Photo by k.fitz photography
Ice cream sellers have a few options when the weather starts to resemble their product: gut it out, close for the season, or shift gears. Erika Stone-Miller is a gear-shifter. Now that her ice-cream truck, Ice Cubed, has shut down till spring, she has launched a dinner-party-type restaurant, The Octagon Mode (1509 W. Lawrence Ave., 773-575-4084).
Located in the space Stone-Miller originally planned to convert to a stationary Ice3, the Octagon Mode will serve dinner to anywhere from 10 to 18 people on Fridays and Saturdays, prepaid tickets only. The BYO cocktail (half-)hour and music performance portion of the evening starts at 6:30, and an eight-course menu follows at 7. Stone-Miller offers a $15 discount off the $100 ticket price to diners who submit an interesting fact about themselves.
The restaurant is named after a building style conceived of by Orson Squire Fowler, a phrenologist and amateur architect in the mid-19th century. Fowler’s octagonal houses held heat better and required less building material than rectangular structures. Stone-Miller, who has a degree in architecture but not in cooking, liked the idea of recognizing Fowler’s nonstandard path to success.
Stone-Miller herself will act as chef, now that Adam Harralson no longer works with Ice3. “I prefer to be in the kitchen myself,” she says. “I’m too much of a control freak.”
And even though the truck is parked, frozen treats aren’t totally frozen out. “Ice cream will probably be a part of every dessert,” Stone-Miller says.