On the Daily: Three Michelin stars for North Quad

Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 4:45pm

Tablecloths covering the cafeteria-style tables and a roaring fire projected on the wall was what greeted diners at North Quad Residence Hall Thursday evening. While some may have confused the dining hall for a luxe restaurant, the event was really a surprise from Michigan Dining, which planned a “pop-up dinner” for the night and treated students to table-service and a gourmet meal.

According to a tweet from MDining, the event was the largest surprise pop-up dinner in its history. The surprise was part of a series for MDining, but in the past, MDining served only about 20 randomly-selected diners for each pop-up dinner. This time, 575 guests were served.

Elliott Rains, marketing coordinator for Michigan Dining, said MDining had never tried the concept on such a large stage.

“This was our first attempt at ‘popping up’ for an entire dining hall!” he wrote in an email. “The goal of our pop-ups is to give our students a unique and enjoyable experience. In our smaller pop-ups, it gives our students and chefs an opportunity to meet and talk with one another. We also love that it lets our chefs think outside the box and get creative with their menus.”

Guests were treated to a three-course meal, with entrees including New York strip with glace viande, herbed salmon topped with wild-caught shrimp and a vegetable napoleon. Diners finished their meals with decadent tiramisus topped with coffee creme anglaise, chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries.

LSA sophomore Kenneth O’Donnell attended the event and was shocked when he walked into North Quad on Thursday evening.

“I had no idea — it was very surprising,” O’Donnell said. “It was really cool though, it was like a good surprise. It was really fancy.”

The North Quad team made the pop-up dinner possible with help from team members from other dining halls, including Executive Chef Frank Turchan.