Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Underground Restaurants?

Would you pay to have dinner at a stranger's home? There's a new phenomenon happening in London (as the link details) and America, and who knows where else? People are apparently advertising to have complete strangers over for dinner and charging them for it. The food's good, the ambiance is intimate (unless you're cooking in the Aaron Spelling kitchen!)...you get a good meal and the host house gets some money for not too much time and trouble. It's usually a one-menu night so it's not like the hosts are cooking anything but one big dinner party presentation. But, they make money! I suppose it's a tad less than restaurant dining, so it's a win/win as most people wouldn't do this unless they were pretty seriously tasty cooks anyway.

Would you consider opening one OR going to a complete stranger's house on a recommendation from a friend? I'm curious.

z

30 comments:

WomanHonorThyself said...

I'll come to you girl!..lol

shoprat said...

I don't know if I would or not, but that is how restaurants (and inns) got their start.

Miss T.C. Shore said...

There are places here and there that have done that for years here in the good ol' USA. A few years ago, I went to the home of an Amish family that prepares a "traditional" Amish meal for up to 30 people in their home. They do this up to once a week.

FrogBurger said...

It's kind of a cool idea. I like it. Although having obnoxious people coming over would really be unpleasant.

Z said...

Woman, you're welcome any time!

Shoprat......but the times have SO changed (sadly)

TC....I'd love to try that kind of a meal. This is a kind of 'designer meal' phenomena, even some chefs are doing it. I just can't imagine having complete strangers over, but...

FB..that's kind of my problem with it. I guess, also, I'm not that trusting a soul. I'd want letters of reference if I didn't know the people!!!

beamish said...

Did it for an Italian dinner back in April The fad has hit St. Louis.

Reminded me somewhat of the concept of finding a good (i.e. illegal) warehouse rave party in the late 80s / early 90s.

Z said...

Beamish, did they advertise or did friends of yours know about it?
How's it go?

Anonymous said...

Ooooooh, but the liability! We're talking strangers in a litigious society!!! Sad, but true.

Pris

beamish said...

A little of both. Social networking principles at play.

An acquaintance of mine is a sous chef and he gave me the voice mail number to call to get on the "guest" list.

Around a week later I was emailed an address to go and pay for the meal and from there got directions to where the meal would be served.

Around 20 - 30 people were in attendance, and it was some of the best Italian cuisine I had ever eaten.

Professional chefs / caterers / culinary school grads are doing this to make extra cash without the overhead of starting up or working for properly licensed restaurant.

From there, the similarities to rave parties ends (no drugs, etc.)

But it makes for a fun date, especially if "something new to do" is your bag.

The only drawback is you eat what is served, rather than ordering from a menu.

CJ said...

I'd heard of this years ago too. People who love to cook do it. You'd be a natural, Z.

lovelyprism said...

I'd do it in a New York minute! I'm a fabulous cook. :-)
The obnoxious people FB referred to would be charged extra. I have no problem adding that gratuity and then explaining it with a smile on my face.

KrisEveland said...

Don't think I'd go to one, but I'd consider hosting one. I love to cook.

Z said...

Thanks, Beamish.

The more interesting phenomena to me is the personal 'real people' doing the cooking. I'd much rather take my chances on a dinner like the one you had with sous chefs, etc!! Sounds fabulous!

But, this idea of a couple having a few people they don't know in for dinner and charging them is really interesting.

I DO like to cook but I'm just not SURE I'd do it. Unless the people were people who know MY people, if you know what I mean.

Thanks CJ,...it's a novel idea!

Lovely and Kris...wouldn't it be great to have a great big long dinner and invite a bunch of bloggers and cook for them. THAT I'd not hesitate to do! I WISH!

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Hmmm. I'm not sure. The recommendation would have to be pretty good, and the accommodations would have to be likewise acceptable. I would buy into this more, however, if I knew that there were NO taxes being collected by the state or the fed.

Pris also brings up a good idea: I would never do it MYself due to the liability exposure.

BZ

beamish said...

It's expeeeeensive though.

Steve Harkonnen said...

I've actually done this in London before, circa 1979.

Z said...

I don't know, it seems it's getting very popular so there must be some liability situation that pleases all parties involved.

Beamish, it wouldn't have to be reeeal expensive if the host made ONE MEAL and divided it among a lot of people, or I'd have thought that, anyway.
I'm talking a REAL home experience, no 'pro chefs'...in the family dining room, etc.......

I can do a REALLY elaborate dinner party for $100 with flowers .. and that's for 4-6 people.

well, who knows..it's intriguing that it's getting so popular and I simply wondered how any of you thought about it.

Z said...

Steve, you COOKED or WENT to a home?

mksviews said...

A friends house, yeah, but not a strangers house. Imagine you turn up at some pro-abortionist lefties house serving tofu or some crap like that. Bad food and bad company.

CJ said...

As I understand it, it's not exactly like you're a guest in someone's home, although you are. They maintain a restaurant type atmosphere as far as possible. That is, you have a table with your own party, same as in a restaurant, though there may be only two or three parties overall, or even one, depending on the size of the place and how big your party is. You don't have to have conversation with anyone else. Of course I'm sure there are many creative variations too. I've never been but I always thought it was an interesting idea.

CJ said...

You also don't have to be in the dark about what's on the menu. They plan it well in advance.

sue said...

If it was on recommendation from someone I knew. I like to see how people's houses are decorated.

Probably would be better than a lot of restaurants - and more personal.

DaBlade said...

I like to eat in front of the TV (I know, bad habit). Fork in one hand, remote control in the other. Would that cost extra?

Brooke said...

A total stranger? Ooh, no. Too easy for a criminal to 'case' the home or the people within it.


Also, should the person get sick somehow I wouldn't want the blame and litigation over it.

Always On Watch said...

Going to a complete stranger's house for dinner? I think not.

Since the burglary here at my house, I don't think I'd invite strangers in, either.

Z said...

DaBlade, you sound like US! No extra charge :-)

Interesting to hear input; it defies what's actually happening, people seem to love it, but I'm with you, I think.....

I don't want people scoping my stuff or our house.

still, I thought it was a somewhat intriguing thing!

thanks

Chuck said...

I'm not sure of doing either

beamish said...

Oh, I mean expeeeensive for guests. I think dinner for two plus drinks plus tip set me back around $100 bucks. (We usually get by at McDonalds for around $15)

It was nice to pretend to be snooty for a night.

christian soldier said...

a second house in which you 'do' your art---one night a week-open to 'known'-recommended neighbors....
I'm thinking ==I'm thinking!
C-CS

Jen aka Pinky said...

I'd go in a heartbeat..if it was a friend of a friend.

I'm thinking nobody would want to eat my cuisine. It's just plain ole Southern cookin'. Not at all fancy. Oh, and the crushed cheerios and peanutbutter smeared on the dining table might bother a few folks! ;-)