Mesa Casa Sabor is not a restaurant, and the concept of private dining supper clubs may be new some of our guests, so here are some guidelines on what to expect so you can approach your experience in an optimal frame of mind.
- Always bear in mind that a supper club is generally held in the host’s home, so treat it as you would expect a guest visiting your own home to do. It is not a commercial restaurant with chefs and professional waiting staff. This has implications – you will probably need to keep your cutlery between courses, and the same wine glass throughout the meal. In addition, food may arrive at intervals so don’t expect each course to arrive for the whole table simultaneously, eat your food while it’s hot.
- Supper clubs are a great way to meet new people, to sample foods and cuisines about which the host will usually be both passionate and well informed.
- There is set menu (although specific dietary will be catered for) and you will get what you are given, so if you are picky, this is probably not the right dining experience for you. On the other hand, if you are open to novelty and surprise when dining, you’ll have a fantastic time.
- Like at a dinner party, it is important to arrive on time, but do not be early! This is rather important – the 5 or so minutes before you are welcomed are perhaps some of the most pressured of the entire evening, a lot will be happening in those final few moments. So always remember to arrive “from” the starting time. On the other hand, it is also important not to be late – you will interrupt the natural flow of the dinner, disturb your host and fellow guests and probably delay the meal for everyone else, it is just really bad form.
- Tap water to your hearts content. Mesa at Casa Sabor is a ‘bring your own’ venue so bring anything else you expect to drink – be that sparkling water, fruit juice, soft drinks, beer or wine. There are a few things you should consider when it comes to drinking – quality, quantity, sharing and chilling. If you wish, it is ok to offer your wine to other guests at your table, but if you are the one accepting the wine, it is polite to reciprocate. It is not acceptable however to help yourself to other guests’ wines. If you bring white wine or Champagne, do try to bring it chilled or bring a wine cooler jacket with you because it is unlikely your host will have facilities for the rapid chilling of many bottles.
- Sharing a table – strangers today, friends tomorrow…One of the greatest things about supper clubs is the social interaction and the opportunity to sit with and getting to know new people. And this is what makes supper clubs so different to restaurants, where striking up a conversation with a nearby table would be considered rather eccentric. So come prepared and in the right frame of mind – if someone you have never met before offers you his or her hand and strikes up a conversation with you, it is ok.
- You will get so much more out of the evening if you approach it in an open-minded way, and demonstrate curiosity about other diners. Many people have met future friends, partners and even spouses at supper clubs, so it’s in your interest to be super-friendly!
- Do not cancel but if you have to, find a replacement! You will charge a deposit, partly in an attempt to reduce cancellations. Unlike restaurants, which are open to the general public and can sell food to others if a given guest does not turn up, supper clubs cannot open their doors to walk -in guests. You would be surprised to know how little money there is in cooking so cancellations hurt the host significantly. Furthermore, your non-attendance will leave gaps in the seating plan, which will detract from the experience of other guests. If you must cancel, try and find a replacement for your seat and inform your host as soon as possible.
- As much as your host would like to cater for all types of dietary requirements, remember that the supper club food you will be eating comes from a domestic kitchen and so please consider all the limitations that this imposes. The host may have one or two helpers in the kitchen, so if you have a genuine dietary requirement, let your host know at the time of booking so that I have enough time to plan ahead. Supper clubs generally offer a set menu, so you eat what you are given. There are no choices between courses, so don’t ask for the fish option on the night! If you are a picky eater, supper clubs may not be the right dining option for you.
- With such small margins in cooking, tipping is a significant element in the event’s cash takings. Whatever the advertised cost of the meal, tips will be greatly appreciated.
- Do dress up, most people do. Remember a supper club event is a public dinner party and you are likely to meet some very interesting people – you will want to be looking your best!