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Supper club launching on Rhode Island Ave NE

This article has been updated with a sample menu (scroll down).

Rhode Island Ave's first supper club is finally getting off the ground this month.

The Bespoke Kitchen, from catering company Eat and Smile Catering, launches later this month for friends and family previews, and opens to the public Jan. 27. But don't think it'll be easy to nab a seat at this table: the supper club will offer one seating per week for just eight people.

Eat and Smile Catering's bread and butter is weddings and large events, says sous chef Nicole Thomas, the force behind Bespoke Kitchen. The supper club, she says, is a chance to experiment. "It will let us be as creative as possible without any restrictions...we're always putting our own twist on things [when we cater], but as far as menu creation goes, we only have so much say." 

Each week at the supper club the menu will have a theme, whether it's an ingredient or a style of cooking. Thomas spent a summer working in a restaurant in Italy and is also a fan of Southeast Asian cuisine, so expect those regions to influence the menus at The Bespoke Kitchen. But the overarching theme remains local. Eat and Smile owner Oliver Friendly told Elevation DC in September 2013 that the catering business already gets the majority of its meat, dairy and produce from within 150 miles of D.C. That's not expected to change at the supper club. "It's really going to be about what is in season," Thomas says. In cold January, that means a lot of roots, so she's planning a menu where every course--even the dessert--has a root vegetable in it. 

An eight-course menu will run $70, or $95 with an alcohol pairing, not the standard price point for a neighborhood still in transition. (Though with an organic grocery on the way, a yoga studio and local coffee roaster calling the block home, the transition may be happening faster than anyone would have expected.) However, since The Bespoke Kitchen shares space with Eat and Smile's booming catering business, Friendly and Thomas don't have to rely on the once-a-week supper club to stay in business, a strategy that is shared by a number of "transitional retail" businesses on the block.

Diners can subscribe to The Bespoke Kitchen's mailing list to be alerted to upcoming dinners and reserve a spot.

Update: Here's a sample menu. This is from the first preview dinner, which Elevation DC was fortunate to attend. Menus will change frequently, but here's an idea of what to expect:

Read more articles by Rachel Kaufman.

Rachel is the managing editor of Elevation D.C. She also covers tech, business and science for publications nationwide. She lives in Brookland.
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