Supper Clubs versus Shabbat Dinners: Shabbat Dinners FTW!

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Recently I started reading a lot about supper clubs, or underground dinner parties, and how they’re sweeping the nation. Here’s a description of supper clubs from Cathy at Not Eating Out in New York: supper_club.jpg
What in the world is a supper club? you might be asking. Well, it can be as formal as the ones I receive bi-weekly dinner announcements from. A team of well-organized chefs and servers who host dinner parties out of someone’s home kitchen. But really, if you don’t want to run a committed club, all it takes is a home chef with wiles to spare.

I’m going to strip the veneer off of “underground supperclubs” for a moment to bring it back to a more earthy level. Who hasn’t attended or thrown an all-too elaborate dinner party in one of their friends’ homes? With a resident playing chef de cuisine for the evening, and a room full of guests, some already friendly, some separated by a few degrees, and some total strangers? I have a hunch that that’s exactly how most of today’s supper clubs began. Often, the Brooklyn bunch that I speak are held in loft apartments with big, open-kitchen spaces. The kind of space that makes one wonder, why am I paying $7 for a drink and $20 for dinner to be squashed in between multiple chairs at the trendy restaurant down the street?

It’s not that that doesn’t sound good to me, it’s just that I’m pretty sure I already get that, for free, when I attend Shabbat dinner at a friend’s house, or have people over to my place on Friday night or Saturday afternoon. Did I mention Shabbat dinners are usually free? You might pay for a bottle of wine, or spend an hour making a cake, but at the end of the day, it sounds to me like you get most of the benefits of the supper clubs, plus kosher food, minus the price. And if you make the dinner for your friends, well, look at you, so progressive and trendy with your own private supper club! Fancy!

I still do kind of want to attend one of these underground dinner parties, just to see what all the fuss is about, but I bet dollars to donuts that my meal this Friday night will be better. Also, kosher-er.

Posted on June 2, 2009

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2 thoughts on “Supper Clubs versus Shabbat Dinners: Shabbat Dinners FTW!

  1. Naomi

    The link that you gave for the underground dinner parties mentioned that the massive dinner party disclosed its location through a scavenger hunt… how cool would that be, to host a shabbat meal at someone else’s apartment, and make all your guests go on a scavenger hunt to find it?

  2. Tamar Fox Post author

    Naomi, that would be so much fun! Hm. I may have to give it a shot… Stay tuned.

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