Inside NYC’s sexy underground pot-infused dinner party
by Michael Kaplan
Most dinner parties aren’t preceded by an email promising that attendees will not get stoned to the point of paralyzing paranoia. But, then again, it’s not every dinner gathering that gets dubbed a “Dankquet.”
Recreational marijuana is still illegal in New York, but the folks behind NSFW — a downtown Manhattan organization that bills itself as “a private members club for the adventurous” — don’t seem concerned. The group’s clubhouse is weed-friendly, sexually open and, occasionally, the setting for an underground supper soiree where each of the four courses were infused with a star ingredient: cannabis.
Smoking joints before, after and during the meal is encouraged.
A low-to-the-ground table is set for 40 (the dinner tab is $120 per person) and chairs are conspicuously absent. But there are plenty of pillows, beds and cushions. “We think it’s better for you to start on the floor,” says publicist and weed enthusiast Melissa Vitale with a laugh, puffing away on one of the seven or eight joints that she keeps in a silver cigarette case. “But don’t worry. There are only 10 milligrams of THC in each meal. We don’t want a room full of super-stoned people.”
As attendees filter in — comprising a cool, good-looking crowd of people who work in professions that lean toward media, tech and the arts (maybe don’t come here without having a cool-sounding job) — chef Ronald Santos and his crew compose the “dank” eats.
But this is no potluck: It’s a gourmet affair.
“For me, the cannabis adds layers of depth and character, but the food comes first,” Santos tells The Post. A weed-dinner specialist who has also cooked at James Beard Foundation, Santos says, “For tonight, I wanted to give the meal a higher, sexier, cleaner feel. Other times, for other clients, people really want to get high and I load the courses up with cannabis. I’ll even shave a nugget [of cannabis], kind of like a truffle. People love it. They go insane.”
This undetectable marijuana menu is the opposite of those weedy “pot brownies” that have long served as punchlines. However, there’s plenty of THC in each course — thanks to cannabis-infused olive oil, coconut oil, an assortment of tinctures and at least one marinade.
Santos clues diners in to where the high will be in each course — so they can exercise caution if they wish. For example, the deceptively subtle beets-based appetizer has goat cheese “smoked with wood-chips and cannabis” and a vinaigrette infused with THC.
Moderation, however, isn’t a concern for some.
When a staffer circulates the room, asking diners if they want extra THC-fortified oil, one woman, a professional dominatrix (see: interesting occupations), says without hesitation, “Yes, please. As much as you can pour.”
As the courses go on — spicy oysters prepared two ways follow the beets — the table talk turns increasingly silly. A conversation on leftovers leads one guy to declare that the only food you want to eat cold is “fried chicken.”
A sleek blond woman toking a joint between courses takes umbrage and asks, “What about ice cream? Isn’t that best eaten cold?”
By the time the main course of seasoned poached-salmon hits the table, chatter has moved to the best way to eat Pop-Tarts, plus a debate on the best places to hang out in Thailand.
Cold-fried-chicken guy takes a bite of the salmon and, referring to Santos, woozily asks, “Do the feds know he is making food this good? That is f–king insane. He better be careful.”
As for the risk of actually getting busted, Santos waves it off: “In this day and age, cannabis is a communal thing. I don’t think it’s a problem.”
Dessert is built around pumpkin cheesecake slathered in THC-laced honey. By the time it’s finished, the table appears to be feeling good: partly from the meal, partly from its not-so-secret ingredient.
As attendees stand up and start to filter out, a slightly concerned Vitale comes over and asks, “Did we get you too high?”
When a diner answers in the negative, she replies, “Good. It’s supposed to hit you like a wave, not like a bus.”
Source: The NY Post