I had the amazing opportunity to create a wine list for a friend’s new project called “The Hunger” which was a pop up restaurant series that hit up Little Italy’s Grotta Azzurra last week. The idea was baked over a few bottles of Rioja by Top Chef alum Camille Becerra and NYC promoter Alan Philips. They found a restaurant with enough space in their kitchen, an empty basement dining room, filled it with dinner parties for 4 nights…then vanished. The event drew a star studded crowd of celebrity chefs from Tom Colicchio to Todd English and a slew of media from MTV, the Village Voice, and Paper Magazine.
The party was set up with assigned seating to encourage people to meet each other and socialize. Some were friends of friends, family, celebrities, or just folks who heard about it and wanted to be a part of the unique experience. One night a love connection was made when a woman had a single reservation and a gentleman was stood up by his date, we sat them together and they gabbed the whole time. The tables were set up to sponsor this type of communal dining.
Alan started every night off with an introduction of the staff and a few jovial words on how the idea was conceived, reminding all of the “party” in dinner party and to have fun with it. Camille ended the night with a spectacular presentation of a giant lavender cream filled Croquembouche pyramid lit up with flaming sparklers. Every night this caused applause and it felt like we had just completed a successful play of events, waiting for the curtain to go down.
The food and wine were amazing and the dinner was cheap considering all that came with it. The price was 75.00 and 100.00 with wine pairing. The experience itself was like no other, in a city where everything feels like it has been done already.
This dinner party will be presenting itself to NYC again soon at a yet to be announced location.
Here are some links for more info- check it out and stay tuned for the next party…don’t miss out!