Spoke Wine Bar Teams Up with Momi Nonmi for Pop-Up Dinner

SpokeEric Frier and Chris Chung. Photo courtesy of Uni's Instagram.

Spoke Wine Bar will infuse its light, farm-to-table approach to food and wine with Hawaiian and Japanese flair on Monday in a pop-up collaboration with Cambridge restaurant Momi Nonmi.

The prix fixe four-course menu ($49, with an optional wine and sake pairing for $35) will include local seafood, Japanese ingredients, and grilled dishes that both combine and contrast the styles of the two restaurants.

“It’s a mix of a dish being totally one person’s and a dish totally being the other person’s,” Spoke Executive Chef Eric Frier explains. “And then there’s a couple [dishes that] are very much, ‘You make this component, we’ll make this component, and bring it together.’”

One course, for example, will feature the two chefs’ different takes on traditional Japanese meatballs plated side by side.

“The great thing about a tasting menu is that everybody’s going to get to try everything that we’re doing,” Frier says. “There’s no choices, there’s no substitutions. This allows us just to do exactly what we set out to do, and it also allows every guest that comes in to have the same experience.”

Seafood will be sourced from fish purveyor Red’s Best, a company that prioritizes the sustainability of local fishing practices and works to support the livelihoods of fishermen. Spoke and Momi Nonmi will also work with Barrel Farm in Concord, Mass. for a beef tongue dish.

“We’re working hard on sourcing the best ingredients that we can, and that takes a lot of time and effort talking to farmers and purveyors about what we can get, and making sure that it’s of the quality that we want,” Frier says. “We’re just trying to get the best possible ingredient on the plate.”

While this is Spoke’s first time hosting a pop-up event with another chef, Frier and Momi Nonmi Chef/Owner Chris Chung worked together at Uni in Back Bay before Chung opened his first restaurant. Frier sees the collaboration as an exciting way to experiment with ingredients and techniques normally not incorporated into dishes at Spoke, and predicts the event will attract new customers to both restaurants.

“This is something totally fun and unique to be able to do,” he explains. “I think it’s just a fun way to expose [Chung’s] regulars and clientele to something new and different in a different space, and also people that would normally come into Spoke would now maybe check out Momi Nonmi.”

Frier hopes diners will be receptive to the fusion of different tastes, dishes, and styles, and looks forward to providing a fresh experience to faithful customers.

“This will give people a chance who normally come in to still come in and have a different experience,” Frier says. “Hopefully they’ll be into it!”

The pop-up dinner will start at 6 p.m. on Jan. 28 at Spoke Wine Bar (89 Holland St., Somerville). To buy tickets, visit the collaboration’s Eventbrite page.

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