As much as we love going out to eat, sometimes the dining experience can start to feel a bit rote. When we were invited to attend a unique dinner party with The Underground Kitchen, I had a feeling this meal would transcend the traditional night out. And man, was I right.
The Underground Kitchen, based out of Richmond, Virginia, is the brain child of Michael Sparks, based on extravagant dinner parties he’s thrown for friends and neighbors over the years. The parties grew to such popularity that they decided to open them up to the public and showcase different chefs in different cities and locations.
The Underground Kitchen at Poplar Springs Inn
The latest Underground Kitchen (UGK) pop-up was at the beautiful Poplar Springs Inn in Warrenton, Virginia featuring Chef Giovanna Delli Compagni. I can’t think of a lovelier location for a dinner party.
The evening started out with a wine tasting hosted by Pearmund Cellars, one of our favorite Virginia wineries, and tasty passed hor d’oeuvres. Then, Michael came out to welcome us and explain the format of the event.
Each UGK dinner is completely unique, offering five to seven courses by different chefs focused around a particular theme. Invitations are sent out a few days before the dinner detailing the date, the time, when tickets will go on sale and a clue about the location, which remains undisclosed until right before the event.
Our UGK party’s theme was Mangia Bene, with Chef Compagni’s reimagining beloved family recipes inspired by her mother and a love of eating well. The dinner was set up under a beautiful tent in the back of the property. I almost couldn’t believe how pretty it was.
Sit Down, Raise a Glass and Make Friends
The Underground Kitchen isn’t just about good food, it’s about making new friends and getting outside of your comfort zone. We sat with a fun group of food and wine lovers and enjoyed getting to know them throughout the night. UGK events are limited to 25-40 participants, which creates a wonderfully intimate experience. Soon, you’re in a room filled with new and interesting friends.
While this is definitely an elegant event, Michael and his team aims to create a fun and easy-going atmosphere. They really put the party in dinner party, with an amazing live band and plenty of libations.
A One-of-a-Kind Meal with Wine Pairings
Chef Compagni created a stunning five-course meal that formed an elegant centerpiece for the evening. This dinner was truly one-of-a-kind in that these dishes will never be served in this way or in this place ever again, which made the experience that much more special.
A Night You Won’t Soon Forget
The Underground Kitchen is a perfect way to shake up your date night routine. You’re sure to meet great people and create unforgettable memories, not to mention eat delicious food. Keep an eye on their website for upcoming events and register to receive updates about dinners near you. Be prepared to act fast as the dinners usually sell out pretty quickly!
We received complimentary tickets for this event, but as always all opinions are 100% our own. A big thank you to The Underground Kitchen for hosting us!