Dinner Lab

So here’s a “supper club” for us common people you need to not only know about but immediately join: Dinner Lab. Perks of this $175 yearly membership (which doesn’t account for tickets to each meal) include invitations to several coursed dinners prepared by your local favorite chefs and restaurants, the menu lineup before you buy the $80 ticket to each dinner with all inclusive booze, a chance to mingle and meet other locals and surprise and different location for each event. As a member, you can also buy a ticket for your plus one, or you can ride solo and meet other newbies as the place setting is all communal and open.

Dinner Lab is one of the most unique and fun dining experiences offered in New York, Austin, Atlanta, LA, New Orleans, Boston, Chicago, Dallas- you name it. You never know what the place is going to look like, who you are going to see and you can be pleasantly surprised by the menu and learn to love new ingredients. In addition, there are two seatings each night that the dinner takes place. They contact you about two weeks in advance with the option to reserve seats and once this is complete, they will send you the secret location of the event just a couple days beforehand. There are also two seatings: one at 7:30 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m. The first 30 minutes is cocktail hour and dinner is served on the hour. We had the honor of attending Vic’s Chef Jared Braithwaite’s five-course meal at the location of The Brooklyn Night Bazaar which lead to me trying one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever  had and cleaning up everyone else’s plates around me. 

We started with a Funghi Sformato with Meyer Lemon, Radicchio & Shaved Trumpet Mushroom. Served in a jar, it tastes like mushroom mousse and is spreadable on your piece of toast. They only provide one piece of bread which turns out to be a blessing because you do have four more great dishes ahead of you. Next was the Olive Oil Poached Squid with Squid Ink, Roasted Lemon, Fennel Puree and Piment D’espelette. This must be the softest and most enjoyable squid dish I’ve seen in a while. Nothing chewy or weird texture about it. It slides down easily and tender as could be. Chef should add this to his regular menu if he hasn’t already. That’s what is also so great about this program as it gives chefs the creativity to experience and explore outside their restaurant as they might not always have a say in their kitchen. The third-course, Orecchiette with Aged Duck and Offal Ragu, Soffrito and Grana shocked my taste buds beyond belief. I am a sucker for all ragus and can always do without the pasta. The textures in this bowl hit home with crunch from the soffrito, juicy meat from the duck, roaring tomato sauce and smooth noodles. Chefs are doing great things with duck in pasta these days which is one of the hardest meats to cook as I can’t tell you how many tough pieces I’ve had which is the reason I never order it on its own. I couldn’t get enough of this dish literally, and my companions were nice enough to let me sllurp of the rest of their ragus. Good thing I didn’t save room because I wasn’t a fan of the Sea Scallops. They just didn’t do it for me. The dessert ended our night with an Amedei Chocolate Pudding Cake with Olive Oil & Sea Salt, Frozen Milk and Burnt Breadcrumbs. The ice cream was killer and helped cool off a night of vigorous eating. It’s incredible how Dinner Lab runs this operation with everything so well though out, menus strung together to provide happiness to each customer, an affordable price for the right amount of food and most importantly, a seamless evening.

Another perk of CEO Brian Bordainick’s Dinner Lab is that they accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies really giving you top notch service. Dinner Lab is a great deal as you are paying $80 for a five-course meal including tip, tax and alcohol. For those serial daters out there, this could seriously save you some bank and also make you look like a hot shot. Overall, Dinner Lab was an incredible night from the service to the food. It is invigorating, exciting and not your typical dinner, all while tasting dishes from the city’s top chefs. Join HERE

IMG_3957Amedei Chocolate Pudding Cake