When I arrived for sunset drinks on a private rooftop in Greenpoint, I was greeted with a whiskey absinthe cocktail, followed by a smattering of shishito peppers and oysters. Haunting guitar notes were filling the air with a comforting warmth, despite the sudden chill in September. This was the just the start of the Summer Harvest Dinner.
The sunset left a golden glow that complemented the beautiful rooftop setting. The tables were impeccably set: fresh cut flowers, mini gourds and candles; hanging lights added to the spirit of festivity. The guitar continued to set the ambiance for the rest of the evening provided by Australian-turned-Greenpointer, Rupert Boyd.
Our wine glasses were never empty, nor were our plates. The oysters and peppers were followed by quinoa cakes and mushroom crostini, then by a light kale, pear and raw goat cheese salad. Each dish was a gastronomic marvel especially the main course: roasted branzino and sage brown butter succotash. It did not disappoint; it was beautiful. The dinner was well finished with a savory-sweet dessert: raw chocolate and cheese. Check out the breakdown of the menu here.
Although the food portion of the night ended, people continued to enjoy the views and the company with sazeracs, bangrias, and wine. It was a great melange of people who came from all walks of life and were connected by one thing: a Greenpoint rooftop dining experience.
I interviewed the masterminds behind this wonderful gathering: Spencer Walker and Will Holloway:
Greenpointers: What spurred this rooftop supper club?
Will: We’ve been hosting extravagant meals together since college, always trying to top each other. Spencer has worked a chef and private caterer and had his scandalous cooking blog cooktobang.com turned into a book.
Spencer: Will recently launched his own cooking blog rooftopbrooklyn.com. We’ve kicked around the idea of starting a restaurant. But we’re both busy with careers in public health and entertainment. This is a chance to share our passion with a community of like-minded individuals in a stunning location.
Greenpointers: What’s your “relationship” with Greenpoint?
Spencer: Will has lived on his Greenpoint rooftop for seven years. He was in the hood long before 5 Leaves, Berry Park, and other GP culinary standouts opened their doors. He hails from Wilmington, Delaware by way of San Francisco and Colorado.
Will: Spencer is a NYC recent transplant from LA. In March he moved to the Greenpoint/Williamsburg border, but claims Greenpoint for street cred.
Greenpointers: Are you planning to continue rooftop suppers?
Spencer: This is under discussion. This first event was intended to test the waters to 1) see if we could pull it off and 2) see if people would actually come. Now we know that we can and they will. The plan is to host a gathering monthly. We want to do a few more outdoor rooftop events while weather is still on our side. Boozy brunch has been discussed. But come wintertime, we’ll move indoors. Our intention is to expand only so much that our events remain intimate so everyone can meet, greet, and eat. We are on the lookout for new venues, especially enclosed rooftops to keep the theme going year round. The menu will vary depending on what’s fresh, local, and inspiring us.
Greenpointers: I noticed you mentioned a lot of local and organic vendors in your menu. What is your commitment to local and sustainable?
Spencer: Local is what Rooftop Supper Club is founded on. The majority of our meal was sourced within a 150 miles of our event. The sage used in our brown butter succotash and the chilies in our Quinois Cake BLTS were sourced a mile away in Greenpoint from rooftopfarms.com. Local chocolatier fineandraw.com donated our dessert course. Even our Roasted Branzino came from sustainable fish farm upstate localoceans.com. Our goal is to support and showcase our local farmers, artisans, and spirit makers. But let’s be honest, their food better.
Greenpointers: What is the primary vision of the rooftop supper club?
Will: Great historical figures have shared disruptive ideas over inspired meals at secret supper clubs that started revolutions. In that same spirit, Rooftop Supper Club hopes to create our own diverse community where diverse people ranging from therapists to fashionistas to private equity managers can break bread baked by people we know.
We’ll be looking forward to the next one!