Mystery+strangers+Indian+Chinese+a glass of Riesling=a good time.
In case you’re new to the concept of Mystery Meet, it’s a dinner club that began in July of this year thanks to social media entrepreneur, Seth Resler. Mystery Meet-ers get together the second Tuesday of every month at a restaurant of Resler’s choosing. Sounds normal, right?
Well, there’s a catch. Resler alerts followers via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and text message of the destination a mere 24 hours in advance. And since it’s not really a set ‘club’ with set ‘members,’ diners are usually a mish-mash of strangers, those who were fast and lucky enough to reserve a seat–September’s dinner sold out in FIVE minutes.
The venue chosen for last Tuesday night was Mumbai Chopstix, an East meets East restaurant that opened last spring to mediocre reviews. But, determined to stay in the game, they’ve revamped their menu and switched over to new management. Resler picked Mumbai Chopstix because he felt Mystery Meet needed to add some ethnic flare to its repertoire. Also, he noted, because it’s one of those “list” restaurants, somewhere that’s on everybody’s list of places to go to but somehow doesn’t make the cut in the final throes of planning. Resler prefers to book restaurants you wouldn’t normally try, and to do things you wouldn’t normally do at the dinner table. Like, get up and walk to a different restaurant for main course and dessert, which is what happened during November’s Meet when the meal was split between Tavolo and Ashmont Grill in Dorchester.
We did a similar, albeit smaller, migration on Tuesday when Seth announced that two sides of the two dining room tables would switch places, allowing us to get to know a whole other group of people. I was on the switching side, so I had the pleasure of eating in both of the beautiful dining rooms. Luckily my neighbor was a plate-picker like myself, so she and I got a taste of the different settings and each other’s dishes. Her tilapia was better than my chop suey, which was a bit heavy on the sauce. But I preferred my chocolate mousse to her date pancake. All in all, the food was eh, fine, but not great. My first Mystery Meet was not necessarily made by the food, more by the atmosphere and the people.
The other attendees were those you’d expect to find at a spur-of-the-moment, food-related event: fun, interesting people who like food and new experiences. There were food bloggers with fancy cameras, married couples, young single professionals, 30-somethings, 60-somethings. Basically, a mix. But what everyone had in common was a sense of adventure.
You don’t have to be a blogger, or even call yourself a “foodie”–you just have to like trying new things in new places with new people. Sound like you? Sign up for one of the many forms of alerts to reserve a spot at next month’s Mystery Meet.
Resler’s hint for January: “If you can’t take the heat, get your ass outta the kitchen.”