The pop-up craze is only getting crazier in New York and the latest one is the James Beard Foundation at Chelsea Market. For only 27 days, top chefs from all over the country are cooking dinner for 3 days each. Tickets are selling in advance and selling out in only a few hours. I got tickets to the chefs from Frankie's Sputino since I knew it was guaranteed to be decent fare. It's a 4-course dinner, and wine and tip IS included! So once you are finished you just get up and go because everything is paid ahead.
The food was good, although nothing mind blowing. Lots of their famous olive oil on everything! The appetizer was a lovely smoked salmon with olive oil and aged peperoncino. Then the first course was a faro risotto which had a nice chewy texture. The second course was this meat in red sauce thing, which I can't say that I loved. It was like a pizza or a pasta without the pasta. The flavour of the sauce was good but the meat was a bit chewy and had too much fat on it. The dessert was really good. it was a simple piece of olive oil cake with marscapone and rhubarb on the side. Each course came with a glass of wine 1 prosecco, 1 white and 2 red. It really added to the meal, the wines they chose were really great!
The space itself was a bit funky. It felt like you were in an emptied out Gap store, it was quite big and clearly not designed for a restaurant. But the cafeteria-like style suited the 3 long communal tables that were placed in the middle of the space. It was nice because as soon as you sat down you quickly realized that you wouldn't be dining alone but rather with the whole table. The people were a total mix of eager foodies who were all too excited that they had managed to get their hands on one of these hot tickets. They all seemed to frequent every pop-up in town... they were pop-up crazy! I think Terry and I were the youngest people in there, and we aren't that young! But it was nice to do something out of the ordinary, outside our hoods and usual scene.
JBF Pop Up
at Chelsea Market