We take an inside look at some of the county’s hippest and most exclusive dining events: the secretive pop-up dinner!
To put it bluntly, cannabis-infused cookery can be more interesting than pot brownies. Showcasing that potential is the impetus behind Bronx-born Chef Charles Grand’s three- to-eight course underground dinners infused with CBD oil (and other maybe less legal products). Grand pairs dishes with different types of cannabis, much like a sommelier pairs wines, choosing strains based on how they’ll complement or intentionally contrast flavors. And don’t think the clientele is all 20-something stoners; most of the guests are 40- and 50-year-old professionals.
From the Menu: Dishes often have a West Indian slant — crab cakes with chipotle aioli and coconut-rum-infused watermelon, short ribs over truffle tostones, and shrimp with Antiguan grits — playing to Grand’s heritage. Brunch pop-ups are also in the works.
How to Go: Follow Grand on Instagram @CharlesGrand or email him at email@example.com for upcoming dates, locations, and reservations. Dinners are priced at roughly $95 and include one cocktail (feel free to also BYOB).
Nicole Brake put her dessert background to work for Broomstick Sweetie’s.
Grown out of founder and mom Nicole Brake’s dessert-catering business of the same name, this informal supper club puts its emphasis on the lost art of conversation. It’s like visiting the home of a hostess-with-the-mostess friend, whether that’s for a fall harvest dinner, a night of red-sauce comfort foods, or a festive Friendsgiving feast.
From the Menu: Past dinners have included summer barbecues (brisket, mac ’n’ cheese, and chocolate-peach cobbler) and a Halloween costume party featuring sweet and savory pumpkin dishes. A Dickensian Christmas dinner is planned for December 15, when Brake will serve “roast beast” with all the trimmings.
How to Go: Regardless of theme, dinners are priced at $65 and BYOB. For more info and to reserve a spot for an upcoming dinner, visit www.broomsticksweeties.com. Menus are not released before the event.
Tabulate all of founder Andrew Mercado’s past jobs — working front-of-house and in the kitchen at Fortina, running a food truck, and spinning beats as a DJ — and it’s no surprise that he throws killer underground dinners. (UGK stands for Underground Kitchen.) Expect dinners to have creative themes like food trends paired with runway trends during fashion week or a late-night Japanese izakaya.
From the Menu: The inaugural Westchester dinner, held in the gardens of a historic Bedford home that was once servants’ quarters, took its culinary inspiration from the Triangle Trade through Africa, Portugal, and the Caribbean with dishes like black-eyed-pea fritters, duck and yucca waffles, and shrimp and grits with piri piri sauce.
How to Go: Follow @UGKbyAGame on Instagram or check www.ugkbyagame.com for upcoming events. Dinners run $100-$150 and include food, alcohol, and entertainment. Exact locations aren’t released until one week before the event.