Posts Tagged ‘Camille Becerra’
The allure of the underground supperclub or the pop-up restaurant, is that it’s a limited-time only experience. The window of opportunity is small, you must be on the ball and in-the-know to take advantage of such occasions.
Which is probably why they rarely receive poor reviews.
Tonight was opening night of The Hunger, the second run for some chick from Top Chef and a few other guys I haven’t heard of. (Maybe you have? Camille Becerra, Alan Philips and Josh Yames?) The Hunger bills itself as a “series of themed restaurant concepts in New York and other sophisticated culinary destinations.”
Sorry Camille and other rando dudes….but “sophistication” isn’t quite the correct choice of words.
Let’s start with the positive. The event was held at the Soho Grande Hotel, in a narrow slice of faux-grass earth off their ground-floor outdoor bar. The weather was perfect, and the dueling long tables facilitated conversation amongst strangers. (We met a Jean Georges alum and an architect)
The set menu began with a gazpacho verde, farm salad, provaleta (basically fried provolone) and bread. The ho-hum gazpacho served it’s purpose as “something to eat immediately because I’m starving”…but wasn’t memorable. The salad was okay….the fried cheese was, of course awesome and I could eat an entire wheel-barrow full of it.
Moving on, we were served side items: charred tomatoes with basil, potatoes with roasted lemon, arugula and almonds, and grilled summer squash with parmiagiano reggiano and mint. These all sound good on paper…but were quite boring on the plate. And, note to self: if you’re serving potatoes and roasted lemon…make sure the potatoes are not yellow and therefor providing camoflouge for the lemons. Because eating a roasted lemon with its charred bitter rind is a great way to give your palette the finger for the rest of the meal.
A man with a large plate of meat came around, serving everyone portions of skirt steak, shell steak, pork loin and homemade chorizo. With jars of chimichurri sauce and peach chipotle on the table…this was the highlight. My meat was cooked medium rare and tender, while my homey across the table got the raw end of the deal with small end pieces. The natural way of a backyard bbq. I can’t, and won’t complain about the meat…considering I’m complaining about everything else.
Did I mention they “ran out of sangria” within the first 15 minutes of our arrival? Um, excuse me? Who was afraid of having “left-over sangria”? Someone fire that nerd.
The high point of the grilled meats were suddenly extinguished, with an utterly disgusting dessert. Grilled oranges and rosemary with yogurt. It’s August…there are about 29 fruits in season and you pick oranges? And you grill them? Seriously, someone decided to GRILL and OUT OF SEASON FRUIT completely bereft of sugar or honey, tossed on a few tablespoons of warm yogurt?
WASTE. OF. MONEY. Great atmosphere, fun way to meet people…but this dinner totally sucked. Don’t go. Now I don’t feel bad for leaving my camera at home. You’re not missing anything.
Dubbing itself “The Hunger”, pop-up Argentinean restaurant series will be grillin’ on the low-down in SoHo from August 3 – 6, with additional dates in the works. Underground dinner parties have been the ultimate foodie cool kid treat since Ghetto Gourmet went national in 2006– but now any old Joe can score tickets on The Hunger’s Gilt City.
Top Chef alum Camille Becerra will be wo-manning the kitchen, and probably attracting her old cronies.
BBQ, cocktails, elbow-rubbing, etc. My tickets are booked.
$50/person plus tax & tip, cash bar