A pop-up 20s dinner with Sobremesa and No Illusions – Buffalo Rising

A new pop-up dinner program called Sobremesa is now securing seats for an upcoming “Buffalove: A 1920s post-Valentine’s Dinner” event taking place on Wednesday, February 23 at 27 Chandler St. I spoke to a co-orchestrator of the pop-up, Claire Phelan, who is relatively new to Buffalo. Prior to moving to Buffalo, she was busy hosting history-influenced supper club style dinner parties in Philadelphia – something she now presents in Buffalo.

Claire told me she thinks these types of themed dinners are a perfect fit for Buffalo, a city that prides itself on its history and vibrant food scene. And I think she’s definitely onto something, because there’s, surprisingly, nothing else like it around.

(LR) Shana and Claire

To date, Claire has partnered with co-chef Shana Maldonado (owner of food preparation company Built Without Guilt), who coined the name Sobremesa. The term designates the The Spanish tradition of sitting around a table after a meal, chatting with friends and enjoying good company. The historical element – hosted by Maria Blair of No Illusions Tours – is the perfect entertainment that ensures guests are completely immersed in the exploratory dinner.

Claire mentioned that she and Maria wanted the event to be based on a Buffalo power couple at the time – Marian deForest and Mai Davis Smith, as well as Ann Montgomery.

“Marian deForest is directing the next big comedy play, and her life partner Mai Davis Smith is bringing the nation’s best-known orchestras to Buffalo,” Claire said. “Meanwhile, across town, Ann Montgomery presents the hottest jazz music at her new supper club. This Valentine’s Day, enjoy #Buffalove: a six-course meal inspired by two of the hottest couples. Buffalo’s coolest and perhaps their most influential decade as you learn all about the stories of their loves, lives and legacies.

As for the authenticity of the ephemeral dinner, the guests will be pleasantly surprised. Not only did Maria do stellar research, studying the intriguing characters, Claire did the same with the menu offerings. The food will be like “stepping back in time”, prepared much the same as some of Buffalo’s hottest restaurants in the 1920s.

“All dishes served were selected from cocktail, club and restaurant menus (including a vintage Little Harlem Hotel menu) from the Roaring Twenties!” Claire said. “The night’s celebration will open with a historical presentation on these fabulous lovers by Maria. So the party is about to begin! As the plates are passed, I will give a brief historical conversation about the background of the dinner.


Shrimp cocktail

Chicken Liver Pâté Canapes


Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches

Spicy baked ham with Lyonnaise potatoes and Arlequin salad

Assorted Candies (Meringue, Fruits, Chocolate, Nuts)

The pop-up dinner was originally scheduled to be held in tandem with Valentine’s Day, but was moved to Wednesday, Feb. 23, so as not to conflict with the Super Bowl. Therefore, while the theme is still quite romantic, the window is wide open for anyone to attend.

Claire cooks and veneers in Sobremesa

Personally, I’m thrilled to have Claire in Buffalo — a city she couldn’t even properly explore due to pandemic limitations. While in Philadelphia, she flirted with the idea of ​​opening a pop-up produce and pantry store. But when her partner moved for a job in Buffalo, she decided to continue throwing pop-up, historically themed dinner parties. Not only is she good at organizing and orchestrating them, but it’s also a great way for her to learn about Buffalo, a city steeped in a story that has yet to be told.

Yes, there are a number of historic tours around Buffalo, but Sobremesa stands out and we’re all welcome to relive the good old days, via delicious (if not relatively obscure) food and storytelling.

Buffalove: a dinner after Valentine’s Day in the 1920s

A 6-course pop-up learning and dining event inspired by two historic Buffalo couples who lived during the Roaring Twenties

Wednesday, February 23, 2020

27 Chandler Street @ The Kitchens

The evening will take place in the professional kitchen of Built Without Guilt

A collaboration between Sobremesa and No Illusions Tours

Guests are encouraged to dress in period attire, but it is not necessary

All menus are gluten-free, BYOB and start at 6 p.m.

Free glass of champagne

Open to all vaccinated members of the public over the age of 18

Log in: www.sobremesa.space

Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/513001606707915
About Facebook: www.facebook.com/sobremesabuffalo
About Instagram: www.instagram.com/sobremesabuffalo
No illusion Facebook: www.facebook.com/NoIllusionsTours
Site without illusions: www.noillusionstoursbuffalo.com
No illusion Instagram: www.instagram.com/noillusionstours

Main image: Photos courtesy of the Buffalo History Museum

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