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CBS 2 Investigation: Underground And Illegal NYC Dinner Parties
CBS2News NYC ^ | September 11, 2013 | Tamara Leitner

Posted on 09/11/2013 8:16:54 PM PDT by iowamark

As you sit down to dinner, this story illustrates eating out like you have never experienced before. We are talking about super-secret, illegal dining experiences hosted in homes.

CBS 2 investigative reporter Tamara Leitner went undercover to see firsthand how this underground world works.

It may look like a dinner party, but it’s really an underground supper club.

The diners are a mix of New Yorkers and tourists. CBS 2’s undercover cameras captured one experience — eight people who didn’t know each other eating a meal in a stranger’s home.

That hostess, Naama Shafi, writes about food but is not a chef. Leitner found her through a website, which connects amateur foodies and professional chefs in 20 different countries with people who want unique dining experiences.

Clandestine dinner parties like the one Leitner attended have become more common in New York City. And insiders told Leitner they are completely unregulated.

When asked at the dinner, “do you ever worry about getting caught?” Michael Patlazhan responded, “I definitely do.”

Patlazhan is a professional chef who also hosts underground supper clubs. He cooks with blow torches, nitrogen and even a vacuum machine to create unusual meals.

“That’s the things with supper clubs, they’re in a sense illegal just because they are underground no one knows about them. So if the Health Department did come they would obviously shut it down. So there’s always a little bit of worry,” Patlazhan said.

To stay under the radar, Patlazhan changes the location every time and keeps the guest list exclusive through a members-only website.

“It’s definitely kind of a secret and I think that’s the interesting part about it. And a lot of it is word of mouth,” Patlazhan said.

But some critics have concerns about these unregulated dinner parties.

“It definitely falls into a gray area,” said Leon Lubarsky, owner of Letter Grade Consulting.

Lubarsky’s staff of retired New York City health inspectors advises restaurants on health regulations.

When asked if the underground restaurants should be regulated, Lubarsky told Leitner, “Yes, they should be regulated by the same system that regulates every restaurant in New York City.”

The Health Department refused to discuss the issue on camera but in a statement told CBS 2: “In New York City, people who offer meals to the public for money are considered food service establishments and need permits. The city does not allow meals to be served to members of the public in someone’s home.”

So, Leitner went back to ask Shafi about the dinner parties.

Leitner: “You guys are breaking the law by serving people meals and charging.”

Shafi: “Yeah. The reality is they are here and people really love them.”

In the meantime, foodies like Shafi and professional chefs like Patlazhan continue to host these covert supper clubs.

“I want to do it as much as possible so my goal would be to do it two to three times a week, so kind of like a restaurant on the weekends,” Patlazhan said.

But if caught hosting an underground dinner party, the hosts could be fined $2,000 and ordered to shut down.

The price to get into one of these underground supper clubs ranges from $40 to several hundred. Some of the hosts say they are in it simply for the love of food, while others hope to turn a profit.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: dinnerparties; nyc
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Speakeasy restaurants avoid the over-regulation in New York City.

Video at the source.

1 posted on 09/11/2013 8:16:54 PM PDT by iowamark
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http://www.eatwith.com/

https://www.undergroundeats.com/


2 posted on 09/11/2013 8:18:06 PM PDT by iowamark (I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy)
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To: iowamark

OMG!!!

I bet they even allow salt shakers on the table!


3 posted on 09/11/2013 8:20:08 PM PDT by digger48
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To: iowamark
The idea of NY City Government regulating any restaurants is akin to a gang of homosexual pedophiles regulating day care centers.
4 posted on 09/11/2013 8:20:20 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: iowamark

Well... seems to me that if they offered the meals for free to one another that would remove the shadow. God blesses reciprocity, y’know... that’s heaven’s dance.


5 posted on 09/11/2013 8:21:40 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: iowamark

someone should make a bumper sticker : “Capitalism is not a crime”


6 posted on 09/11/2013 8:22:13 PM PDT by KTM rider
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To: iowamark

7 posted on 09/11/2013 8:22:49 PM PDT by JoeProBono (Mille vocibus imago valet;-{)
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To: iowamark

Try to imagine this story as recently as 1985. We are the boiling frog.


8 posted on 09/11/2013 8:22:52 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I aim to raise a million plus for Gov. Palin. What'll you do?.)
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To: iowamark

Who cares?


9 posted on 09/11/2013 8:24:34 PM PDT by wastedyears (One nation, under wub. Saints Row IV)
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To: iowamark
They'd better be careful or else Dickless will come for them.


