Saturday: Underground Dining Club

I wanted to do something new and different For my sister’s birthday, and so a few weeks before the big day in March, I started chatting people up for ideas. And listening for ideas. And finally, the perfect thing presented itself! A night out at a private dinner club, where the chef makes the meal for you as you sip on wine and hang out. My buddy Diana knew this guy, James, who she used to work with, and she and one of her friends had been to one of his events.

So for my sister’s birthday, I signed us up for a dinner for four at “Cooking With James.” James and I set up the plans via email, and finally we settled into a drool worthy menu of five courses, that included burrata salad, morel mushrooms on crostini, a carbonara dish, a braise of beef, and lastly a saffron panna cotta. Oh yeah, and wine, too. 🙂

We went, and it was amazing. First, James is a really interesting person and is very kind and welcoming. He showed us around his place, and then explained some of what his business is about, and a little about the dishes he’d be cooking for us. It was pretty exciting, since we certainly don’t eat like that every day and it was fairly decadent.

Each course was tastier than the one before it. The burrata was delish, the beef was simply mind blowing, and the asparagus – I don’t even have words for it. Truly a top ten meal of my life time.

What’s delightful is that James seems to be making quite a name for himself, having been reviewed by Daily Candy on April 10, and noted on Craig Newmark (of Craigslist)’s blog on March 17. And, as a nod to James’ Ad agency roots, he also has a lovely write up in AgencySpy from March 4 (not that I read such things). It’s wonderful to see someone so in his element, doing awesome work, and getting much deserved recognition. He’s definitely an inspiration.

I’ve been stalking James’ blog because he posts pictures of all his dinner parties … and don’t you worry, I’ll be happy to make the announcement here when the pictures of our dinner are up!