Chef's Club New York - Ben Sukle, Birch

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll notice that I have been dining at “Chef’s Club Studio” a few times recently. Conducted in the private room of a gorgeously decorated restaurant called Chef’s Club, the Studio seats only 16 guests per dinner for chefs that visit every month. These “popups” last 1-2 nights with a menu that hovers around 5 courses.

I keep coming back because it’s essentially a “new” restaurant every time with refreshing menus heralding from Providence, Dallas and Austin, and Portland among others. Each dinner is a unique experience filled with people from all walks of life; food bloggers, sous chefs at Michelin restaurants, culinary magazine editors, or just civilians who aren’t in the industry but enjoy the food and the interactions that come along in sharing a meal with like-minded folks.

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Lazy Bear: Pop-Up Stardom

I didn't know much about Lazy Bear (an anagram of Chef Barzelay) except for a few facts: it was a pop-up in SF, it was highly rated on Yelp with a near-perfect score, and it was extremely hard to get into. I was hooked immediately but was thwarted a few times the past year when trying to get a seat through their lottery system. My most recent failed attempt was for their last dinner in June before they moved operations to their brand new brick and mortar space - the endgame of all pop-ups.

Imagine my delight when Anna came through clutch again with a surprise reservation for October 5 at their two-story space with two long communal tables seating a total of 40 guests per service. She was able to pounce on two tickets on their new system that licensed the software of Alinea's system where diners prepay for tickets in full. which cuts down on cancellations. Despite the whole system crashing due to demand and technical glitches, the first two weeks of dinners were sold out within hours. 

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