10 posted on 09/11/2013 8:25:17 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: iowamark
In some Atlanta neighborhoods they have something similar, where for a fee you gather at someone's home with hundreds of strangers (maybe even rival gang members!), enjoy cheap booze and a DJ, and have a better than even chance of getting shot.

What fun!

11 posted on 09/11/2013 8:25:53 PM PDT by Trailerpark Badass (There should be a whole lot more going on than throwing bleach, said one woman.)
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To: iowamark

“SWAT, party of 8, SWAT, your table is ready...”


12 posted on 09/11/2013 8:26:11 PM PDT by moovova
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To: KTM rider

And it isn’t.

This is kind of a weird quasi-restauranteurism. I’d bet... all they need to do to get the government to stop trying to regulate this is to make it officially into privately hosted dinner parties. Whoever is hosting offers the food gratis to the guests, who can be as restricted a list as they wish (i.e. people who promise to reciprocate). Do it at some neutral site like a banquet hall if using the restaurant itself incurs difficulties. There’s always some way around this.


13 posted on 09/11/2013 8:27:18 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: iowamark

Is this like a liberty taxi?


14 posted on 09/11/2013 8:27:44 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: iowamark

“they are completely unregulated”

There’s the communist rub: It ain’t “regulated”, meaning taxed. We can choose to go to homes for dinner but not if money is involved. Uncle Stupid wants his cut.


15 posted on 09/11/2013 8:27:53 PM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: CodeToad

... so if they do it for free ... nothing to tax.


16 posted on 09/11/2013 8:28:42 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: iowamark

I’m guessing an unregistered Fondue set is a no go.


17 posted on 09/11/2013 8:36:08 PM PDT by logitech (It is time.)
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To: moovova

“SWAT, party of 8, SWAT, your table is ready...”

PRICELESS!!!


18 posted on 09/11/2013 8:44:36 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey (Block Captain..Tyranny Response Team / al-Kilab Division)
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To: iowamark

Go to any neighborhood with a large number of illegals, and you will find homes with restaurants, rental rooms, convenience stores, and everything else. No big stories about that.
NY is just upset it isn’t getting its cut from the rich guys running this.


19 posted on 09/11/2013 8:44:58 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: iowamark

I throw “Unregulated” Dinner Parties every year, at Thanksgiving.


20 posted on 09/11/2013 8:44:58 PM PDT by gigster (Cogito, Ergo, Ronaldus Magnus Conservatus)
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To: iowamark
Unregulated dining? Oh, how scary!
21 posted on 09/11/2013 8:45:13 PM PDT by Standing Wolf (No tyrant should ever be allowed to die of natural causes.)
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I'd love to see this argued before SCOTUS

"Hey Bloomberg. You telling me we can't have a potluck!?"

22 posted on 09/11/2013 8:46:53 PM PDT by IncPen (When you start talking about what we 'should' have, you've made the case for the Second Amendment)
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To: iowamark

Statists everywhere squeal in disapproval of the behavior of consenting free citizens.


23 posted on 09/11/2013 8:47:56 PM PDT by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: IncPen

He’s more concerned about the number of beverages served over 16oz.!


24 posted on 09/11/2013 8:48:22 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: iowamark
DINNER parties? For crying out loud, I thought something really good must be going on. But illicit food? Sheesh.


25 posted on 09/11/2013 8:49:45 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Standing Wolf

Do they allow smoking and serve super large soft drinks?


26 posted on 09/11/2013 8:50:27 PM PDT by Henry Hnyellar
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To: iowamark

NYC could disappear in a mushroom cloud any time now, and the country would be better off

Same goes for Chicago


27 posted on 09/11/2013 8:53:49 PM PDT by Rome2000 (THE WASHINGTONIANS AND UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE ARE THE ENEMY -ROTATE THE CAPITAL AMONGST THE STATES)
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To: iowamark

Wait, I thought Lawrence v. Texas established the right of consenting adults to do whatever they please in the privacy of their own homes.


28 posted on 09/11/2013 8:54:35 PM PDT by mwilli20 (BO. Making communists proud all over the world.)
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To: CodeToad

I can see “pot luck” dinners next on the regulatory committee.


29 posted on 09/11/2013 9:03:20 PM PDT by esoxmagnum (The rats have been trained to pull the D voting lever to get their little food pellet)
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To: iowamark

Tupperware, Amway, Mary Kay - they’re coming for you next!


30 posted on 09/11/2013 9:13:35 PM PDT by 24-7Freeper
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To: VanShuyten
The Black community has been doing this for years and years.
Very common for someone to fix up a large room in the back of the house and serve meals for money.
Especially if the backyard is one an alley and cars can come and go off the street.
If you aren't known you don't get in...especially if you're a white guy.
Invite only till they know you. Good cooking - Home cooking.

