Ssssh! Secret dining in New York City

Before I left London, I was starting to discover the underground supper club scene. This is where you show up to a random apartment to take part in a dinner party thrown by some up-and-coming chef – all while chatting with other foodie guests over a bottle of wine. The food is usually amazing, the company eclectic and the vibe, exclusive.

So on moving to New York, I decided to explore the secret dining scene this side of the Pond. Last night was my first foray into this world, which involved trekking over to Brooklyn to take part in Um Segredo (‘a secret’), a supper club run by a highly talented Portuguese chef, David Santos.

You never know what to expect from these type of gatherings – and wandering in confusion around a darkened Brooklyn street trying to find the secret location helped add to the mystery. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed. David was a friendly character who talked us through the delicious menu at every stage. The night was themed for Oktoberfest, so we were served German cuisine and encouraged to bring our own German beer.

The food was all great; the Pork Schnitzel starter (pictured above) and the Ginger snap ice cream with Pretzel crumble we were served for dessert were particularly good. The company was interesting – as usual, some people ‘got’ the concept that you’re supposed to balance your private conversations with talking to other guests. Others didn’t – and prattled amongst themselves almost the entire evening.

As usual, the clientele was mostly foodie, so there was lots of swapping of restaurant and supper club tips. One lovely couple recommend I try FireBird, a Russian restaurant in Midtown. I recommended the group check out NY Bite Club – another popular secret dining group which is next on my list.

In short, I’d sum up Um Segredo in three words – recommend, recommend, recommend. It was a great introduction to NYC’s secret dining scene. If you’re interested in exploring more, check out this list of other New York supper clubs.

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