Turning the Tables: Dinner Lab is the ne plus ultra for foodies who want a novel reprieve from the regular restaurant scene.
Since its birth in the French Quarter apartment of Brian Bordainick in late 2012, Dinner Lab, a membership-only pop-up dining experience, has spread to more than 31 cities across the country. To celebrate its second anniversary in the nation’s capital, the foodie startup unveils a new, tiered membership system and increases its DC presence, serving up southern hospitality with modern flair at one-to-two dinners per month. Its signature format remains the same: Members seated at long tables (think 30-plus diners apiece) are treated to a multi-course feast cooked up by a rotating lineup of up-and-coming host chefs in underutilized venues in the most surprising corners of the District (Hill Center’s lawn, Blind Whino). Add in the playful element of surprise—diners learn the location just a day before each event—and, voilà! You have gourmet magic. The interactivity doesn’t stop there: Guests provide immediate feedback via scorecards, rating menu creativity, likelihood of ordering the dish again, and quality of service.