There’s a new dining concept in D.C. and you’re going to want to be a part of it. Dinner Lab is a reoccurring pop-up restaurant in different locations around the city featuring different chefs from around the country. The restaurant is open to members only (who must buy tickets for each event) but the good news is Dinner Lab has a tiered membership program, so you can join for free or as a select member.
If you join for free, you will get emails about upcoming pop-up dinners. If you choose a select membership, which is $175 a year, you get discounted tickets to the pop-up dinners, as well as invitations to members-only dinners, happy hours, wine tastings, and other events.
Dinner Lab is a great way to sample the cooking of chefs from around the country without ever leaving D.C. The unusual venues and the opportunity to meet other fellow foodies are an added bonus. Plus, booze is included in your ticket price and most chefs will accommodate vegetarians. It’s a win-win situation.
I recently went to a Dinner Lab meal to check out the concept and report back. The event was at the Carnegie Library, a stunning D.C. institution. The main foyer was set up with strung up ceiling lights, dozens of communal dining tables and a makeshift bar with free flowing alcohol. The chef for the evening was Scott Shulman, who hails from San Diego and has a strong background in Mexican cooking.
The meal was a five course Thanksgiving themed dinner with Mexican and southern influences. The signature cocktail was a margarita, but wine and beer were also available. The opening course was an awesome cauliflower crepe with a rich, spicy mole, followed by a squash and wheat berry salad. The best course of the meal was a savory mushroom flan with a bowl of grilled popcorn. It was fun, innovative, and so tasty. Cornbread waffles with a seasonal root vegetable mash served as the four course, followed by rice pudding for dessert.
The verdict? If you’re bored with all the usual dining spots in D.C., Dinner Lab is for you. Its fun, something different, and a great way to enjoy D.C.