Off the Beaten Turf: DC’s Supper Club

by Shilpi Paul

Off the Beaten Turf: DC's Supper Club: Figure 1
Dan O’Brien prepping at Seasonal Pantry

In this edition of Off the Beaten Turf, we visited Seasonal Pantry in Shaw to learn about an increasingly hot ticket: the market’s supper club.

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 8pm, Seasonal Pantry at 1314 1/2 9th Street NW (map) transforms its 240 square-foot space into something of an oddity for DC’s foodie scene — a supper club with seating for 12.

Dan O’Brien, a chef who has worked at Equinox and Bibiana, opened Seasonal Pantry and began serving the suppers last year. While the market is filled with his carefully crafted pickles, pot pies and pâtés, the supper club keeps the business alive, O’Brien told UrbanTurf. The six-course menu, which is revealed a few weeks prior to the dinner, goes for about $100 per person with wine pairings. The atmosphere is low key, though the prices hint at the quality of the ingredients and the preparation that the dishes require. Since starting, the dinners have gained an enthusiastic following, with glowing write-ups in the Washington Post and several blogs.

When we visited the store on a Tuesday afternoon, O’Brien was chopping zucchini for the weekend menu; his prep station is located a few feet behind the cash register. The menu for the weekend included a strawberry gazpacho with pickled grapes, scallops, cod, and a noodle dish. “My motto is KISS — Keep it Simple, Stupid,” said the candid O’Brien. Ingredients are seasonal, hence the name, and dishes are executed with a lot of flavor. O’Brien seems to enjoy processes that draw out and deepen flavor over time, like pickling and marinating for days.

Off the Beaten Turf: DC's Supper Club: Figure 2
A table set for 12. Courtesy of Seasonal Pantry’s Facebook page.

When it’s time for supper, O’Brien rearranges the store’s few pieces of furniture to create one big table that fits about 12 guests. Everything happens in the room, including the prep, the cooking and the serving, so O’Brien is in constant contact with diners (and within earshot of their commentary). He encourages conversation between patrons, and because (in most cases) diners are not allowed to book more than six seats, new friendships are formed at the meal.

Since gaining recognition, the Supper Club is now sold-out weeks in advance, with many nights booked up by private parties (though O’Brien hints that they may be tamping down on that to allow for more open suppers). While Seasonal Pantry doesn’t make tons of money, O’Brien, formerly a sous chef making less than $30,000 a year, realizes that the critical acclaim bodes well for his future. Restaurant world VIPs, like Top Chef’s Bryan Voltaggio, have sniffed out the club, and O’Brien revealed that Friday’s dinner was reserved for a certain famous female — the only detail he would reveal about her is that she is a vegetarian.

Right now, 9th Street NW is full of vacant storefronts and noisy construction. However, as we’ve reported, it is set to be one of DC’s main boulevards in the coming years. To take advantage of the supper club before it blows up, click here.

Similar Posts:

See other articles related to: shaw, off the beaten turf, 9th street

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/off_the_beaten_turf_seasonal_pantrys_supper_club/5622

1 Comment

  1. Mike said at 5:15 pm on Thursday June 7, 2012:
    Had dinner there a few months ago as part of a private party. Very good dining experience for those who don't want to control the menu and enjoy what the chef makes. I highly recommend going.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way
Real Estate Primer: Northern Virginia

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »