Dining Clubs: do they still exist?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by suzanne, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. suzanne

    suzanne

    Messages:
    3,853
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Food Editor
    A friend who is writing a piece on dining clubs asks: "Are there any around still?" That's all she said, so I leave it to you to define and discuss.

    It would be helpful to know where you are, but if you would rather not indicate it publicly (right on the thread for anyone to see), you can always e-mail me. But do tell us something about yours if you are in one or know of one.

    Thanks! :D
     
  2. gunnar

    gunnar

    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    47
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I live in Auburn CA, bout 30-35 miles northeastish of Sacramento our podunk capital city for the great state of California. A quick google search says "NO" there are no dining clubs. I believe however there is a slow cook club around but i didn't see it in google and I know we have an Underground Dinner group around here as seen in Bourdains:No Reservations. I just haven't been in touch with either group.
     
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    As you imply, Suzanne, there are several forms of dining clubs. But virtually none of them advertise, so they're hard to find.

    There was a formal dining club in Lexington that started with a bang. Very fancy restaurant---country club like. Members paid an annual fee, plus paid for their meals. There were some problems with it, though, and I believe it folded. I'll look into that for you.

    The problem researching these kinds of clubs is that they are private, and the members are affluent people who aren't anxious for anybody to know their business.

    Then there are the dining clubs in which a group of people get together on some schedule, often rotating through the members' houses. These are the hardest to locate, because they are local, comprised of people who, by and large, already are friends, and informal in nature. I wonder if progressive dinners would be included in this group?

    There are dining clubs such as the one run by the authors of Forking Fantastic. Once a month they host gatherings at their own location, and people just show up. Sometimes there are fees involved and sometimes not. The way you find out about these, usually, is that somebody who already attends them invites you to come along.

    And, if we are to believe the foodie bloggers, just about every city has at least one underground dining club. Lots of luck researching them, as they are very emphatically not looking for publicity.
     
  4. khunter

    khunter

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    there is a dining club in downtown little rock, AR. in a high rise downtown. A real throwback of a place, formal dining, the staff, etc. In-laws took us there in December.

    www.littlerockclub.com
     
  5. rpmcmurphy

    rpmcmurphy

    Messages:
    1,480
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    I'd love for a certain NYC dinner 'club' to have another dinner....

    Maybe you can kick you know who ;)

    Are you talking about the forbidden 'underground restaurants' type dinner clubs....or just a regular 'dinner' club?

    My new years resolution is to have more guests over for dinner.....anyone in NJ wanna invite themselves over? haha.
     
  6. gunnar

    gunnar

    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    47
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    whats for dinner and can i sleep on yer couch overnight? or at least my wife , i'll sleep on the floor.:p and ya gotta go out for pizza with us the next day:lol:

    dam, I just saw the NJ resident limitation.
     
  7. bughut

    bughut

    Messages:
    1,730
    Likes Received:
    28
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I used to belong to a college curry club. Where we cooked week about in each others homes. I suspect this is not what youre looking for though Suzanne.

    My Godfather, uncle Dudley used to belong to a dinner club in Leeds Yorkshire UK before he died. He said it was the only place he could smoke in peace and enjoy good company without women wittering on. (it was for men only) He was the size of a barn. Aunty Jean used to keep him on a strict diet at home and nip his head about his cigarettes

    As KYH suggests, these places are not advertised. They're generally by invitation only.

    Good luck with the research.
     
  8. new york tamara

    new york tamara

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    Suzanne-

    I was led to this forum through a google alert I have on my book, Forking Fantastic., Put The Party Back In Dinner Party. I run a "The Sunday Night Dinner" supper club in NYC; I have been running it for the last 6 1/2 years. I have a number of regulars and welcome new visitors. I am also more than happy to do an interview-- I don't run my club behind a wall of secrecy and exclusivity but instead treat it as a dinner party that you contribute money to attend. It is a nonprofit, but does provide employment for friends who have recently lost jobs, support for my local shops, greenmarkets, farmers, butchers, fishmongers and produce markets.

    Should you or your friend need more info regarding my club or the names of others in NYC, please feel free to email me. [email protected]

    Tamara
     
  9. vohrtex

    vohrtex

    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Other
    My stepfather used to belong to the university club in Providence. We went for dinner for special occasions. To become a member you needed to be sponsored by several existing members, and I remember my mother and sister having to enter through the side door the first few times we went before women were allowed through the front door. There was an annual fee if I remember right, and a few resident members, bachelors in their eighties. He eventually gave it up as he wasn't going as often as he had as a bachelor. I do remember the food being fancy.
     
  10. ishbel

    ishbel

    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    40
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    The club I know in London (NOT a gentleman's club, which are common there) is Mosimann's. I've been on a few cookery courses at his school, and as part of the course, a luncheon at the Club in Belgravia is part of the deal. It's a beautiful place, and has one room called the Faberge which has wonderful faberge easter eggs and other works of art on display.

    Home
     
  11. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    67
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    St. Louis is FULL of dinner clubs...
    St. Louis Club. serious bucks to join, serious old school french chef

    Ritz has a cigar club with food

    There's a women's place on Lindell that has private dinners for members

    Incredible amount of country clubs.....huge amount of ACF activity. Aiden Murphy is an MCC and gold olympics winner at Old Warson CC.

    IFW has private dinners
    Chien
    several wine groups

    Then the underground gourmet thing is fairly strong.....I've got contact info that I'll not post here.