New York City has over 8 million people, yet dating here can be so arduous a task. Bars, clubs, concerts, countless dating apps - we've tried them all! Wouldn't it be nice to be in a no-pressure situation, with friends at your side, and just talk to a small group of people? Yellowchair co-founder Corey Sandlofer had that in mind when creating this brilliant and much needed concept. If you want to go out by yourself and meet new people, without having to compromise on where you want to eat, or what you want to do, this is the experience for you. The membership-based program allows you to purchase tickets to specially curated dinner parties at exclusive restaurants throughout NYC, with themes ranging from “BBQ with Bubbles” to “Mezcal & Music.”
"[The Yellowchair Experience] came about because I wanted to go a certain place, but none of my friends wanted to, so I decided I wanted to find people who did want to," Sandlofer says.
Ultimately, that is exactly what she did! Wanting an experience with like-minded individuals, Sandlofer continued, "There is an educational component that goes along with it, getting food with cocktails and learning why they pair together. The chef will come out and talk about the food and how it was prepared and why all the things on the plate are there together. This also gives a chance for people to meet others, so we call it #DinnerwithNEWfriends."
This past Friday night we got "The Yellowchair Experience" firsthand when we were invited to "Mexican City Vibe on the Bowery" located at Hecho en Dumbo. We were greeted warmly by Sandlofer and the other guests, immediately seeing how easy Corey's concept came to fruition. The meal started with a refreshing heirloom tomato salad, which was light and flavorful at the same time. The second course of the evening was our favorite - grilled octopus with goat cheese fresco and an almond mole that brought the entire dish together. Our newfound friend Ariel, sitting across the table from us, told us a hilarious story that involved trekking all the way to Queens to buy an entire octopus whole...because that’s the only place in New York that will sell them. Let’s just say that buying it whole means you have to do everything yourself - including removing the ink. We still aren't sure how long you're supposed to boil it - Ariel said five hours, the Hecho en Dumbo chef says two - but still, a food fact none of us would have ever known! We finished the savory portion of the meal with grilled lamb ribs Barbacoa, which was as beautiful on the plate as it was delicious.
We ended the night with our two favorite things - tequila and flan. Upon chatting with the other singles at the intimately set table, we all marveled over the idea that none of us probably would have met in any other situation. The conversation flowed so naturally and smoothly and we all left swapping Instagrams and phone numbers, wondering where the next "Yellowchair Experience" would bring us, and hoping we would all see each other again soon.
Corey Sandlofer's concept is something all New Yorkers should be trying on a Friday night with a friend or two. You never know who you will meet or where the night may take you.
Book your chair at yellowchair.com
Written and Photographed by Nisim Frank