Filigree Suppers: Victoria & America | chicago foodie girl


Filigree Suppers: Victoria & America

Founded by Elise Metzger and Brita Olsen, Filigree Suppers celebrates a love for all things food, design, and entertaining. The duo already had successful design careers of their own when they decided to come together to create the monthly pop-dinner series that creatively pairs the work of local artisans with food in an intimate dinner-party setting. Rather than relying on generic table settings and other overdone design elements, Elise and Brita work closely with designers, craftsmen, and artists to create a unique theme for each dinner; once they determine the theme, they team up with local chefs who are then tasked with executing their vision through food. Assembling a special team of artists and chefs for each individual event ensures that their concept remains fresh and innovative.

Mario and I were invited to join the most recent event in the traveling pop-up series held at West Town favorite The Winchester; as we're both nerdy history lovers, we were excited to learn that the evening's theme was Victoria & America. The evening focused on 19th-century design concepts featuring local ceramicist Leah Ball and floral designer Elizabeth Cronin of Asrai Garden, paired with a menu inspired by the time. While I was already quite familiar with the Victorian period (as any good English professor should be!), I was excited to dig deeper into the specifics of the dining traditions of the time, as many of our modern food trends actually became popular during the era. 

Floral designs by Elizabeth Cronin of Asrai Garden

 Originally called fern cases, terrariums were popular during the Victorian era (although back then it was more about protecting plants from pollution and less about aesthetics).

 Cocktail hour featured what is now one of my new favorite drinks, The Strawberry Thief (inspired by Williams Morris' Strawberry Thief textile pattern).

I loved their use of photo calling cards as place cards! Calling cards were a social custom used in a variety of ways, including when an individual went to visit someone's home - they would typically leave one whether the person was home (as a reminder of their presence) or not (to let them know they stopped by).

 Founders Brita Olsen and Elise Metzger

 Clarified Bone Broth flavored with lemon, ginger & a light mirepoix
The typical coursing for a Victorian dinner started with a soup course, followed by a fish course and punch. 

Oysters Katherine: oysters roasted with cream, garlic, onions & mushrooms

Fried Smelt picked with sauce tartare & assorted house pickles

Ceramics by Leah Bell

Crispy Roasted Moulard Duck with red wine brandy duck jus
Duck & potatoes were popular choices for the entrée course, as well as pot pies, wild goose, and braised quail.

 Potatoes Gratin

 Roasted Sweet Onions
The vegetable course often included roasted onions, string beans, or stewed tomatoes. 

Vin d’entremets of Clicquot Demi-Sec
Traditionally, a sweet champagne was served chilled between the meat and dessert courses.

 Dessert Plate: lemon poppy seed marshmallows, candied beet jelly, assorted chocolates

Mario and I had a wonderful night of conversation, food, and history - we're already looking forward to seeing what the duo comes up with next!

Filigree Suppers are currently hosted on a rotating schedule between Chicago, New York, and LA: tickets are available online.



  1. This is such a cool concept! I agree with you--as a history nerd, I would have loved to attend this iteration. The small Victorian details are just too perfect. I'm hoping to see a similar version in NYC!

  2. nice article about different hotels in chicago


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