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zora

The Underground Restaurant / Supper Club Trend

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I live in New York, and here in the city of hype, it's hard to tell what's really happening anywhere else. I'm curious what the rest of the US--mostly the non-coastal parts--has got in the way of underground restaurants / supper clubs / whatever you want to call them (by which I mean people cooking in their homes for friends and strangers, and charging money).

To hear the media tell it, this trend is all over the place...or is it? A friend just forwarded me a newspaper article from St. Louis, about the first underground restaurant there. Do you have them where you live? Do you wish you did? Are you sick and tired of them? Or sick and tired of hearing about them being the next big thing? Are you thinking of starting your own?

This sounds like I'm doing some fishing for a trend piece of my own, but I'm not. But the question is slightly self-serving. I just finished writing a cookbook based in part on a supper club a friend and I have had for years. So I'm just trying to mentally prepare myself for the book's probable reception beyond my little bubble...


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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eGullet member BryanZ started one and received some well deserved publicity. I'm not sure if his "underground" restaurant is still up and running. Hopefully, he'll weigh in. I'd be interested to hear how he did and what he thought of the concept.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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There are three or four here in Atlanta that have a pretty good following, although they're not that secret. They have their own website/facebook page/etc.

-Greg

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There are three or four here in Atlanta that have a pretty good following, although they're not that secret.  They have their own website/facebook page/etc.

-Greg

Good to know--thanks! Atlanta is one of the places our publicists want to send us, but I know so little about the food scene there. Thanks again!


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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This trend has already jumped the shark.

Just curious--where are you?


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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Although it doesn't speak directly to your question, since it's not in the US, the trend is alive and well in Toronto. Here's a writeup that provides something of an overview of the scene there.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I've a friend who is launching one--in fact the first seating is tonight. There may well be others in Boston, but I don't know about them.

One of my favorite cookbooks to read for the stories alone is "Supper Club Chez Martha Rose" by Martha Rose Schulman. Recipes and tales of her supper club in Paris during the early 1980s. Stumbling upon that cookbook a decade later was the first time I'd heard of such a thing, and it certainly sounded like fun.



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