When a friend of ours invited us to a supper club, we really had no idea what to expect. Do we need some kind of membership card? Is it held in some super secret location? What and when exactly is ‘supper’? And most importantly, will there be wine?
The answers to these first-timer questions are no, no, it’s like dinner, and yes plus cocktails. While I’m no stranger to hosting a dinner party or dining out, I wasn’t sure what the supper club experience would be like. If you’ve ever wondered about them or thought that you had to know someone who knows a guy who can get you in, I’m happy to say they’re fun and easy to join (without a membership commitment).
Our supper club experience was coordinated by Saint City Supper Club here in San Antonio. The Saint City Culinary Foundation provides support and resources for those working in the culinary arts through mentorships, scholarships, and addiction help. Not only were we eating great food but we contributed to a worthy endeavor.
How it Works
Attendance per dinner is limited to around 24-30, where you’re seated in a large room at community style tables. If you don’t like engaging with new people then this isn’t for you. But we enjoyed our time visiting with our friends and making new ones. Ticket prices can range around $50 per person to over $100, depending on the chef and the kind of culinary adventure you’re in for. It covers all food and drinks. Allow for 2.5 – 3 hours for the entire experience and enjoy the fact that you aren’t being rushed. Most dinners are held on Sundays, which may not appeal to those going to work Monday morning, because it will be a semi-late evening.
Location can change but our experience was held at the Burleson Yard Beer Garden. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this location but the building has a medium-sized banquet style room that has some major historic roots. Exposed brick and beams surround you and what I can only assume is the original hardwood floor squeaks beneath your shoes. Strings of amber lights cast an intimate glow above and the tables were set with tablecloths and centerpieces. It felt like being at a rustic chic wedding. Everything was beautiful.
Wine was available at each table but a master mixologist was also preparing a special French 75 inspired cocktail for the evening.
An amuse bouche of rabbit taco (oddly one of my favorites of the evenings) kicked off our five course meal by Chef Andrew Rodriguez. A small pairing of greens lead the way to a beef, duck, and chicken course culminating in dessert. For each course the chef addressed the room, describing what we were about to eat and his inspiration for creating it.
If you’re not a foodie or even a slightly adventurous eater then a supper club may not be for you. But I hope that won’t stop you from giving it a shot. You may surprise yourself. I have never been a fan of rabbit but the rabbit taco was actually very good. I actually wanted more than one.
Each dinner is the work of a different chef. Local chefs from around San Antonio may be featured, or there may be some kind of “throwdown” between two chefs. It’s a celebration of food and no two dinners will be alike. The chefs are given full reign on their menus. You won’t know what you’ll eat until you arrive but that’s part of the intrigue.
What to Wear
You’ll want to wear something appropriate for a nice dinner. Everyone was dressed in some version of dressed up casual. I wore a blue and white cotton jumpsuit (similar to this one) with nude heels but nice jeans would be appropriate as well.
I think it’s important to give something like a supper club more than one try. Because each time will be different, you may enjoy certain experiences more than others. Just remember to go into it with an open mind and you won’t be disappointed.
Have you ever tried a supper club? Are you an adventurous eater?
Xo – Erin
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