Heaven in Hell’s Kitchen!
Recently I had the opportunity to go back to where it all began, where the core concept of The Find finally crystallized itself in my mind.
It all started with nondescript plans to go out on a nondescript night to a nondescript Italian restaurant on the Upper East side. To be clear, I have nothing against this type of night, but that is hardly a night out with friends. That afternoon I did a little bit of research (ok, a lot!) and booked a Greek restaurant in Astoria (Agnanti) near an outdoor beer garden (Bohemian Hall) I had previously been to. I told the couples that we would pick them up (sort of a kidnapping) and were taking them for an adventure off the island.
We had an amazing Greek meal; it wasn’t so much that the meal was better than say Mylos, but it was authentic, served with pride by the chef owners, and the crowd was lively and local. After, we went to the beer garden and experienced the innovative pleasure of Quiet Clubbing for the first time.
Picture yourself at a lively dance party and you have the capability to change the song when you aren’t feeling it. Very smart. Now picture yourself at the same club and you want to turn the music down (off?) because it is either too loud or you want to have a conversation. Genius!
The concept behind Quiet Clubbing is that there are three DJ booths playing differing styles of music and each person has a headset that allows them to tune into which ever DJ they choose. Their choice is visible to others as the headset turns the color of the DJ booth. The rest of the venue is filled with ambient music so you actually can have a conversation (a novel idea for a dance club!). If you aren’t listening, you are witnessing people dancing to no apparent music or beat. Needless to say, we had an amazing night and the seeds of The Find were sown.
This past week we went out with dear friends to another Quiet Event called Boy Meets Girl – The First Date (Quiet Theater) n Hell’s Kitchen. This is a (somewhat) natural extension of this audio technology and is pushing the boundaries of immersive theater. The idea is the audience are voyeurs on a Tinder generated first date (the world has changed since my dating days!) and the audience chooses between listening to the male feed or the female feed. You can hear the interaction no matter which channel, but the feeds are a plug into their minds and what they are really thinking despite what they are saying. The show was a great prelude to dinner and I am interested in how far this technology will be utilized in the future.
This restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen is all about authenticity and sustainability (important catch phrases of 2016). It is an owner chef (Charlie Marshal) who takes the farm to table mandate seriously. In fact, they are happy to tell you from which farm or farmer every item from the kitchen came from. The food is excellent and served with love by an eager, helpful, and invested staff. The place is very small and very quaint, so book a reservation early. Yours truly doesn’t quite have the pull to sit immediately (yet) and waited at the bar for 20 minutes and were rewarded with our bottle of wine (local wineries only) being comped. The reality is that this only happens when the owner and employees are invested in your happiness and the quality of your experience, which was apparent. We loved the intimate feel, yummy cuisine and legitimate commitment to local homegrown community (really, in NYC). Go!