Last week I overheard my mom talking to her friend about her son’s pop up dinner. Hearing the word dinner I became interested. It turns out these pop up dinners are not dissimilar to the childhood pop up books we all read early on. Just as the book pages origami their way up and at you from the page, these pop up dinners allow burgeoning chefs to reveal their hidden talents without having to own a restaurant.
An email is sent out with a menu and price fixe for the evening. Guests are given a pop up location where they will be regaled to a five or six course meal. Each course is carefully planned and selected for optimal taste sensation. Pop up costs can vary but this one was $65 and the scripted font on the menu was splayed with ingredients and foods I don’t think I could ever pronounce but which I vaguely recognize from watching Top Chef on TV. I asked mom if we could go and support this new chef’s effort but mom being a mostly vegetarian, picky eater who prefers mozzarella over brie and is happy to eat the same thing every day, said there was not much on the menu we (meaning she) would like.
I sulked a while but then it was the weekend and I was off to visit my Aunt and Uncle downtown and lo and behold that weekend, I was to enjoy my very first pop up dinner, and it was free! My Aunt took me to the Javitz center where the annual restaurant show was going on. She had me in my carry bag and we wandered through the aisles until we smelled it – food! My aunt and I are both foodies and we let our noses lead us straight into Nirvana. Aisle after aisle of delectable food tastings. I licked my chops and we got going.
We made a bee line to the most insanely rapturous aromas and once there, I would POP UP and receive a taster. My aunt worked well as an intermediary, taking off any excess fat or removing items that while tasty, not good for me like chocolate, avocado, garlic and onions. We were the dynamic duo, swooping in, getting the ok and popping up for the next tasty morsel. So much good food, my favorites being the braised chicken and the fancy beef. While we only arrived for the final hour of the show, we were focused and managed to hit many establishments before the end. When they finally made us leave, I was glad to be IN the bag and not carrying it. As we filed out, my mind kept replaying the last hour and my new mantra became: I love pop up dinners!
I met mom on the street outside the convention center and we walked home. I had my perky bounce going as I was in an extremely good mood. I stopped to sniff the flow… the scents on the New York city streets and greet other less fortunate dogs. I would sneak up behind them and softly whisper, I just ate sirloin. I’d prance away leaving them to look forlornly in my direction. I got home, wet my whistle with a little water to cleanse the palate and plopped into bed. Mom glanced over and saw me with one foot extended over the edge, my chin perched on top and my little tongue peeking out and said I had a very content happy look. That made her ponder whether pop up dinners were something she needed more of in her own life.
As for me, I know the answer to that is a definite YES!