Last week my friend sent me information about a friend of hers who had run a series of underground pop-up restaurants in Brooklyn called Coach Peaches. They were coming back with the concept and bringing it to Manhattan this weekend…was I interested? Of course I was. Send me the info. She sent me a link from Brown Paper tickets where I purchased four tickets for Saturday night at 8pm. Once I completed the transaction the location was then revealed. 233 Mott Street. Just knock on the red door.
Set in a cafeteria of a Catholic school that closed last year . There is definitely a party like atmosphere. The lighting is bright and we sit at tables that are reminiscent of a high school cafeteria and communal. After all it is a cafeteria. What is on the menu is on the menu, no changes, no subs, no nothing. It is almost like having a dinner party for 60 people who don't know each other.
Started with a drink which was made from grapefruit juice, prosecco and a campari like liquer made out of pomegranite and a slice of orange rind. Quite tasty and a nice bubbly kick. Yum. The good news is we invited to come along with us a couple who loves food and adventures and we happened to know a handful of other people there. Makes for a good party.
Our first round was an appetizer that the chef's wifes grandma used to make. A cold tomato broth with small poached shrimp, chunks of ripe avacado and saltines. Saltines are supposedly key. Really good. Light spicy and a nice beginning.
The salad consisted of roasted sliced beets in a mixture of greens and dollops of goat cheese and really delicious cinnamon flavored nuts. Nothing that you haven't had before but the cinnamon nuts were a nice twist.
The main course was pork. Pork belly that had been roasted a long time because a fork sliced right through it topped with a celery root mixture served on top of white beans and tiny pieces of sweet potatoes. Nothing crazy. The flavors were nice, the presentation was good. It was really like being served a good home cooked meal.
Dessert was a spicy chocolate soup with small light marshmallows served on top. A real spicy kick. Kind of like slurping down a spicy cup of hot chocolate.
Here is my total wrap up. Great concept. Interesting idea. Would have liked to see a little less light and a little more intimacy. Kind of felt like I was in the middle of nowhere sitting at a Church dinner. Food was good but not any omigods. It was more fun being part of the total concept. In my mind when I think of pop-up restaurant I imagine a dark speak-easy in Berlin with intimacy, great music and a feeling of something really special. I felt like more like I was in on a secret but the secret could have been better. Glad I went, hoping to do more of these as I am pretty sure we will see more and more coming to NYC. The key is just finding them.
Now that sounds and looks like a lot of fun. I used to run a group in Philadelphia called Chefame that would pop up restaurants in different places and let amateur chefs run the big, professional kitchens for a night. I miss those evenings so I’ll have to check out these guys the next time they run an event.
its definitely worth checking out. Joel, who runs the restaurant isterrific. My guess is more will be coming.
So what did they charge for the meal? what about wine? BYOB or did they offer with the meal?
They charged $75 a person, all included, wine, tip, etc. You had to payfirst through a website (Brown Bag) and then once your credit card goesthrough the location is revealed.
Joanne, do these pop-ups need to abide by the same health regulations as established restaurants?
With licensed kitchen space and top of the line kitchen equipment, the Hot Bread Kitchen Space at La Marqueta (http://hotbreadkitchen.org/) — especially the new incubator– would be a great venue for pop-up restaurateurs. I wonder what the arrangement with the school was. . .
interesting. it would be great for pop-ups but pretty sure that isn’t ontheir radar.