Black market restaurants
Have you heard about underground restaurants? The New York Times was writing about them over a year ago, so they aren't exactly news.
(I did a search to see if the Sun had written anything that I had missed. We hadn't, but one of the results was a story mentioning Subway.)
When I was looking at last year's list of this year's supposed trends from our restaurant consultants to see how many of them pertained (before I got too excited about next year's trends), I came across this: ...
There’ll be big growth in “black market” restaurants this year … one-night-only unlicensed dinner ventures staged by skilled home cooks (and occasional professionals) in warehouses, garages, cellars, vacant nightclubs and personal dining rooms. With ambitious menus, these dinners are by invitation only … word spreads via blogs, text messages, notices on Craigslist. ... “Gastronomic speakeasies” are mushrooming because: they offer a sense of adventure … sort of like slinking out to buy some cocaine; people are seeking alternatives to standard restaurant experiences; in some cases guests help prepare the meal; they get to meet like-minded foodies in unconventional surroundings; and they’re “sticking it to the man” by patronizing entrepreneurs who have no health department license, pay no taxes, insurance or social security to the cooks and waiters that these promoters hire for the event.Underground restaurants or supper clubs may have mushroomed this year in New York or Los Angeles, but I haven't heard anything about them in this area, even in DC.
And our Craigslist guru, turkeybone, hasn't pointed out any notices for them either.
But there is something naughty, romantic and appealing about the concept, isn't there? Except for the part about no health department license.
(Nanine Hartzenbusch/Sun photographer)