Supper clubs are not exactly new. I don’t remember when I first heard about them, but I definitely accidentally attended one in Berlin in 2009 (thanks, Alan!), and according to GrubHub, “the shadowy world of underground restaurants” has been around since 2006. Wikipedia says that a supper club ”traditionally refers to a dining establishment that also functions as a social club,” which is true, but with all the whispering and winking that goes on about this particular foodie trend, I like to think of supper clubs as totally synonymous with lesbian sex. Stay with me here, we’ll get out of this simile alive and hungry — pinky swear.
But for real, supper clubs are kind of like lesbian sex in that an exact uniform definition for them can seem to be elusive at first, but when it comes down to it they can be whatever you want them to be: There are fancy supper clubs and low key supper clubs, there are supper clubs run by amateur cooks and supper clubs run by professional chefs, there are exclusive supper clubs and free-for-all supper clubs…and now, thanks to Betsy Devine and Deanna Maher, there’s a supper club for queer ladies (and all members of the LGBTQ community) in Brooklyn! Whew, I told you it would be worth it to stick with my sleep-deprived-inspired simile, because now I get to introduce you to this culinary delight and tell you how you can partake in this delicious mixture of “dining establishment” and “social club” with the coolest kids on the block.
Straddlers, meet One Table Brooklyn. Get ready to eat your hearts out…literally.
I went to One Table for the first time last month, and I had absolutely no idea what to expect. The dinner took place on a Monday night and it started snowing really heavily and unexpectedly at about 5pm, so the homebody in me wanted nothing more than to take the train home and curl up under a blanket with leftovers and Netflix. Thank goodness I didn’t do that. Instead I met my friend Alison in Park Slope and we huddled under a frail umbrella to get to Lunetta Restaurant, where the meal would be served. Full disclosure, Alison is completely gorgeous and brilliant (and totally single), so I wasn’t worried about chatting with other humans — I figured I could use my wingwoman status to initiate conversation. And if all else failed, I would drink.
As soon as Alison and I stepped foot into Lunetta’s, I realized my diligent planning (be a wingwoman, in case of emergency, DRINK) was unnecessary. To say that everyone was warm and welcoming would be an understatement. Deanna, one of the hosts and chefs, came up to us almost immediately and introduced us to a slew of humans, all of which were really friendly and super interesting. I met a fellow photographer, a woman who works with kids with special needs, and a chef. Nekisia Davis, the bartender, took the time to explain exactly what was in the best cocktail I’ve ever had in my life, and made sure our glasses were never empty (even well past the cocktail hour’s official end).
For the actual meal we sat at the end of the table alongside a gorgeous woman with flawless bangs, a flirtatious lady who owns a motorcycle, and a talented artist who had helped decorate said table. I’m a person who loves meeting new people but hates hitting the bar scene, and it quickly dawned on me that this table was my own personal heaven. Good company, pretty girls, and a perfectly-crafted-cocktail-plus-BYOB-wine-situation that insured my glass was never empty? Hello, Monday — you have never looked so good!
Oh, and the food. The food you guys. Oh. My. God. I cannot say enough about how fucking delicious every single thing was. I’ve had dreams about the shrimp in the weeks since the event. I’m not kidding. This photo (below) is making me nostalgic. Someone bring me back to a time where I can eat this shrimp.
When I asked Deanna and Betsy to describe their venture in one sentence, Deanna said she hoped One Table could be “one big dimly lit table where good food doesn’t stop coming and rad interesting girls are talking, eating, flirting, and wanting to come back!” I can confidently say this mission is currently being accomplished, because dear lord can I not wait to go back. Alison and I left the restaurant (much, much later than we had planned) feeling nourished in every sense of the word. I strongly recommend anyone who can make it to Brooklyn on a week night check out this unique gathering, and I hope One Table continues to grow and thrive.
Deanna, Betsy, and Nekisia chatted with me after I experienced the joys of One Table for myself and answered a few burning questions about where the idea to start this supper club came from, what they hope happens in the future, and how we can all make it our business to show up at their table next Monday — because trust me, you want in on this culinary adventure.
Hi! Who the heck are you guys?!
Deanna: I’m an LA sunbather and a transplant to the streets of NYC where I came to hustle! I am always taking pictures, making paintings and dirty cards, serving food, making food, collecting vintage patches and making new friends.
Nekisia: I am an ex-restaurant manager and the creator of delicious boozy things at franny’s as well as the current owner of Early Bird granola (the best goddam stuff on earth). I’m from Texas but got out as fast as I could, although it’s still in there and I’m real proud of those parts.
Betsy: I’m a life long lover of food and the current owner of Salvatore Bklyn Ricotta, the freshest stuff on earth. One Table is so awesome for me because I finally get to cook for lots of people again.
Tell me how One Table got born.
Deanna: When I moved to New York I didn’t have the network of friends that I was used to and I am not one to chat up girls at a bar. I realized that I wanted to have like-minded people around a table, to talk and eat and hopefully meet their next love. I started a seasonal business at the Brooklyn Flea and Betsy and Nekisia entered my life. One hot summer night after several Buds, I shared my dreams of One Table and, boom. We started.
What can people expect from One Table if they attend?
You can expect to feel welcomed, to eat a good meal, to meet at least 20 new women, and you will laugh — a lot. You will leave hopefully better than when you arrived.
How do you guys envision the future of One Table? What do you hope it will bring to the community?
We hope that One Table fills a void in the lesbian community by creating a space where women can come together to eat and meet. We would love a space where we can do this at least three times a week and on the off nights turn the space into a gallery or dance party, cooking classes, basically a space where women can meet and converse around mutually enjoyable events and eat damn good food. In the meantime we will continue to provide lesbian and queer women with a rad place to meet and eat.
Do you have to be a gay lady to attend One Table?
While we want to create a space for lesbian women, we are all inclusive – LGBT! We want women ready to eat, drink, and meet a lot of new people. One love.
How can people sign up to attend One Table?
As of right now we can feed 25 lovely people. The dinners are announced via email blasts and our instagram @onetablebk. Sign up via our website. Price varies depending on the fare, but it is all so worth it. There is a often a waitlist so people should sign up early and please…OVERWHELM US! We want to meet you and feed you.
What is your absolute favorite food?
Deanna: A 1 ½ pound steamed lobster.
Nekisia: I’ve a sweet spot for sweetbreads.
Betsy: I can never have enough sandwiches in my life.
Deanna: A proper Negroni.
Nekisia: I, too, love a Negroni.
Betsy: Bloody Mary(s).
Is there anything else you want to share with the Autostraddle community about One Table?
One Table is something that we truly love doing. We’re rad people who are open and nice and we want you to come join us at the party. If you love good, creative, thoughtful food and drink surrounded by women from all over the city, this is your new favorite Monday night. Please come and let us take care of you.
We’re a hungry community, and One Table Brooklyn wants to feed us. Lez eat!
The next One Table is a week from today on Monday, April 22, at Lunetta Restaurant, 116 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY. Cocktails at 8pm, dinner to follow. Dinner will be a rustic-Italian menu and is $75 per person, which buys pre-dinner bites, pre-dinner cocktails, a family style dinner, post-dinner cocktails, and service. Feel free to bring your own wine and be prepared to have the best time. RSVP.