Food, Journalism

Nettie Colon Queen of the Pop-up

red hen

Pop-up dinners are wonderful for everything the name implies: the surprise venue, a restaurant in an unlikely place, or where one was not before, and where a bunch of strangers will gather, for one night only, to share an unusual experience — and a good meal. Or that’s what we hope for. No one really knows what will happen, but we’re all in it together, the diners and the chefs, and that’s the fun of it.

On a recent evening, we took our hopes and expectations out to a pop-up at Sun Street Breads. Chef Nettie Colón (above, center) and crew had taken over the bakery-cafe for the night. “Red Hen Dinner Club,” the Facebook invite said, “neither a dinner party nor a fancy restaurant, guests sit at a communal table and enjoy this lively and social dinner. …”

In that spirit, the cafe’s two- and four-tops had been pushed together to form one table that ran the length of the room. It was covered in white tablecloths and brown kraft paper, red Sicilian olive-oil tins filled with ficelles, jam jars for water, hand towels for napkins, and wood platters with some promising-looking spreads and pickles.

Lit by candles and twinkle lights, the room was both festive and simple — like a holiday supper with the family.

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[Appeared in Heavy Table. Photo credit: Sarah McGee]