A Moveable Feast on the L Train

As long as there is New York City, there will be silly, brilliant, stupid and entertaining stunts such as this: a fine-dining, six-course meal served on the L train over the weekend, each stop on the train ushering in a new course from clandestine kitchens above the subway station.

NY Times reporter Melena Ryzik, who always seems to find the funky happenings in the shadows of the city, described the experience in the paper.

The culinary adventure started a little after 1 p.m. Sunday, at 14th Street and 8th Avenue. Participants received an email stating: “There will be a tall slender woman there with jet black hair who is holding an umbrella. Please just go up and introduce yourself. Her name is Michele and she is quite lovely, but no matter how hard you press she won’t tell you about the adventure you are going on.”

Writes Ryzik:

The event was the work of several supper clubs, and the menu they devised was luxurious: caviar, foie gras and filet mignon, and for dessert, a pyramid of chocolate panna cotta, dusted with gold leaf. All of it was accessible with a MetroCard swipe (Michele handed out single-ride passes) and orchestrated with clockwork precision. The six-course extravaganza took only a half-hour.

It wasn’t rush hour, so seating was easy. The tables (lap-width black planks, with holes cut to fit water glasses) were tied to the subway railings with twine. Tucking in behind them felt something like being buckled into a roller coaster.

The meals on wheels then continued east, and into Brooklyn, and culminated a half hour later.

All seems to enjoy the stunt–except, of course, the MTA.

 “A dinner party on the L train?” said Charles F. Seaton, a spokesman for the authority. “No. Subway trains are for riding, not for holding parties.”

In deference to the authority’s rules, the hosts did not offer alcohol. This did not assuage Mr. Seaton. “No beverages at all with open containers,” he said.

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