Food

A Private Dining Club by Way of Chicago and NYC With Intimate Dinners Presided Over by Chefs

Yes, You'll Want to Bring a Date to These

By Joe Starkey ·
B38781f51a1cd5d7f978b2df504489429 PhotosTasting Collective

"It's not a normal supper club," you'll say.

"Prove it," they'll say.

"K," you'll say, before casually pointing them in the direction of Tasting Collective, a new series of intimate dinners taking place in restaurants around town that's now accepting membership requests for upcoming fêtes. Here's a peek at what you might be in for.

Started as a way for friends to get a more in-depth experience at restaurants, what you have here is an invite-only club that stages bi-weekly events at an ever-rotating roster of restaurants. First up: Tawla on June 18, followed by the likes of Alba Ray's, Nomica and Dosa. Translation: you want in on this.

To become a member, request and invitation or come as a guest of another member. Membership also grants you bonuses like gratis drinks or dishes at partnering restaurants on non-event nights.

Then, come game night (usually Sundays through Tuesdays when restaurants are typically slow or closed) you and your merry band of culinary adventurers will show up at the same time as if for a show. A show where the players will be cooking your dinner.

And that dinner will be a family-style, eight-course event where the chefs themselves will open by speaking about their restaurant and a couple of the dishes. They'll then check back in and speak to more of the meal about halfway through. Finally, at the end, you and your date get to ask them any questions your hearts desire.

Sample answer: "Yes, you can have another drink."

Joe Starkey is the tallest person in the room 90% of the time. He enjoys liquors that aren’t smoky, dive bars that are, and has a vague dread that someone, somewhere might be having more fun than him.

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