New York City
The Scene: One of the early dining clubs on the NYC scene, this five-year-old self-proclaimed “culinary speakeasy” is still smoking—thanks in large part to its warm and talented hosts: southerners Becky (from Florida) and Hayden (from North Carolina). The duo churn out unabashedly rich dishes from Kentucky to Louisiana for diverse crowds that are anything but calorie-phobic. One of their roving underground dinners was even held in a five-story Chinatown walk-up, with no buzzer. Considering their crowd-pleasers, like mac and cheese, a few extra steps are probably a good thing.
Hot Plates: Buttermilk biscuits; Carolina crab cakes with sweet corn orzo; chocolate bourbon cake with honey pecan sauce.
The Lowdown: $40–$50; once a month; 20–30 guests.