When Dinner Lab, the world's largest member's only pop-up supper club, launched in Miami last year you had to pay $150 annual fee to get access to their exclusive one night only events. But now, in an effort to grow Miami's dining community and network and increase the frequency of their events, they've released a gratis community membership. The caveat: it's only happening for a limited time, so be sure to sign up quick.
Since releasing the no-charge membership Dinner Lab has already hosted three dinners. The goal is to open the gateways to devoted eaters so that anyone may be able to purchase tickets to their events, which usually range from $60 and $70 and are inclusive of alcohol, tax, and gratuity – a deal.
As for existing members who are already invested (i.e they paid a fee), Dinner Lab still has a premium level of membership that all previous members transitioned to. They get first dibs on tickets to events and will have events exclusive to just them. The fee for that costs $175 annually.
New Times was invited to attend a recent dinner with guest chef Angeles Chavarria from the Nomad Restaurant in NYC. The Ecuador-born chef was eager to be in Miami saying, "you guys have amazing produce and people so I'm just happy Miami is finally starting to get noticed for its culinary."
One of the main goals of Dinner Lab is to connect diners with chefs they might otherwise not have an opportunity to, hence bringing in chefs from other cities and encouraging menus that are exciting, fun, and push the boundaries of food. The other goal is to connect people with an interest in food. Since dinners are communal, you might just find yourself at the table with your next BFF. After all, friends who eat together stay together.
The location of Dinner Lab remains a secret till the night before the event. Usually Dinner Lab scouts several places before deciding on a setting that aligns with their theme. That can be anything from an abandoned church to a motorcycle store, or in the case of last night's soiree, a Wynwood art gallery.
Brisky Gallery was last night's location, and a fitting one at that. Guests were welcomed by rum cocktails and encouraged to mingle prior to taking their seats for dinner.
Citrus cured salmon with charred fennel, pea shoots and dill, and frozen pea crumble was clean, simple, and brimming with flavors.
Brandy and Madeira foie gras with balsamic shaved radish, endive and celery leaf, and black truffle vinaigrette.
It was served with extremely fine and delicate buttered toast that we ate before the foie hit he table because servers didn't tell us anything. In fact, service was probably the only thing lacking, considering the waitstaff couldn't explain the drinks or dishes being served. We also wished that perhaps the plateware and cutlery would be a bit more inventive, dynamic, and change from course to course to tie in with the experience. On the plus side, everyone is given comment cards to fill out so that Dinner Lab can take its members suggestions and incorporate them into future events.
Confit pork with mustard greens and lemon vinaigrette, pickled shallots, and sweet plantain purée was gone in no time.
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Ricotta cheesecake with vanilla streusel and cherry compote.