Today we're featuring an event that embodies the reason we started Groupon - to highlight rewarding and memorable (if a bit unusual) Chicago experiences, and offer them at a price that makes it hard to say no.
In a sentence, Clandestino is an event where about 30 people (mostly strangers) show up at an interesting space - revealed the day before the event - and eat a gourmet dinner. It's best described in their own words:
Clandestino is a community dining project.
We’re building a sustainable community around the food we love.
We assemble dinner parties in unexpected locations in Chicago. We search for the best ingredients and develop menus that highlight and celebrate those ingredients. We’re buying directly from local farmers and growing a few things ourselves.
We believe the fine-dining kitchen should be accessible to all students of food, so we’re working with Chicago high school students and volunteers and inviting them to be part of the process.
We believe the dinner party is truly a great meeting place to share and talk food with new friends, artists, and performers.
Clandestino is an underground supper club.
Chef Efrain only had a few more events planned this year; he agreed, however, to add one more for Groupon (on December 14th), but only if we could sell it out. Further, instead of the normal price of $75 - a price at which he still sells out in mere days - we're offering it for $50.
I (Andrew, founder of Groupon) have been to Clandestino three times. When we decided to launch this site, Chef Efrain was one of the first people I called. Of course the food is great, but that's only scratches the surface of the experience.
There are usually four or five tables that seat eight. So even if you come with a date, expect to spend the next few hours sharing a meal with strangers. Now I'm as reclusive as they come, but without fail, I leave Clandestino with new friends and a reinvigorated belief that people are pretty neat. Even if you walk in the door a bit apprehensive, you walk out wishing there were more things like Clandestino.
At my first dinner, they made you bring your own pillows to sit on, creating a charming disparity in luxury between the food and posturpedence. They've since purchased a set of chairs, which will come as a relief to those of you who missed the yoga Groupon.
Chef Efrain used to cook for Ghetto Gourmet, a secret supper club that travels around the country. Lucky for us, he recently decided to settle in Chicago and spawn Clandestino. Read about Ghetto Gourmet in Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.