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Mike Lee started Studiofeast to create something that combined the experience of going out to a restaurant with the atmosphere of going to your best friend’s place for dinner. “As we did more and more dinners, we started to push this format by introducing more conceptual elements, like the Doppelganger Dinner. Concepts like that create a stronger bond/conversation between the guests, which in the end, I hope creates a more interesting social experience for the diners. If I can use food, concepts, and setting to turn strangers at a table into friends, then that’s a good night for me,” said Lee.At Studiofeast, the tête-à-têtes are as equally valued as each plate of the surprise meal. They usually sit about 40 people for a 6 to 7 course meal. They recently launched a series of dinners called “Studiofeast Sunday,” which seat about 12 guests and serve anywhere from 3 to 6 courses.Fill out the form on their website and they’ll let you know if you have been accepted. Participants will be emailed the location 24 hours before the event. Reservations are non-refundable and are first come, first serve.
Managed by the catering and event planning company, Mamas Group, Txoko Miami is the city’s “pop up” gastronomic society. A txoko [Cho-co] is a Basque gastronomical society very popular in Spain. Traditionally they are only open to male members who meet to cook, eat and socialize. For example, just in the city of Guernica, there are nine txokos with approximately 700 members in total.Past dinners have offered a four-course degustation menu with wine specifically matched to the meal. This txoko prefers not to be defined by one specific style of cooking and instead refer to its meals as “simply good food” with prime ingredients that change depending on the season.
Securing a seat in this private salon is tricky. Our best recommendation is to ask the concierge at your luxury Tokyo hotel. ■