Dining is serious sport these days. In New York, thanks to small apartments and busy schedules, dining with friends is mostly relegated to restaurants, which are great. We have no shortage of fantastic places to eat. But dinner parties don’t happen as much as they should.
So when Dinner Lab asked me recently if I wanted to come to one of their events, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Absolutely.
Here’s the deal. Dinner Lab is a modern day supper club. Members pay yearly dues and get invites for themselves and a few guests to dinners hosted in interesting an unusual places. An added bonus to the Dinner Lab scene is the open bar (beer and wine), which guests are strongly encouraged to visit often. The dinners often feature chefs working on new recipes before opening their restaurants, but not always.
In the case of the Dinner Lab I went to, it was a crawfish boil in a SoHo loft. My first Dinner Lab. My first Crawfish boil. Both were awesome.
Dinner Lab is growing into a behemoth company too. They’re now in 30 cities across the U.S. Yearly memberships vary form city to city, but in New York one costs $175. Members then pay for tickets to the dinners that run between $40-70, which seems reasonable especially given the open bar situation. If you’re traveling you can hook into Dinner Lab events in other cities too.
While Dinner Lab isn't a dinner party at home with friends, it's definitely a solid alternative to the typical dining outing - reservations, waiting for tables, etc - and a good way to meet some new people. If food is your scene, it’s definitely worth checking out.