Sometimes it’s really interesting to spend a summer Friday in the city. The Accidental Locavore was invited to a dinner to kick off the opening of the Super(Duper)Market, a pop-up market in Chelsea last weekend. In the interest of research, I decided to hang out and check it out. The market was a mash-up of two of-the-moment ideas: artisanal food from Brooklyn (inspired by a recent New York Magazine article?) and pop-up stores. Add in exclusivity (three days only) and bragging rights and you’ve got what every New Yorker lives for, so it was bound to work, right? Since there was no pre-dinner shopping (note to Paper Magazine and American Express, rethink that for next year!), the Locavore headed downtown to check it out Friday afternoon. The products were fairly evenly divided between sweet and savory offerings with a number of San Francisco-based small-batch purveyors invited to balance out the Brooklyn predominance.
Unfortunately, especially for those of us curious about the West Coast people, there really wasn’t a lot of product offered. I came home with a couple of pieces of blueberry cornbread from Tartine (great for breakfast the next morning!), some of Marcus Samuelsson’s new tea, the Earl of Harlem (ditto) mole from the Brooklyn Salsa Company, Aleppo blend spices from Boulettes Larder in SF and a jar of Empire Mayonnaise (mostly because my husband just asked me about them, but it is awfully good if you’re feeling lazy). My favorite purchase? Has to be the carrot horseradish from the Gefilteria, strong and pungent and I can’t wait to use it! While the check-out was very cutting-edge, using the Square and texting receipts. I can’t have been the only one who wanted a list or map with all the vendors on it.
On to the big event – dinner! We were about eighty at long communal tables. Chef Ignacio Mattos prepared a lovely three course dinner on-site, which can’t have been an easy feat! The food was as tasty as it was beautifully plated. New potatoes with trout roe for starters, with the most perfectly round, marble-sized potatoes in a pair of sauces. Roasted snapper in a bowl with greens and spring vegetables followed, and for dessert, fruit and sorbet with a sprinkling of granola. All served with some lovely white wines from Scribe. Unusual for a chef’s dinner, we were all encouraged to take photos and tweet as we ate (also unusual for a meal where playing with your phone was de rigueur, no strong wifi signal…).