Bona Sera: Secret Suppers
I'm a sucker for secrecy; maybe that's why I'm intrigued with the new "clandestine supper club," Bona Sera. This community dining project is the work of Barbara Marcotte, Annette Weathers, and Mary Lavin, a group whose local restaurant bona fides are as diverse as The Earle and the late La Pinata. For $50 you can join twenty-five or so others for a Bona Sera dinner--home-cooked, but "generally more interesting and experimental than in local restaurants," says Annette Weathers, sous chef of the group.
The meals feature local ingredients that vary with the seasons. Venues, too, will change, but there's no telling up front—you'll be notified of the location when you register for the dinner. Weathers kept her lip zipped tight when I tried to pry out of her the setting for their inaugural shindig. The menu for that first dinner, February 7, is online and sounds delicious: antipasti, garlic and white bean soup, roasted fennel and beat salad, duck confit with Swiss chard, cannoli cake with fig infused grappa. When asked what the difference between a Bona Sera dinner and a restaurant meal, Weathers said, "One advantage is that you're not sitting at a sequestered table. It's more social." She said the aim is to build community around good food and important food issues, rather than make to money. The web site specifies its bring-your-own-bottle policy, but I wonder: who does the dishes?