“You know what this is?” someone asked, as we sat around a long communal table, drinking wine and eating lamb tacos. “This is the perfect date night.” And it’s hard to deny the truth in that statement, because the combination of food and drinks and live music that mark a night at Supper Studio are also all key ingredients to a pretty perfect date night. Or a pretty perfect any night, really. Because, Doritos-flavored popcorn? And a Justin Timberlake cover performed by Brooklyn’s own TEEN? What more does anyone need?
At Supper Studio, the worlds of innovative dining and live music combine to make for a memorable and singular experience, that makes me lament the fact that, for now, it’s only a seasonal, and not more frequent, event. This dinner/concert series was conceived by Laura Leebove and Tracy Candido, who stage these events in the DIY fashion that’s easily recognizable to anyone living in Brooklyn today. Leebove and Candido do everything from conceiving the menu (themed according to the band playing), to preparing the food, to hosting the evening in such a warm and thoughtful way that if feels as if you were in a home instead of (as was the case at their most recent event) in a high-ceilinged loft in far west Chelsea.
The first event that Supper Studio put on featured a performance by Pearl and the Beard and a menu that included polenta fries and smoked salmon macaroni and cheese. Last Sunday’s event had the music of TEEN, and a menu that was inspired by the neo-psychedelic sound of the group. What did that mean exactly? Well, Leebove and Candido translated TEEN’s music into the aforementioned Doritos-flavored popcorn (no actual Doritos were harmed in the making of this treat, it was just a zesty spice mix); a delicious, curried pumpkin and mushroom soup, with bagel croutons and a tangy sour cream garnish; blue potato hash; a refreshing beet, fennel, pomegranate slaw; succulent lamb tacos with pickled vegetables; and house-made chocolate truffles, rose marshmallows, and a shot of Lambrusco. Even though the lineup of food was only tied together by neo-psychedelic music, it still worked really well, and, most importantly, was genuinely delicious.
But beyond just the food, the atmosphere in the room was lively, and the way that the event is arranged—once attendees arrive, they are greeted with two free drink tickets (two solid red wines and a strong selection of beer, including Peak Organic IPA and a huge variety of Brooklyn Brewery choices) and have some time to mingle before sitting down at the table—means that it’s really easy to fall into conversation with new people. It definitely feels far more like you’re at a well-orchestrated dinner party than at anything else. And while seating isn’t assigned, diners are given place cards where they can write their names and signify if they need vegetarian- or vegan-friendly food.
TEEN played four songs over the course of the evening. The first was just after everyone sat down, but before the food was served, and then the band got the chance to eat dinner with the rest of us before playing the final three songs (including that Timberlake cover!) as we ate marshmallows and sipped Lambrusco. I had never seen TEEN live before, and this felt to me like the perfect setting to be introduced to the music of a band you might not be overly familiar with, but it’s also a great opportunity for someone who is a fan to get to see their musical heroes in an intimate setting. And it’s that intimate setting that makes Supper Studio such a special place. Good food isn’t hard to find in New York, and neither is good music. But the combination of both, all in a convivial atmosphere reminiscent of the best dinner party you’ve ever been to, conspire to make Supper Studio an event that’s well-worth experiencing.
Supper Studio: supper-studio.com
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