Tasting Collective, a New York-based members-only dining club with chapters in Portland, Las Vegas, and more, is expanding to Boston.
The club plans to partner with some of the city’s buzziest independent restaurants, including French newcomer Batifol, to host private, five-course dinners on a monthly basis where chefs take a break from their regularly scheduled programming to riff on new menu ideas, interact with diners, and receive feedback on the food.
Tasting Collective founder and CEO Nat Gelb bills the dinners as the “anti-Yelp” — a chance for chefs to get private, constructive feedback on new ideas in real time. And in some cases, Gelb says, fan-favorite dishes from Tasting Collective dinners end up on the restaurant’s public menu.
Annual memberships cost $165 apiece — or $99 for the first 500 people to sign up in Boston — which gets customers on the invite list, and then the dinners are $65 per member. The first dinner in Boston will take place on March 13 at Batifol with executive chef Cyrille Couet. The next dinner will be announced to members the day after the Batifol dinner.
“Boston has a really vibrant restaurant scene with lots of restaurants that fit the mold perfectly for the types of restaurants that we love working with: Smaller, independent restaurants that are innovative, where the chefs are usually owners/partners versus large restaurant groups that are very set in their ways and where the chefs are really more cogs in the system,” Gelb says of the company’s decision to expand to Boston.
Tasting Collective first launched in New York City in 2016 and has since expanded to 15 cities throughout the country. The club counts nearly 10,000 members nationwide.
Update: February 22, 2023, 9:18 p.m. This article has been updated with additional information from Gelb to reflect that Tasting Collective will announce its April restaurant partner in March, after the Batifol dinner.