UNLV Epicurean Society
Photos by Hanna Min.
Event ideas, marketing campaigns, and meetings develop from momentum of previous semesters; staying consistent with our organization’s agenda is important for future members. The leadership team, including myself, anticipate a large inflow of connection possibilities in the coming academic years based on Epicurean Society’s growing community involvement.
Our club members actively seek out professionals, utilizing social media, review sites and search engines to find new, inviting or well-remarked locations. Throughout our fall semester, the organization has encountered numerous immersive food and drink places. Traveling to different locations of the city has changed some perceptions about food diversity and appreciation.
The club’s direction with our monthly visits to the fresh52 Farmers’ Market was an insightful and educative approach to redesigning our appreciation mission. Revamping the agenda provided flexibility with the planning process. For food diversity exposure, we supplemented restaurant outings with school-made tastings and table marketing like our hot cocoa event from November 15th. Even though the semester was nearing an end, there was much left to experience.
Following the sale, students spent Thanksgiving week with their families. We had some two weeks of viable time left to meet as an organization. Despite the end of semester assignments, Epicurean Society was steady and had prepared in advance.
The club’s calendar was marked with the final two events of the semester: a restaurant outing and a winter social. Kimberly Verdin, our former journalist and current treasurer, was able to reserve eight seats with Sparrow + Wolf for a tasting.
Trying eateries new to the club exposes individuals to different cooking styles and aesthetics, which is not limited to the presentation of their food, or the layout of their restaurant. Their website design at first glance told me that they were artistic and unique in style.
Located on Spring Mountain Road, Sparrow + Wolf is a modern-style, American restaurant that serves craft beer, cocktails and culturally innovative dishes. Upon walking into the business, we were able to see the kitchen behind the host desk and the bar to the left.
Our tasting menu consisted of different choices selected by the chef. First, they served us a five-spice, chicken liver pâté topped with apple daikon and a bean sprout salad, a perfect first starter that led many of us to ask for more. Immediately following that, we were brought grilled bread with mustard and seasoned pickles which is also known as the charcuterie platter.
New visitors to the restaurant, like myself, were in for a surprise. The servers introduced us to hearth bread with a side of cultured butter. “It’s not the crunchy top layer that I like most, but I think the inside fluffiness really adds to the experience,” one member said. “The butter’s creaminess makes the whole bread even better.”
Members were feeling overwhelmed, in a good way, by the end of the appetizers. As a part of our first course, the chef prepared the roasted maitake mushrooms and sunchoke chips accompanied with a side of spiced, house flatbread. After the mushrooms, we tried the beef heart tartare. For the final dish of the first course, we had the milk-braised pork shank with capers and teardrop peppers.
To start our second course, we had the lemongrass chicken special. “Next, you all will be trying the wood grilled, Spanish octopus. It also comes with baby butter-braised potatoes and is topped with XO sauce,” our server said. The butterball potatoes hit our taste buds in all the good ways. Then, our final dish of the second course was roasted beef marrow.
The dessert course was truly the cherry on top of the cake: a caramel chocolate miso tart and the blood orange honey brioche toast. For those who like a chocolatey taste, the miso tart is the perfect choice. On the other hand, the brioche toast offers a slightly crunchy texture with the smoothness of ice cream, making you savor each bite.
The visit to Sparrow + Wolf made us desire more bread. We implemented that into our last meeting of the semester: a winter social inside of Boyd Dining Hall. This meeting was to provide students with a space to relax before final exams. Kevin Ng, our president, had prepared sourdough for members to cut their own designs into. We all drank potato chowder soup from our sourdough bread bowls as we watched a screening of Home Alone.
The conclusion of fall semester for Epicurean Society members felt nearly abrupt; however, Sparrow + Wolf, in conjunction with our winter social, were the perfect additions to the end of our calendar. Even though the journey in fall semester ended, Epicurean Society continues because of our former president, Kevin Ng, and its well-established momentum.