Pop-up dinners are the one-night-stands of the dining world, minus any lingering questions or ill-will.
Pop-up dinners almost always happen in wonderful if not surprising settings: barns, fields, museums, empty factories, warehouses, churches, any place but a conventional dining room. The people who host pop-ups often see the world through the “wouldn’t this be a great place to serve a dinner?” lens. No beach, no mountain top, no city street is seen without measuring a tablecloth in one’s mind.
The food at a pop-up dinner is almost always memorable to exceptional, because the one-off hosts are so excited about the event’s uniqueness, (and they only have to prepare it once, not every night for the next two months) that the extraordinary motors whir. It’s is really more of a party that way, because everything is new and fresh, even to the hosts. “We’ve never prepared cassoulet beside polar bears at the zoo before!”
Pop-up dinners add a pinch of cayenne pepper to a community’s restaurant culture. Sure, there’s your favorite pizza place, the place you go for seafood, and the slated anniversary restaurant, but what about when a beloved caterer creates a pop-up dinner in the barn at Moraine Farm on a Thursday, a night that will never happen again?
Welcome to Chive Events pop-up dinners. This Thursday’s dinner began with passed skewers of breaded calamari and tomatoes. At the long farm table, we sipped wine, got to know our neighboring guests, and tasted from the local cheese boards. Plates of beef carpaccio dressed in ginger greens, zucchini shavings, and husk cherries arrived as our first course. For dinner platters of local monkfish skewers over couscous and roasted tomatoes were passed family style while Lindsey served us squares of a sweet and savory swiss chard tart. Dollops of butternut squash puree mildly sweetened all. (I’ve been waiting months to place this quote from Nicie Panetta’s aunt: “I never met a dollop I didn’t like.”)
Caterers who don’t just walk the sustainable/local walk, Chive Events cooks, pours, serves and decorates the sustainable/local walk. Almost all their events are zero waste. Chive creates some of the most original, flavorful food on the North Shore, and now you don’t have to wait to be invited to a bridal shower to taste it. Go to their website and sign up for their pop-up dinner announcements. Maybe I’ll see you there, wherever that may be.