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Pop Ups, Sit Downs, Chef's Visions, And So On...


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Posted (edited)

From pop ups selling Korean rice hot dogs (oh yeah, that's a thing here), to fancy schmancy sit down dinners with chef's-in-residence, the restaurant world has changed a lot over the past few decades. But has it?  I mean, there's always been street food, and from county fairs to beach boardwalks to carnivals and amusement parks, there have always been places to eat what one wouldn't generally go to a restaurant for. 

 

Our first dinner out (yet in) last night in over 14 months took place at Intersect by Lexus, a restaurant/lounge/bar space which often showcases well-known chefs from around the globe...I'll leave it to them for a more complete description.

 

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INTERSECT BY LEXUS – NYC is the first of Lexus' cultural programming destinations to feature a full service restaurant. The restaurant will showcase a rotating line up of top chefs from across the globe, each of whom will bring their unique culinary vision to life within the space. Past Restaurants-in-Residence include Paris’ Frenchie, 040 of Santiago, Mishiguene of Buenos Aires, O Pedro of Mumbai, and most recently, The Grey of Savannah.The project is a collaboration between INTERSECT BY LEXUS – NYC and Union Square Hospitality Group.

 

The chef's vision (and occasionally the chef himself) currently in residence, is that of one David Kinch of Manresa, a Michelin 3*** restaurant in Los Gatos, CA. We've never experienced the chef in person at Manresa, but we have enjoyed other chef's visions at Intersect and other places (i.e. Chef's Club) offering this type of dining experience, here in New York City. 

 

The chef's vision as it is carried out at Intersect (after a short training period under Kinch and a few of his staff), obviously skews towards product available here - this ain't Los Gatos, CA, and in Los Gatos, Kinch has a farm which grows for him exclusively. So while there may not be a big old Wagyu ribeye steak on the menu in CA, there's one at Intersect by Manresa (though there might be an ounce or two of that Wagyu in a course on the tasting menu). Also, the menu and fare at Manresa skews towards the use of the brilliant vegetables grown there; here, in this season, can it be as focused on that? Probably not.

 

However, we really enjoyed our dinner; maybe we were grading on the curve, it being our first meal inside a restaurant since the before times. The chatter of neighboring (but 6 feet away) tables, the fact that I wasn't gonna have to do the dishes, different wines by the glass for different courses, all added up to a good time. To me, this pop up worked. Others haven't been as successful; probably the luck of the draw. It's not easy for a chef to go to a different city and pretend it's her restaurant.

 

Anyone else have experience eating at pop ups, fancy or not?

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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If I went to a restaurant and was told the chef was having visions, I'd run! What drugs is he on?

The only thing worse is when they have "concepts"? I prefer my chefs not to be conceiving while preparing my grub.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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12 hours ago, weinoo said:

Anyone else have experience eating at pop ups, fancy or not?

 

I fondly remember this one with Rob Connoley ( @gfron1) back in his Curious Kumquat days. A travelling pop-up! 

 

 

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13 hours ago, liuzhou said:

If I went to a restaurant and was told the chef was having visions, I'd run! What drugs is he on?

Probably the same drugs your usual chefs are on. 

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eGullet member #80.

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Like food trucks, residencies, communal kitchens and  delivery services - it preceded CV19, grew under it and provided many chefs/cooks with access to audiences they might not have otherwise captured with their available funding. Spread the food love.

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Posted (edited)

Food trucks have evidently been around for a really long time...

 

image.png.15d6292017874d01143edbd4adb7d0f9.png

 

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1691 – New Amsterdam (now known as New York City) begins regulating street vendors selling food from push carts.

 

https://mobile-cuisine.com/business/history-of-american-food-trucks/

 

I do remember at one short-lived job I had, the truck would come around for morning break (this was a job working at a lumber distributor) and the horn would blow at break time, lunch time, and end of shift; sorta like working with Fred Flintstone at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company. It was called the roach coach...sold coffee (plenty) along with anything else one could possibly want. And whaddya know...

 

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1960’s – Roach coaches make their presence known to construction sites around the country.

 

Some great pics here.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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31 minutes ago, weinoo said:

I do remember at one short-lived job I had, the truck would come around for morning break (this was a job working at a lumber distributor) and the horn would blow at break time, lunch time,

I had never made the connection between food trucks that are all the rage at the moment and what we called the coffee truck when I worked for a software company. Yes it showed up around 10 AM and again around noon and finally around 3 PM. It sold coffee, sandwiches, Jamaican patties (where I learned to love them!), various cakes,muffins and candy bars I even remember the name of the owner and can picture his face — Mike! That was in the bad old days when you had to decide whether you wanted something from Mike or a smoke. Thanks for the memory. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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1 minute ago, Anna N said:

That was in the bad old days when you had to decide whether you wanted something from Mike or a smoke. Thanks for the memory. 

 

I think our guy was Mike! Which meant he really drove a lot!!

 

And if you were really good, you could smoke AND order something!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Yup "roach coach" aka "Catering truck". My high school had financial issues and only vending machines in cafeteria so there was an authorized truck in the parking lot at lunch. He did have apples and bananas.  When my son was in high school there was one parked across the street. Big school; busy truck. Food of choice for males were the reportedly excellent breakfast burritos.

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