Streams

Dining In

Friday, September 28, 2007

Underground clubs meet fine dining in New York’s supper clubs. Representatives of clubs based in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan talk about this off-beat dining experience. “Danielle” helps run New York Bite Club; "Nancy" is the founder of Williamsburg’s Whisk and Ladle Supperclub, and Tamara Reynolds blogs about cooking and offers Sunday Night Dinner in Queens.

Other websites to check out:
The Roving Gastronome
Home Slice West

Guests:

"Nancy", “Danielle” and Tamara Reynolds

Comments [23]

Paul from Queens

I went to Sunday night dinners..The hostess might be one of the more affected and stuck up people I.. Its a great idea but, I would much rather go to a place where the food is good..

Oct. 09 2007 03:52 PM
Antonio Evans from Hoboken

We experienced a great dinner at Bite Club. If you would like to check out some pictures

http://friendseat.com/users/CuneiV/index.php?pid=406

Oct. 09 2007 02:43 PM
T. K. from NYC

it has been a practice for many years for
charities to sell places to dinner parties where the guests get to
meet famous people or some other desirable attraction. Even
WNYC has such occasions. The dinner parties I am referring to
are held in private apartments without any health department or
other interference. Surely any group of people can organize
themselves to share the costs of a party. Think of the
depression-era "rent parties". Maybe the various levels of
government do not get their cut, but since the fat cats get tax cuts,
the government has no justified complaints.

Oct. 04 2007 12:45 PM
Karl from Astoria

I resent the implication that Sunday Night Dinner isn't a sex romp. Actually, I don't resent it at all, I just wanted to type 'sex romp.'

Twice.

Once in quotes.

Sep. 29 2007 03:25 AM
The Air Jact from Astoria

I actually have paid homage to this supper club/sex romp and I had a fantastic time. The people are very cordial, friendly, and inviting. As far as cleanliness is concerned, after the sex romp, I watched all the servers vigorously wash their hands. The claims of this venture being 'disgusting' are simply unfounded.

Sep. 28 2007 05:03 PM
Whips and Ladies from Brooklyn

I can't speak easily for the other clubs, but Whisk and Ladle is definitely an underground sex romp.

Oh, it's also got the best food of any sex romp in town -- underground or not.

Sep. 28 2007 04:24 PM
Nancy

Bite Club takes place at their home - their website even warns of pets in the apartment. And it's $125! Sunday Night Dinners are so much more reasonably priced and the food is so much better.

Sep. 28 2007 03:48 PM
Danielle Day from Connecticut

It seems that, despite the pretense to everyone being charming good buddies, these organizations are really restaurants-- and pricey ones at that.

In Chicago I was a member of a "private club", Les Nomades, run by a local character, Jovan Trboyevich out of a beautiful town house in the tony Streeterville neighborhood. It's now a public restaurant. The membership fee was $1 per year. Back in the day, they had the best food and service in town. It was just a device to keep the riff-raff out, and that's pretty much what these folks are doing. That's fine-- we all hate to dine with the yahoos. It would be nice if they just admitted as much.

Sep. 28 2007 03:46 PM
Marcella from Manhattan

I've been to Sunday Dinner at Tamara's and I can tell you that (1) it was not a sex romp, it was dinner [how ridiculous to speculate on the basis of no information at all and then additionally make the judgment that it's disgusting, on the basis of the speculation], (2) it was an absolutely fabulous meal with enjoyable company, (3) having the opportunity to see the meal being made at the same time -- just the way one does as a guest at any dinner in the home of friends -- gave me far more reason to have faith in the cleanliness of the operation than I can have at a restaurant where the kitchen is off limits to me, (4) my dinner companions were not yuppie hipsters (implication: more money and time than they know what to do with, again an absurd assumption) but rather the kind of truly diverse mix that happens when you start by inviting interesting people and then allow them to connect you with wider circles of interesting people. Oh, and (5) we all helped clean up.

You know? Real people getting together and having a real meal in a real home, prepared by real people who love to cook and host. Not so hard to wrap your brain around that, is it?

Sep. 28 2007 02:38 PM
Zora from Astoria

I'm Tamara's partner for the Sunday Night Dinners. I'm interested to hear that people's initial response is concern about health codes. Do you ask your friends if they're board-of-health certified before you eat dinner at their houses? Of course not.

