Dinner, brunch, whatever. The Renegade Dinner Club (website pending) kicked off on Saturday, the non-profit art/food/social project being launched by Colleen French, as I reported last month here on Blogtown. With a long table (that evoked comfortable memories of many evenings spent at Colleen's restaurant in the current Le Pigeon space, years ago) set up in a room in SE industrial's Oak Street Building, a cage of cheerful finches, and a small but engrossing library of cookbooks, the space reflects French's tasteful knack for atmosphere. The menu was quintessential Colleen's: fresh-made crumpets with avocado, baked bacon, poached eggs and an herby bechamel accompanied by a simple green, lightly dressed salad studded with satisfying chunks of sea salt, with coffee and mimosas to drink. About 12 of us gathered at the table, where making new friends and conversation was as much the point as the meal. At a $12 suggested donation, it was quite economical as weekend brunches go (no way could we have had that many mimosas at a restaurant for that amount of cash!), and the sort of word-of-mouth aspect of the operation lends an organic quality to the event—we'll see how that evolves. (I can already hear a chorus of accusations that that dynamic is too exclusive, insider-y, etc.) If this takes off I'd expect it to be increasingly difficult to get a seat at the table; the first dinner scheduled will only admit six guests.
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