Kirkland Tap & Trotter Brings Back Celebrity ‘Top Dogs’ Series

Kristen Kish, Tim Cushman, and more are making haute dogs this summer at Tony Maws’ Somerville spot.

Kirkland Tap & Trotter hot dog

The Kirkland dog. / Photo by Michael Piazza

A certain sign that summer is nigh: The Kirkland Tap & Trotter just announced the lineup for its second annual Top Dog series. Alongside chef and owner Tony Maws’ Kirkland Dog, from June-September there will be an exclusive, Monday night special from super-chefs Kristen Kish (of Top Chef, 36 Hours, and Menton fame), Susan Regis (Shepard), Tim Cushman (O Ya, Hojoko), and Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley (Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine).

Maws, a self-proclaimed “hot dog guy,” introduced his own meaty masterpiece at Kirkland in 2014, a limited-release indulgence like his burger at Craigie on Main. His pork and beef sausage is nestled in a pretzel bun and doused in spicy, house-made piccalilli and yellow mustard. Last summer, he invited Ken Oringer, Matt Jennings, Karen Akunowicz, and Jody Adams to celebrate the humble hot dog.

“Last year the chefs really let their imaginations run wild,” Maws says. Oringer created a ballpark tubesteak in the style of Japanese street food, Jennings topped his Rhody Dog with calimari and wrapped it in homemade “Wonder Bread,” there was a classic Jersey Italian dog from Akunowicz, and Adams created an Icelandic lamb dog. But Maws is confident the new team will take it to another level, he says.

The summer special benefits No Kid Hungry, too. Maws donates 50 percent of the Top Dog sales to the anti-hunger organization, and last year, it garnered $8,500.

Planning to try all the fancy frankfurters? Make sure you pick up a punch card. Those who sample all four will be entered for the chance to work with Maws to create their own, to be featured alongside the Kirkland dog on Mondays in October.

The guest chefs will be at Kirkland when their hot dog debuts, and their special will be available every week until the next chef’s hits the menu. Here’s the lineup:

Top Dog Schedule (only available on Mondays):

  • June 6-June 27: Kristen Kish
  • July 11-July 25: Susan Regis
  • August 1-August 29: Tim Cushman
  • September 12-September 26: Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley

425 Washington St., Somerville, 857-259-6585, kirklandtapandtrotter.com.