29 April 2013

fight the fright

Atlanta people: listen up.

Non-Atlanta people: book yourselves a flight here. Then listen up.

Unusually bossy, I am. But for good reason.

Last night I had the sheer pleasure of dining at my very first underground supper club, Porkman's Table.

The chef (and financial advisor by day), Ben Portman, hosts weekly dinners with the hope of "fighting the fright of Sunday night." 

You're intrigued, right? As was I.

The first step is to sign up for the mailing list. After you sign up, you'll receive an email mid-week with the menu. The first ten people to reply (from a mailing list of 400+), earn a spot at the table via a cryptic email: "You are in. Keep your eyes peeled for an email with details and directions." A few days later, you receive a follow up with the time and location, and that you will be greeted with a drink and a snack. Who will be there? What to expect? Completely blind. It's an adventure at its finest. 

In other words, it's my jam.

The food was some of the best I've ever had. There was leek bread pudding, herb and truffle stuffed hen, fennel ice cream -- and course after course of incredible combinations of ingredients I wouldn't dream of mixing. I felt like I'd walked into Top Chef's home, just down the street from my own. 

I don't claim to be a foodie, and, while obviously blown away by the food, my real weakness is ambiance. I'm such a sucker for a good vibe that I often don't realize I didn't actually enjoy my meal that much. I can't tell you what I ate, but wasn't the lighting great!? And the chalk board on the wall! And the bathrooms! 

Now, last night, I remember the food. It was unreal. But, true to form, the vibe was what filled me up the most. Melissa and I walked in knowing no one. We sat with seven strangers (plus one girl I just happened to know). We started the evening knowing nothing about the night, but by the end we were talking about weddings, celebrating a birthday and laughing at inside jokes from the prior course. It was the kind of natural intimacy that comes only when no one has stake in the conversation. We will likely never see one another again. We did not need to impress one another. We were just there to enjoy the experience. The conversation was relaxed, real and life-giving. It was the absolute perfect way to end the weekend, before slipping back into reality.

If you haven't already, sign up for the mailing list, and get your trigger finger ready. Your speed will be greatly rewarded come Sunday night.


  1. This sounds like it was an amazing experience!! I am going to be driving through the ATL this summer and perhaps I'll check this place out :)

  2. Thanks for sharing! I just got signed up :) I'm with you on being sucked in by the ambiance of a place. It gets me every time! If you don't mind me asking, how much was the meal? Thanks again!

  3. This sounds amazing! Signing up now - thanks!!

  4. This sounds phenomenal!!! And so exclusive!

    You're making me so homesick for Atlanta!

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  6. This sounds great! You should also check out pushstartkitchen.com it's very similar but with a slightly larger group (up to 18 at a farm table). Such a great experience!!

  7. This sounds so cool! I'm a sucker for ambiance, too - hence my love affair with Antico (but hey, at least that food is fabulous!) Hankook Taqueria is another, TWO Urban Licks, Ria's...I mean, I could go on all day.

    Question about this PorKman - what is the cost per person? When you respond to the email - can you RSVP for two or is it one person, one invite? I've signed up...just not sure what I got myself into?!


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