How Do You Connect with Clients Over Food?

What is one way you connect with clients over food?

Allison R. Kruse

Stinson LLP

What's your favorite restaurant/coffee shop/dining establishment to meet a client? 
I am currently loving Josefina – their food is delicious and they have an amazing “make your own” martini.  
What’s your signature dish to cook? 
During the pandemic, I really started to cook more, especially when so many places had to close down. One of my favorite dishes to cook was a baked crusted salmon with veggies. It was definitely outside my comfort zone, but I ate it quite a bit for lunch when working from home.



Dan Oberdorfer

Dan Oberdorfer, PLLC

What’s your favorite place to meet a client?  
Years ago, I read an article about a lawyer who enjoyed cooking for her clients. The idea struck a chord with me. Both my wife and I love to cook and entertain at our home.  I was a lawyer at Stinson for more than 25 years before I retired to form my own small consulting practice a few years ago. I realized how much more personal it is to hold client dinners at our home. Indeed, most in-house attorneys probably have eaten way too many meals at fancy steakhouses. I know from their comments that clients very much appreciate us opening our home to them, and they understand how much effort goes into preparing a full, gourmet meal. These dinners have always been very informal and relaxed. They foster personal conversation. They strengthen the attorney-client bond more than any restaurant meal could. And they give my wife and I a chance to spend a day in the kitchen and then entertain people we like! 

Dan is pictured here canning salsa with his assistant Hersey.  

Eman Qureshi

Stinson LLP

What's your favorite restaurant/coffee shop/dining establishment to meet a client? 
These days I really enjoy taking people to Socca Café in the Four Seasons building. It’s been my go-to for months for clients, coworkers, colleagues, and summer associates, and never disappoints. The atrium is sunny and full of plants, with plenty of comfortable seating for long conversations. They have an excellent, compact selection of salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and delicious pastries by Eddy Dhenin (who also created the Croffle at the café's sister restaurant, Mara). I have a soft spot for their pizza, which is Sicilian-style but reminds me of the Detroit-style pizza I grew up eating. I also really enjoy taking the windier path through the less-trafficked skyways to get there—it allows for a nice walk post-meal to continue conversations.  

What's your signature dish to cook? 
I don't have a signature dish (yet), but I think I'm known at this point for always serving a charcuterie board or even preparing a grazing table if I'm feeling adventurous. I love experimenting with different types of cheese, funky-flavored crackers and jams, and lots of indulgent snacks that I wouldn't otherwise buy in bulk. It's a fun way to incorporate a party or dinner theme and gives everyone an opportunity to try something new. It’s also a great way to accommodate people's dietary restrictions or aversions. And I get to snack on fancy cheese for days after, so it's always a win-win. 

What's your favorite thing to cook? 
Pasta, in any shape or form! It's such an easy thing to throw together after a long day at work, with whatever I have lying around in the fridge, even if it's just butter and garlic. I love making pesto from scratch in the summer with all the fresh basil around. Lately I have been working through Thomas Straker's "all things pasta" series for inspiration. The pastabilities are endless! 

Untitled-5Andrew Ayers

Solo Practice

What is a meal you like to serve?
The signature dish in our house is a reverse-seared ribeye steak. Every weekend, we have it with asparagus and have a relaxing meal to wind down after a busy week. It's one of those recipes that is very easy to make (2-3 ingredients), but guests always think it's very complicated. 

Andrew Ayers’ Reverse-Seared Ribeye 

Ingredients: Ribeye Steak, Salt, Butter (if you're feeling decadent) 
1. At least one hour before cooking, salt steak on both sides. 
2. Preheat oven to 265 degrees. 
3. Place a meat thermometer in the steak and put it in the oven. 
4. When the steak reaches 85 degrees, put a cast-iron pan on the stove and turn on the burner to medium-high heat (you can use other types of pans if you'd like, but we've found cast iron is perfect for this recipe). 
5. When the steak reaches 95 degrees take it out of the oven (and remove the thermometer). 
6. If you're feeling decadent, throw a bit of butter in the pan and melt it (if not, move on to the next step). 
7. Put steak in the pan and sear on each side (2-3 minutes for medium rare/medium, longer for medium/medium well). You can take it off the heat and make a cut to see how far along the center of the steak is. 
8. Remove from the heat and let it rest for another 5 minutes (it will continue cooking while it rests). 
9. Serve with asparagus (or whatever vegetable/side you'd like). 
10. Take a photo and post it on Instagram to reinforce that your cooking skills are as great as your legal skills. You don't even have to cite this recipe as precedent or anything. You can claim it's your own fantastic culinary skills that crafted the perfect steak. 
Chef's note: The first couple of times you cook this, you'll feel like you messed it up, but whoever you serve it to will rave about how good it is. Practice makes perfect, and once you've perfected it, your family and friends will ask you to make it for them.  
Managing Editor
Elsa Cournoyer

Executive Editor

Joseph Satter