Subtle is beautiful. As small, semi private house parties mark the new nightlife and projects like the Pirate Cinema manifest a new way of cultural entertainment, the underground dining movement is also developing itself and is becoming a feature of the culinary landscape. Nowadays, many people are looking for new community-based alternatives for dining and entertainment. The emerge of all kinds of ‘pirate restaurants’ and dinner clubs around the world perfectly fits with this trend.
There are all kinds of underground restaurants: from amateur cooks transforming their homes into dinner clubs for people who can decide themselves how much to pay, to professionals like the Moveable Restaurant, which jumps from place to place, not being afraid to demand up to 100 pounds for a dinner per person. In the end it’s all about good food and, last but not least, trust, which is emphasised in a nice Guardian article on underground dining:
“In a modern context, with the hangups, demanding and sometimes litigious nature of many consumers, there’s a lot of trust involved in something like this – for punters and host alike. Walking into a complete stranger’s house for dinner can be a fairly challenging experience, welcoming them in, perhaps more so.”
The Ghetto Gourmet is an interesting portal for the world of underground restaurants, speakeasies and supperclubs. The Ghetto Gourmet started in 2004 as a little Monday night pirate restaurant project in a basement apartment in Oakland, California. Their website provides the opportunity to start your own dining community in your city and to “promote and manage your culinary get-togethers”. Of course, you can also have a look for underground restaurants in your neighbourhood to join.