Thursday, November 19, 2009

Guerilla Dining

I've heard of underground clubs, speak-easy bars, or underground parties in haphazard areas... but this elusive group is a bit closer to the Freemasons for foodies. Popping up in many cities across the globe, some comprise of being secretly instructed to an unknown location with 20+ other strangers ... all with the goal of devouring mouth watering dishes created by a chosen premier chef and drowning in quality alcohol. Is it worth it? For many it is, since the $40-$180 price tag is reasonable compared to high flying dining. Although the "blind date" scenario may deter some, so long as a person is reasonably affable it could make for a good night.

Originating in Cuba, the concept was inspired from the Cuban Paladares in the 70s and 80s, and really found legs when the government realized they could take a slice of the pie with licensing. It has recently taken off in North America, perhaps more so with the sagging financial security and wish for exclusivity.

Here are a few... that could be near your hood.

Melbourne AU - Zingara Cucina
Sydney - Table for 20

Berlin - Cookies Cream
Berlin - Rodeo Club
Berlin - The Shy Chef
Barcelona - Kokun
Italy - Solo Per Due
London - Salad Club

Boston - O.N.C.E.
Chicago - Clandestino
Chicago - Wandering Goat
Los Angeles - Miguel Nelson
Los Angeles - The Hidden Agenda
Los Angeles/ Studio City - Underground Kitchen
New York City - 4 Course Vegan
New York City - NY Bite Club
New York City - Light-bulb Oven
New York City - A Razor, A shiny Knife
New York City - the Supper Club
New York City - Under Belly
Oakland - Ghetto Gourmet
Portland - Back Room
Portland - D'Merde
Portland - Simpatica
San Francisco - Shaw's Supper Club
Seattle - Gypsy
Seattle - One Pot

Montreal - Hidden Market
Toronto - Hidden Lounge

Buenos Aires - Diego Felix
Buenos Aires - Paladar
Buenos Aires - Casa Coupage
Mendoza - 743 Bistro