The key is that we're not asking strangers to eat at our house--we deal only with friends, and reputable friends of friends. I think everyone who comes to dinner knows what they're getting into, and is approaching it like dinner at a friend's house--which is the whole point. If our guests treated the place like a restaurant, no one would have as much fun.

This doesn't mean I feel like I have license to violate health codes left and right. In fact, I do have my food-prep certification from the board of health. But I'm sorry--I don't wear rubber gloves when I make the salad. I'm sure everyone who eats at my house can handle that.

Sep. 28 2007 12:35 PM
chestine from NY

Interesting about Italy. I was in Venice to check out an art show a few years ago for work - i noticed a kitty and called to him - his family came out and introduced both him (Ugo) and themselves. Next they brought out a table and chairs, handed me a glass of wine and then invited me to dinner. I had forgotten that years ago I could manage conversations in Italian, so I gratefully declined, having also also forgotten how wonderful Italy is and this would be normal. The thing I miss most about living in NY is dinner parties, esp. the kind that are just there for eating and socializing. Bravo, dining club cooks!

Sep. 28 2007 11:07 AM
Melanie from Washington Heights

Can these dinners accomodate people with special dietary requirements (i.e, provide gluten-free meals?)? I think it's a great idea.

Sep. 28 2007 11:04 AM
Robert from NYC

They've been doing this in Italy for a number of years now. It's all part of the agricoltura tours now where you go and stay on a farm and work (if you want) and it's quite legal and promoted by the government there.

Sep. 28 2007 10:59 AM
Erin from Brooklyn

Have I missed how they determine if someone is accepted or rejected? Is this an E-Harmony type deal?

Sep. 28 2007 10:56 AM
Mary Bon from Westbrook, CT

Who cleans up?

Sep. 28 2007 10:55 AM
ab from nyc

Trevor,

If they were a "blind" for underground sex romps then THAT would be interesting (and I would want to join asap!)

Alas...it just sounds like dinner......

Sep. 28 2007 10:50 AM
Erin from Brooklyn

We have learned time and again (i.e. ratfest 2007) the board of health is an oxymoron...

Yet these exclusive yuppy/hipster clubs are worthy of a Friday on the BL show?

Yawn.

Sep. 28 2007 10:49 AM
Paulo from New Jersey

When I went to Brazil a few years back, I once ate a person's house who charged for the meal like a restaurant would. It was a very interesting experience for me since in the United States, people would balk at eating at a place that had no approval from some kind of board of health... or so I thought.

Sep. 28 2007 10:44 AM
Trevor from U$A

Aren't these "supper clubs" just a blind for underground sex romps?

Disgusting.

Sep. 28 2007 10:09 AM
Serge Lescouarnec from Montclair, New Jersey

Visited the Headquarters of 'The Whisk and Ladle' last Friday for a CoWorking session.
No food was served.
I wrote a short post about it on 'Serge the Concierge' http://www.sergetheconcierge.com/2007/09/adventures-in-c.html

Serge
'The French Guy from New Jersey'

Sep. 28 2007 09:26 AM
Jonny Cigar from Brooklyn, NY

The Whisk and Ladle folk keep it clean, point is you could eat off the wall, and some nights I have. They've given me creative license to show up unannounced at their dinners and perform a monologue or read some poems (Usually Wallace Stevens) to the diners - I did an hour long special there in June and had people rollin' on the floor - they still ate off it - want to know what the atmosphere is like? Watch Casablanca after a gin and champagne cocktail. Regards, Jonny Cigar (Host of The Traveling Saloon - a monthly live radio show)

Sep. 28 2007 09:18 AM
Robert from NYC

Do these folks do this with the approval of the Bd of Health (or whatever it's called now). Restaurants are required to have the Health Dept's licensing to serve food. Sounds like a good idea and I don't want to put a damper on it, but this is just a warning that these folks might want to heed if they're going public here. I don't know, the laws might have changed since I investigated this. Not too long ago a cooking school right here in the city required it's students to be tested for hepatitis C and other communicable diseases as part of the entrance requirements. That too may no longer be the case but I thought I'd throw it out here.

Sep. 28 2007 08:27 AM
Trevor from U$A

Borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring.

Guess I'm listenin' to the ol' ipod today at work.

Sep. 28 2007 08:07 AM

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