And he’s booked through December.

By Melissa Locker
October 15, 2015
Columbia University
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pith is a newcomer to New York’s restaurant scene. It’s very intimate and very exclusive, with only four diners allowed per seating. After all, that’s all the chef can fit into his dorm room.

Jonah Reider, who will graduate from Columbia College in the class of 2016, opened Pith at the school’s Hogan Hall, where he converts his dorm into a restaurant four nights a week. (“My roommates are chill with it,” he told the New York Post.)

Pith Restaurant
Credit: © Gabriel Harber

Pith’s menu changes with the availability of ingredients, the seasons, and the chef’s mood. Recent dinners included braised celery root soup with toasted almonds and pumpernickel crisps; seared lamb with smoked paprika, charred eggplant, and smoked salt; and rainbow trout with fennel gremolata, black currants, and Chanterelle rice, according to the Columbia Spectator, which profiled the young chef and economics major. Meals are prix fixe, but Reider will work around dietary restrictions. He wasn’t voted the "next Martha Stewart" by his high school paper for nothing, after all, and he wants to make guests feel welcome.

Pith Restaurant
Credit: Jordan Walters

Diners at the informal restaurant pay between $10 and $20 for their meals, just enough to cover the cost of ingredients. Reider has no plans to turn a profit at Pith, and realizes that the restaurant, in its current form, is not a sustainable business model—despite the fact that the recent spate of press has packed its reservation book. Pith is currently booked through December, when the restaurant—and dorm—will close for winter break. Interested eaters can email Reider to be placed on a waiting list.