Um Segredo, a Secret Supper Club
July 13th, 2012 by donuts4dinner

Even though Chef Dave Santos’s secret dinner clubs have been mentioned on the New York Times and BlackBook websites, have their own Facebook page, and are openly discussed on Chowhound and Mouthfuls, you still feel like you’re privy to something pretty special when you reserve a seat at one of these intimate dinners and receive your e-mail confirmation with directions to the private location on Roosevelt Island. I always say that there are no hidden gems in NYC because the ubiquitous review sites inevitably expose them within weeks of opening, but this is fine dining that’s literally hidden.

All of my food-eatin’ friends had been to Um Segredo–Portuguese for “a secret”–months before my boyfriend and I finally went with our pal Nik, but I’m pretty sure we picked the best dinner possible for our first one: the one with the beer pairings. Each course was served with beer home-brewed by Chef Santos’s roommate, and all of the proceeds from the dinner went toward his future brewpub. Between the painstakingly prepared beer and the menu imagined by a former Per Se and Bouley chef, there was no way we were going to walk away disappointed by this dinner. In fact, we brought more friends with us to our second Santos-hosted dinner, and we’re bringing even more friends with us to tonight’s Um Segredo. Everyone wants in on the secret and the opportunity to watch this chef at work.

Here’s a reminder of our first great experience to get our stomach juices flowing:

One Dude Brew
April 27th

Um Segredo

Um Segredo

Um Segredo
fat butter

Chef Santos called this butter. And then after we’d all tasted it, he told us it was lard. And then we all slathered much, much more of it on our bread.

Um Segredo

Um Segredo
moules frites (mussels & fries)

Um Segredo

Um Segredo

Um Segredo
crispy duck salad, banana puree, spring rice

Um Segredo
fish-n-“chips”, mushy peas, tempura carrot

Um Segredo
pork belly, polenta cake, slaw, bbq sauce

Um Segredo

Um Segredo
spiced molten chocolate cake, vanilla gelato

So good I can still taste it all these months later. It was less like cake and more like thick, hot puddingmousse.

Um Segredo

Um Segredo
Spanish Hipster and Mrs. Spanish Hipster social media-ing the meal

Um Segredo
the moon rising over the Queensboro Bridge back into Manhattan

Put yourself on the Um Segredo mailing list, and I’ll see you at the next one.

9 Responses  
  • han writes:
    July 13th, 20123:13 pmat

    i subscribed! im excited !

    • donuts4dinner writes:
      July 13th, 20124:04 pmat

      Awesome! The only thing more perfect than meeting you over fried chicken is meeting you in a dark alley on Roosevelt Island and eating some illicit pig’s ears together.

  • Rodzilla writes:
    July 17th, 20123:44 amat

    I like the looks/sounds of it. Mushy peas…baby food becomes haute cuisine. Really thought, I think that’s one I would most want to try. Love that the corn/polenta came right after.

  • Cassie writes:
    July 24th, 201210:15 amat

    That cake looks fantastic. I love your photo of the lard. It looks like…lard? But pretty.

    • donuts4dinner writes:
      July 24th, 20125:52 pmat

      It kind of looks like oysters to me. Slimy, slimy oysters.

      Someone who shall remain nameless thinks my pictures are too contrasty and neon. I’ll tell him I make lard look good.

  • NYC Restaurant Reviews » Um Segredo – Swinging Summer writes:
    July 31st, 201211:32 amat

    […] that all makes for such a good time it’s somehow midnight before you know it. We loved our first time at Um Segredo, but we exclaimed over our second […]

  • NYC Restaurant Reviews » Truffle Feast at David Santos’s Louro writes:
    December 5th, 201212:59 pmat

    […] about blogging them, but suffice it to say that our first trip to Chef David Santos’s underground supper club was the first of many. Dave’s food is this hard-to-find combination of incredibly comforting […]

  • NYC Restaurant Reviews » The Tasting Menu at Louro writes:
    May 1st, 20134:10 pmat

    […] first met Chef David Santos at his home supper club, Um Segredo, I felt a sense of pride when he opened his first restaurant in Manhattan’s West […]

  • Food Photography for Real — Unapologetically Mundane writes:
    May 15th, 201312:00 pmat

    […] you read my food blog, you’re probably tired of hearing about my love of Chef David Santos’s food, so instead I’ll just brag about myself and how one of my photos […]

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