After so much inventive and delicious food, we found the dessert a bit too esoteric--the birch-sap granita (ice) was bitter yet oddly insipid, with matching berries and a discordant coconut creme. For the most part we enjoyed the optional beverages, a selection of cocktails, wine, and beer designed by David Landrum of Detroit's Two James distillery to complement each course, and if each drink didn't necessarily suit our tastes, it certainly offered an interesting pairing with the food.
An awkward part of this type of pop-up dinner can be service. Although your meal might cost as much as it would at a fine dining establishment, the extensive trained staff simply doesn't exist. Fine points of service go by the wayside, but the convivial party atmosphere hopefully makes up for that deficiency.
Zingerman's Events on Fourth occasionally offers another type of pop-up dinner, one with a limited, unique menu but with a full bar available and a staff of congenial, if untutored, servers. I missed a Brinery dinner in May, but a friend and I went to one in March put on by San Street, Zingerman's Asian food offshoot. Five-dollar glasses of wine won our votes over pricier exotic cocktails as we perused the menu, which featured the regional Korean cuisine of Kaesong, an old court city in what is now North Korea. We decided to order one of each item off the short menu.