Yale Pop-up’s other enterprises. The setting’s intimacy completely transformed the Davenport Dive, he said.
Students can make reservations online for Fortnight’s next opening on Feb. 28.