A few weeks ago, a friend of mine sent me a text with a link to this Gilt event, and asked me if I'd like to attend. Somehow, she knew that this was my type of thing! I said "yes," and we picked a date to go, and purchased our tickets within 15 minutes. When I copped my ticket, I didn't really think much about what it was. I was thinking it'd be a fancy dinner with a whole bunch of beer included. I was all for it. However, when we arrived at the event on that Monday night, we were in for something a lot more than just a dinner.
The Stella Artois Le Savoir is a unique multi-sensory dining experience designed by legendary culinary artists Bompas & Parr.
When we first arrived, we went straight to the bar and grabbed a couple glasses of beer (this event included all the beer and cider you could drink). Everyone looked to be having a great time. It seemed like a very eccentric happy hour. And of course, true to New York, there were a couple hipsters who showed up to the event with their Starbucks cups...but we'll skip over that little annoying piece of info. There was one host who was standing in the middle of the floor and looking around at everyone while rubbing a few of his fingers together. My friend brought it to my attention, and we were a bit weirded out. Picture someone who looked like a combination of Lurch (from the Addams Family) and DJ Tanner. That weird.
He then took the microphone, stayed in character, and gave us an introduction of the event. We were then escorted through a smoky passageway into a garden that was filled with fresh vegetables, cheese, a sizable bar (with the free-flowing beer and cider), and mad scientists. That's right, there were actors walking around dressed like mad scientists and interacting with all of the guests. It was kinda funny, but before I could fully enjoy the garden, I decided to head straight to the bar to re-up on my libations. Have you ever picked through edible soil to get fresh vegetables? Me neither, but I watched others do it. LOL. I did, however, partake in the tomatoes that tasted like strawberries. They paired perfectly with the Stella Cidre.
Finally, we were taken through a tunnel full of light beams and lasers to the dinner venue. We may or may not have tried to duck and jump the lasers like we were a video game, but whatevs. The dinner venue looked awesome! The lights had a blue hue, and the tables were alined in two long rows, with bench seating. As we were waiting for the dinner and entertainment to start, the waiters were coming around with platters of more...you guessed it...beer!
Everything about the dinner was intricately planned. The candle wax was edible, the plants were filled with dry ice, so that they made the whole table smokey when the "mad scientists" watered them, and the ceiling and walls were digitally enhanced so that we seamlessly transitioned from daytime to nighttime, to "this is just some sh*t we're doing to make the performances look dope."
Though it was around 9:30 PM as we were about to eat dinner, the digital panels in the room make it look like it was noon. I was, at first, worried about attending the late dinner session because I wanted great daytime photos. Clearly, I didn't have to worry about this. So, dinner was served. It was plated so well, and everything tasted great. The main course was crispy asian pork belly and 7-spice rubbed pork loin, Chinese broccoli, sticky rice, soybean pâté, served with a sweet pineapple, ginger and plum jus.
While we were dining, there were a few entertainment numbers to keep the party going. Dessert was served and of course it wasn't a typical dish. The Star-Crossed Dessert consisted of honey jelly, goat cheese, crunchy malted barley granola and red berry compote. It wasn't my thing, but it looked nice...and it glowed in the dark!
This was a fun event, and I'm happy that I'm the kind of person my friends think about when it comes to cool and unique situations like this. New York City is full of things like this, and I encourage you to step out of the box and to incorporate activities like this every once in a while.
P.S. I won't mention that when my phone died [from all the Snapchatting], I snuck behind a curtain to look for a power outlet, only to have a producer wave their finger at me and tell me, "NO!" I guess I was messing up the "mystery." Can't take me nowhere. Blame it on the alcohol!