Same same in about every immigrant community;as you mention.
People far away from home want the food they know.
31 posted on 09/11/2013 9:14:50 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum -- "The Taliban is inside the building")
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To: Tainan
"one" -> on...as in ..."on an alley."
32 posted on 09/11/2013 9:16:39 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum -- "The Taliban is inside the building")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Try to imagine this story as recently as 1985.

They did. It was called "The Freshman".

33 posted on 09/11/2013 9:24:19 PM PDT by WhistlingPastTheGraveyard (If you don't stand up, you don't stand a chance.)
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To: iowamark

I wish she’d investigate Benghazi or something more worthwhile. Their aim is to keep people thinking they can’t do anything without their big government approval.


34 posted on 09/11/2013 9:25:01 PM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: iowamark
completely unregulated

As terrifying as a meal at home.

35 posted on 09/11/2013 9:25:03 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
There’s always some way around this.

Like individual liberty?

36 posted on 09/11/2013 9:26:58 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Rome2000

Give me a call first, OK?


37 posted on 09/11/2013 9:28:17 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: mwilli20

Not if it’s for money!


38 posted on 09/11/2013 9:28:41 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
... so if they do it for free ... nothing to tax.

Sounds like prostitution. Ok to give it away, but if you rent it out, you go to jail.

39 posted on 09/11/2013 9:28:57 PM PDT by Veggie Todd (Still crazy after all these beers.)
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To: iowamark
I would bet that unregulated, illegal dinners are being served in many homes across the country. There are no health inspections in the kitchens where food is being served to... wait for it... children!!! And the cooks aren't even properly trained and certified. The horror!

And the servers are not even being paid minimum wage, nor are they reporting the income from serving meals on their income taxes!

And the busboys are forced to clean up the tables and take out the garbage, or they might not get their next meal, or get their next pay suspended, or even be denied use of their phones and computers.

Can you imagine the lawlessness of this?

-PJ

40 posted on 09/11/2013 9:32:36 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: iowamark
It may look like a dinner party, but it’s really an underground supper club.

Don't panic. At least this is being reported. And who knows. Some day they might report on our $17 trillion deficit.

41 posted on 09/11/2013 9:36:32 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: VanShuyten

Back in college, it was the same thing for me going to “unregulated” poker clubs. Same thing, cops bust one op, another pops up by word of mouth.


42 posted on 09/11/2013 9:38:45 PM PDT by max americana (fired liberals in our company after the election, & laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: iowamark

Love it!


43 posted on 09/11/2013 9:44:16 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: iowamark

My God, I read halfway through this thinking it was satire.


44 posted on 09/11/2013 9:47:29 PM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (I'll retire to Bedlam.)
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To: Standing Wolf

Yeah. I’m sure they claim it isn’t about the taxes, but food safety. You know, that their inspectors help ensure you don’t get food poisoning. Funny how that still happens. Me, I’d trust someone who loves food and cooking to prepare my meal more than a kitchen full of illegals and bored teens working for beer money.


45 posted on 09/11/2013 10:07:26 PM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: iowamark
UH-oh! Now we've really got something serious to worry about... '-)
46 posted on 09/11/2013 10:30:00 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: iowamark
But some critics have concerns about these unregulated dinner parties.

Yes, they do. These are the same fools who also worry about how large your soda can be or how many rounds will fit into your gun clip.

You know: totalitarians...

47 posted on 09/11/2013 10:36:11 PM PDT by sargon (I don't like the sound of these here Boncentration Bamps!)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I was disappointed too. Dinner parties. Feh. Thought this was going to be acknowledgement of some ‘Eyes WIde Shut’ medieval pagan sexual rites going on.


48 posted on 09/11/2013 10:40:38 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid
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To: ThunderSleeps
You know, that their inspectors help ensure you don’t get food poisoning.

Very true. As we all know, food can only be safely prepared in a regulated comercial kitchen. If it wasn't for Republicans, all homes would be required to have a stainless steel commercial quality kitchen. Random inspections would then allow us to keep our children safe. Only Republicans want our children to die. /s

49 posted on 09/11/2013 11:25:48 PM PDT by D Rider
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To: The KG9 Kid
I was disappointed too. Dinner parties. Feh. Thought this was going to be acknowledgement of some ‘Eyes WIde Shut’ medieval pagan sexual rites going on.

What is so daring about "medieval pagan sexual rites?" This is the 21st century swinging is the norm and our kids have sexual sleepovers, under the watchful approving eye of their parents, of course.

50 posted on 09/11/2013 11:30:06 PM PDT by D Rider
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