If you live in New York City, chances are you know of Roberta's - a pizza joint in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood whose exterior is so unassuming, the uninformed passerby is likely to pass it by. With food good enough to wait two hours for, Roberta's deserves a post of its own. But today we're talking about Blanca - the 2 Michelin starred fine-dining restaurant hidden somewhere inside of Roberta's.
After checking in for your reservation with the hostess at Roberta's, you're instructed to wait at the bar where someone will come and collect you. You look around curiously, and try to predict which handful of people will be joining in this experience with you. Right on time, you're escorted through Roberta's and into a sperate building which isn't named, but you assume to be Blanca. It feels like your friend's studio apartment in Williamsburg, with NWA playing on vinyl and cheery staff greeting you casually as if you've met many times.
But then you remember how much this meal will cost you, and you begin to notice the fine-dining elements that are prominent enough to impress, without making you feel out of place or intimidated. They'll notice if you're left-handed and will place the utensils accordingly, they make the perfect amount of conversation with each of the 12 guests, and they'll work so seamlessly in the kitchen you'll be convinced that they can read each other's mind. But they'll also say "Of course girl, who cares? This is fucking Brooklyn!" when you hesitantly ask for a straw to use in your champagne because your teeth are feeling sensitive.
What did I learn from Blanca? Incorporating a mix of high/low elements into any gathering will be the unexpected touch that your guests didn't know they needed.
Some do-it-at-home tips:
Throw an elegant dinner party with a twist - like a game of prosecco pong, or contemporary and unexpected music
Host a pizza party, but use your good dishes and request cocktail attire
Scroll through to see all 19 courses I had at Blanca, and share your own tips in the comments!
Written by: Marisa Ortiz
Photography: Marisa Ortiz
This post is not sponsored.