This month, the James Beard-Award winning, three-Michelin starred executive chef of The Charter Oak and Meadowood in Napa Valley, California, teamed up with Williams Sonoma and Cadillac for the first-ever East Coast pop-up of The Charter Oak at the Cadillac House New York.
Here’s the behind-the-scenes coverage from the sold-out dinner and some tips on how to pop up a restaurant on the other coast.
1. Filmed iconic Napa scenes and played them on Cadillac screens.
When the party kicked off, a virtual drive through Napa to The Charter Oak restaurant was projected on screens, in addition to the town’s iconic vineyard-lined roads and rolling hills to help set the stage for a special evening. During the dinner the restaurant’s iconic hearth was projected to create the warm feeling of actually being in the iconic Napa restaurant. Several guests even asked the chef if it was a live feed from The Charter Oak!
2. Pair the meal with outstanding California wines.
In addition to signature cocktails served at the restaurant, the same wines that are served at Charter Oak were served at the pop up, including a 2015 chardonnay from Mayacama Vineyards.
3. Charter Oak has its own culinary garden and flew their finest product with them to NYC.
The Charter Oak in Napa uses ingredients from the Meadowood gardens and the NYC pop-up was no different. Several ingredients from the menu came directly from the garden, including the opening dish of grilled cucumbers all the way to the cocktail garnish. In addition, grilling was done on the patio to mimic the restaurant’s signature cooking method.
4. Serve the dishes in Charter Oak’s signature format — family style.
When the guests were seated for dinner there was already bread and butter on the table just like at the restaurant in Napa. Chef Kostow is a stronger believer in starting your meal the second you sit down.