Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

by Evan Karp

Like quality food prepared by world-class chefs? Like to go out for a night of music and the latest drinks? Why make two stops? Try supperclub.

Supperclub has locations in Amsterdam, Instanbul, Singapore and San Francisco. Eclectic? You bet. But that’s what you come to expect from a company that provides fine dining to guests as they recline, shoeless, on Roman-style lounging beds. The atmosphere of supperclub’s two all-white rooms, lit by low-energy LED lighting that changes from pale neon blue to lavender to burnt orange, would be mesmerizing enough, but fused with video projections, a DJ who synchs music to the colors, and performance art that makes you want to leave your lush bedding and gourmet dish to introduce yourself to the performer – it’s that intimate but that spectacular – makes supperclub a unique and provocative experience.

The antechamber is an all-red room with a circular bar paneled in metal that reflects all the red and makes the room very intimate. Disco balls – twenty two of them! – sway in concentric circles above the bar, and padded seats extend along the walls all the way up to the ceiling. This room opens at 7 every evening and is a very comfortable place to inhabit for the remaining half hour before dinner. Supperclub features a variety of inspired cocktails, including VeeV, the world’s first acai spirit, and everything from Lotus vodka to lillet rouge, fresh raspberries and cucumbers and basil, godiva white chocolate, kumquat dry soda and champagne, not to mention a respectable wine list and an entry called ‘the late-night sneaky,’ which consists of “a shot of cazadores followed by a corona garnished with a wedge of lime and finished with a parliament!”

Dinner is prix-fixe, and as stark and scintillating as the rooms. I went during supperclub’s special vegetarian week and the first course was a creamy pumpkin soup with a drizzle of sage oil paired with pumpkin croquets. Fall is my favorite season and I can’t overemphasize that this first course was like rolling in a pile of leaves – refreshing, with a hint of mischief. Dipping a pumpkin croquette into a bowl of piping-hot pumpkin soup feels sinfully good, as I imagine it must feel to dip your favorite freshly-baked bread in your favorite freshly-brewed beer.

If you haven’t eaten while recumbent in public I highly recommend it. It’s like going to a wedding in your pajamas (as long as everyone else isn’t doing the penguin). Before I could get too comfortable, though, the main course was served: shepherd’s pie with bits of broccoli and carrot, mung beans and whipped potato paired with glazed seitan, fava beans and sautéed mushrooms. While this was not wholly new to me (I was a vegetarian for almost five years) I enjoyed it thoroughly. Supperclub uses fresh local produce and it makes a palpable difference.

Possessor of an insistent sweet tooth, I was eager for the VeeV acai infused figs and chocolate cake, but much to my surprise a woman by the name of Laura Stokes sauntered into the middle of the room and began to climb up a cloth curtain hanging from the ceiling. Suddenly, in the midst of our dinner there was a circus performer doing acrobatic miracles in conjunction with the DJ who was conspiring to make me forget all about my chocolate cake. Was I in Vegas at a cabaret? We clung to Laura’s every move until, about ten minutes later, she slowly released herself back to the ground, took a bow, and promptly exited. Cake was served.

And consumed with haste! In between the plump figs bleeding with acai goodness and the round chocolate layers was a trail of cashew-vanilla ice cream. At times I do an impeccable impression of the world’s best dishwasher; this was one of those times.

At this point the DJ paused the music and asked if we were all feeling it. We clapped and hollered. “Good,” he said. “Because that means you’re ready for the fabulous, your hostess and entertainer extraordinaire, V!” Pushing the limits of gender-bending, the dainty and scantily-clad V deftly conquered each step down and did a bit that had everyone clapping and erupting in guffaws. The routine climaxed when he threw a glass of champagne on his chest and took a slow but dignified bow.

I went to the bathroom before leaving and was shocked when I opened the door: the room is all black, almost opaque! I couldn’t tell where the mirror was. One of the best things about the experience was walking back into the tame San Francisco evening; everything had been so controlled and out of the ordinary but so pleasant it was like another universe, a bizarre climate meant to transport me from my normal life. It worked, and that’s what was so pleasant; without spending too much money or time I made a thorough escape from routine. What more could I want?

In addition to being open nightly at 7, Supperclub has some special events coming up. Friday October 16th begins the four year anniversary party which will last all weekend, and they are calling Sunday, November 1st “one of the most absolute craziest Halloween experiences ever.” Breakfast in bed, Halloween edition … I cannot even imagine.

To find out more about these extraordinary events and others, surf on over to supperclub.com. Reservations are always recommended and can be made at 415 348 0900 or rsvp@supperclub.com.

Supperclub is located at 657 Harrison Street (between 2nd and 3rd).

To watch videos of Laura and V, click here.

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