Columbia Dorm Room Chef Now Hosts $95-Per-Meal Supper Club - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Columbia Dorm Room Chef Now Hosts $95-Per-Meal Supper Club

In his old dorm room eatery, he was charging to $10 to 20 a meal

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    Pith, a small bistro created by Columbia senior Jonah Reider and run out of his dorm room's communal kitchen, is the hottest restaurant in town after opening just two weeks ago. John Chandler reports. (Published Thursday, April 20, 2017)

    The Columbia University student whose dorm room restaurant exploded in popularity beyond the confines of the Ivy grounds is now hosting his own supper club in Brooklyn.

    In his first year out of college, 23-year-old Jonah Reider isn't looking for a job like many of his peers may be. He was already getting attention from news media -- including News 4 New York -- before he graduated, setting him up for a perfect launch to his new venture: the Pith supper club, open three nights a week out of a Brooklyn townhouse.

    At a preview dinner visited by The New York Times in early April, Reider served up "velvety spring onion soubise studded with caviar and bitter chickweed, snapper crudo with thin strips of lightly dressed green pepper... morels bathed in juniper-scented butter, all under a nap of homemade pasta and Pecorino." 

    One of the other visitors at the eight-course meal, culinary supplier Ian Purkayastha, came with no expectations, but told the Times the meal was "on par with the upper echelons of restaurant cooking." 

    Given the rapturous assessment of the meal, it's no surprise that tickets to every supper club through the end of May are already sold out.

    At $95 a pop, however -- with an optional $45 wine pairing -- it's already indicative of how far he's transitioned out of that old dorm room eatery, where he was charging to $10 to 20 a meal. 

    Reider, who studied economics at Columbia, says he understands there could be resistance from the establishment. 

    "People are very quick -- and rightfully so, a lot of the time -- to rag on someone who's fairly young in the food world who's not doing the very formal, hierarchical restaurant thing," he said.