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When Bub & Pop’s launches its finessed weekend supper club July 23, one dish in particular will be a nod to the address’s daytime operations as a sandwich shop. Chef Jonathan Taub will serve a course dubbed “I Dream of Cheesesteaks,” which he calls a reinterpretation of the City of Brotherly Love’s signature sub because it has a jellied beef consommé base. “I literally went to sleep one night and dreamed of this, then we made it over and over,” Taub says. He co-owns Bub & Pop’s with his mother, Arlene Wagner, whose parents had a corner store in West Philadelphia that slung sandwiches.
The Supper at Bub’s menu will take diners through anywhere from eight to13 courses with alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage pairings ($165 per person, including tax but not gratuity). In addition to the cheesesteak riff, dishes will include king crab with aloe vera, avocado and finger lime; preserved winter citrus with bonito, kombu, and bird chili; and a summery preparation of Burgundy snails.
Bub & Pop’s only opened three years ago, but Taub has a history in lauded kitchens. He graduated from The Restaurant School in Philadelphia in the same class as Ripple’s Marjorie Meek-Bradley. While enrolled, he apprenticed at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia and later worked at fine dining mainstay, Lacroix at The Rittenhouse. In D.C. his résumé includes stints at the now-shuttered Adour, plus Art and Soul.
Taub says he’s wanted to do fine dining since he left the Ritz-Carlton, and now he’ll get his shot, just not in a conventional setting. The meal will feature all the calling cards of an elegant meal—a string of amuse-bouches, intermezzos, and petit fours—all focused on highlighting eclectic ingredients using modern French techniques. But he cautions that the fare won’t qualify as molecular gastronomy. “I’m not going to do 30 fucking foams on a plate,” Taub says. “Instead, I’m really into products and flavor combinations that haven’t been explored.”
Supper at Bub’s has been in the works for a long while but was delayed when Taub’s brother, Staff Sgt. Peter Taub, was killed in Afghanistan. But they’re back on track now and will begin taking reservations for July 23 through the Bub & Pop’s website or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bub & Pops, 1815 M St. NW; (202) 457-1111; bubandpops.com