Why? Dinner Lab!

Cleveland is a foodie town that continues to make it’s mark on the national culinary scene. Now, Dinner Lab, a haute pop-up dinner company, is bringing it’s brand to Cleveland, in just another indication of Cleveland’s ability to keep up with New York, LA, and Chicago.

Photo credit: Aaron Lyles
Photo credit: Aaron Lyles

Dinner Lab started in New Orleans in 2011 and has since expanded to 33 cities around the country. So, what is Dinner Lab? I spoke with Cleveland-native and Dinner Lab Director of HR Hallie Dietsch and Dinner Lab co-founder Zach Kupperman to find out more.

  • It’s a way to unite undiscovered chefs and adventurous diners. The chefs are great sous chefs and line cooks who are looking for a forum to experiment with their own dishes and styles.
  • It’s membership-based. You pay a $125 yearly subscription fee to gain access to the events planned by Dinner Lab, plus a fee per dinner. There are a limited number of subscriptions available.
  • It’s about taking the dining experience outside the restaurant, by choosing funky and eclectic locations like old warehouses and building rooftops.
  • It’s not just about local talent, as the chefs for the events will not only be from Cleveland, but from around the country.
  • It’s about giving chefs honest feedback from diners. You get to play a part in helping the chefs understand what works (and what doesn’t) about their meals.
Photo Credit: Jeff Thibodeau
Photo Credit: Jeff Thibodeau

The first Cleveland Dinner Lab, set for July 24, will be the creation of Chef Daniel Espinoza from Chicago. The menu includes chorizo, fried chicken, mahi mahi, and rhubarb flan and sounds pretty amazing!

Photo Credit: reauxphoto.pixieset.com
Photo Credit: reauxphoto.pixieset.com

There really is nothing like Dinner Lab in the Cleveland market right now!

Now, joining Dinner Lab is not an inexpensive proposition. However, the meals include alcohol, tax, and gratuity and each dinner is a generous five to ten courses, depending on the chef. Plus, you get access to chef talent not only from Cleveland, but around the country. This is another example of Cleveland playing with the “big boys” on the culinary scene and I hope we embrace it!

So, what else do you need to know?

  • Read what the New York Times had to say about Dinner Lab
  • Check out this video of a Dinner Lab event
  • Then, get your subscription for the Cleveland events by clicking here


4 Responses

    1. I would start at the West Side Market and explore the general West 25th/Ohio City and Tremont areas. There are some great restaurant options in those areas (Townhall, Dante Next Door, and SOHO Kitchen & Bar are faves), but personally I would snack at the Market, then wait for dinner on East 4th Street (The Greenhouse Tavern or Lola Bistro). In between wandering and dinner, if you have time, head to The Cleveland Museum of Art, which is both free and phenomenal. Oh, and you have to drive up Euclid Avenue through Playhouse Square to see the theaters and the world’s largest outdoor chandelier. So, that’s an ambitious agenda, but I think that hits major highlights.
      I double-checked restaurant times and Townhall, SOHO, and Dante Next Door are all open for brunch/lunch. Lola and Greenhouse are only open for dinner.
      Whatever you do, enjoy your time in Cleveland!

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