Place Invaders come to Phoenix
This past weekend PlaceInvaders brought their pop-up dining series from New York to Phoenix. Katie Smith-Adair, co-founder, had attended school here and thought it was the perfect spot to expand their market (they're headed to Beverly Hills next). She's right, of course. Arizona loves these pop-up events, with our own Il Tocco and Culinary Mischief underground dinners, and the visit earlier this month of New Orleans-based pop-up Dinner Lab. PlaceInvaders' concept revolves around intimate pop-up dinner and brunch parties in interesting residential spaces, where Smith-Adair's partner, Hagan Blount, serves five-course meals accompanied by unlimited cocktails and wine.
Our group of 12 were invited to a cozy 1947 bungalow in Phoenix’s historic Coronado District. Guests were greeted with a bubbly mixture of sparkling wine, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and prickly pear syrup as Tuna Nicoise Bites were passed - a clever take on the classic salad with a skewered stack of ahi tuna, haricot verts, fingerling potatoes, niçoise olives, and quail egg enrobed in an herb vinaigrette.
On a beautiful spring evening, we were seated as the sun was setting at a table covered in fresh flowers and flickering candles. The menu: Avocado and strawberry salad with hemp seeds; orecchiette with broccoli rabe, parmesan, and a zip of Sriracha; savory short rib ragu with marjoram ; creamy panna cotta with coconut and mango.
The beauty of an event like this is the engaging and friendly crowd that attends. New friends were made and the hours flew by. What a great introduction to PlaceInvaders - looking forward to their return!