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Dinner Lab at the Smithsonian: Surprising Dining in Surprising Spaces

Exclusive Dinner

Evening Program

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0080
National Museum of the American Indian
4th St & Independence Ave SW
Metro: L'Enfant Plaza
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Additional Dinner Lab dates are:

Pop-up private dinners are among the hottest trends on the culinary scene. Adventurous foodies gather in all kinds of spaces to experience meals prepared by talented chefs on the rise in the food world. Part of the fun is that often diners don’t know where the meals take place until a day before they unfold their napkins. The evenings are convivial, casual, full of surprises, and definitely memorable.

Dinner Lab has brought its take on the pop-up meal to Washington, generating lots of buzz—and plenty of hungry followers—along the way. Locations such as a hall on the grounds of a monastery in Brookland and H Street’s Atlas Performing Arts Center have been transformed into the settings for one-of-a-kind dinner parties where chefs are the stars and inventive meals unfold at simply set communal tables. Now there’s a tasty new ingredient in the mix: a Smithsonian location and theme.

Become one of the 100 guests at a Dinner Lab evening at the Smithsonian and you’ll receive a menu reflecting the dinner’s culinary theme and information about your chef two weeks prior to the date.


First Course: Hay-smoked bean salad with herbs, last season’s pickled squash, root and bark vinegar

Second Course: Braised rabbit, hominy, mole

Third Course: Sweet potato molasses pudding, Smoked potato skin ganache, Manioc chips

About the Chef: Geoff Lukas is Chef de Cuisine at Sofra in Boston, MA. After pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Drexel University, Chef Geoff found that the life of a researcher wasn’t as fulfilling as he had once hoped. Instead, he began exploring his love of cooking. Since then, Lukas’ career has taken him to Tinto Wine Bar and Zahav in Philadelphia, Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows in London, and Michelin-starred The Fat Duck in Bray, UK.

Courses are subject to change due to current market availability for ingredients.

The day before the event, the location is announced. Meeting the chef, who talks about the menu, and a Smithsonian specialist, who offers insights on the location, adds to the experience.

For this evening at the Smithsonian, you can be sure that the “secret” setting will be beautiful and intriguing—and a place where you’d definitely not expect to be dining. But you can expect to strike up some great conversations with fellow diners at this informal and friendly evening that spotlights some seriously amazing food.

Price includes a cocktail, three-course dinner, and wine; each event limited to 100 guests; no tickets sold at the door.

Other Connections

Dinner Lab evenings take place in cities across the country. This video from the New Yorker follows how a dinner party was created from scratch at Manhattan’s Pier 17.