Central Park West Apartment Becomes Site for Summer Dinner Pop-Ups

Tashi Gyamtso preparing a dinner.

By Lisa Kava

An oyster farmer and a former sous-chef from Blue Hill Stone Barns have embarked on a new endeavor together — a summer pop-up dining experience on the Upper West Side. The $110 all-inclusive dinner is held in an apartment on Central Park West on Fridays and Saturdays.

The dinner began with a friendship. Oyster farmer Jonathan Goldstein had been a supplier for Blue Hill Stone Barns and met sous-chef Tashi Gyamtso there. The two became friends and colleagues after Goldstein did a 6-week apprenticeship in the kitchen with Gyamtso. Gyamtso left his job at the restaurant in 2017 and spent some time traveling in Japan, London and Chicago where he “bounced around and worked in some of the world’s most amazing kitchens” said Goldstein. This is common for a chef, according to both Goldstein and Gyamtso. Upon returning to New York, Gyamtso wanted to experiment with some of the new techniques he learned while he was traveling.

At the same time, Goldstein watched a movie on Netflix called 42 Grams, about a pop up restaurant run out of an apartment in Chicago. The movie inspired him, if this could be done in Chicago, why not in New York City on the Upper West Side?

Goldstein and Gyamtso put their plan into action and officially launched their summer pop-up earlier this month. Gyamtso designs the menu and cooks while Goldstein sources the food, preps, cleans and serves. Goldstein also talks to the guests over the course of the evening, giving the history of the food, how it is grown, harvested and prepared. All of the food is locally sourced from “friends, local farmers and fisherman” said Goldstein. “It feels good to be back in the kitchen and to be creative” said Gyamtso.  “I am using skills I learned from my travels.” His future plans include returning to Japan to learn more about Japanese cuisine and he would like to help a friend who is opening a restaurant in Los Angeles at the end of the year.

A maximum of 12 guests may attend each dinner. Friends can reserve as a group or guests might attend without knowing the other guests. “Food is a great equalizer” said Goldstein.  West Side Rag spoke to a recent guest, Hannah Silver, who attended one of the recent dinner events  with a group of 8 friends. “The food was out of this world. It was absolutely delicious” said Silver. “It was very intimate, which was amazing, and we all could sit comfortably around the dining room table. My friends and I loved that the food is locally sourced,” said Silver, who also told us that it was a full evening dining experience and that the owners of the apartment were not present.

Dinner’s even better with a view.

Goldstein and Gyamtso told West Side Rag that some dates this summer have already sold out and that they hope to continue the pop up into the fall. “The presentation of the vegetables was one of the coolest things ever,” said Silver, who also explained that it was a tasting menu with many small courses.  “The dessert was a lemon pound cake, it was fabulous.”

Information on the pop up and how to reserve a spot can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/summer-weekend-popup-on-upper-west-side-tickets-46305952350

FOOD | 20 comments | permalink
    1. drg says:

      I am curious if this arrangement follows the NYC Health dept guidelines, which usually make it almost impossible to sell home cooked food legally.


    2. John says:

      I would wonder if running a commercial enterprise out of a residential location is legal. Can someone fill me in?

    3. Joey says:

      What rating did it get from the Dept. of Health? How is the Co op board with this?

    4. Bronx Boy says:

      Dates run through July 28 on EventBrite and they’re all already sold out!

    5. UWesterner says:

      Not only probably totally illegal, but how foolish to publicize!

    6. Davie says:

      I love stuff like this. It’s actually kind of funny and strange that’s it’s in an apartment on Central Park West! If I showed up for dinner one night, I’m sure that the building doorman would ask me to leave. Actually, the price is kind of cheap for this high quality locally sourced food. It would be even better if the food came from Central Park. Trout from the reservoir and fresh greens and herbs from Sheep Meadow.

      • Kahn O'Sewer says:

        About “…fresh greens and herbs from Sheep Meadow.”
        which was recently SPRAYED WITH PESTICIDES, as the posted warning signs clearly stated.

        About “…Trout from the reservoir”
        TROUT!! 😱 in the Reservoir 😱😱 How’s about SilverFish from the Boat House Restaurant?

        Speaking of which, food from either there (GREAT french fries) or “Le Pain Quotidien” would be fine (NOT so from overpriced tourist-trap Tavern-on-the-Green).

    7. Katherine Roeder says:

      Would like to come one night

    8. DrM says:

      Good grief! Until I subscribed to this publication I had no idea I was surrounded by so many critical, unhappy buzz kills! Jeez! You’re New Yorkers for crying out loud! If you’ve been here so long that you’re this bitter, nasty and lacking any sense of adventure it’s time for you to leave.

    9. Jerry says:

      “Locally sourced” as in from Fairway???

    10. Bill says:

      So typical of this neighborhood … 4 out of the first 5 comments are negative!

      • Upperwestsidewally says:

        Yes. Most illegal operations (I can’t even begin to list them; see other responses) receive a negative review.

    11. Sid says:

      Actually, none of this is illegal. First of all, they are not a business, which is the main thing that would disqualify them.

      Nothing is stopping you from having a dinner party and charging people for the food.

    12. Upperwestsidewally says:

      The neighbors must be thrilled….

    13. nycityny says:

      There’s another story about a cello strapped to a motorcycle. WSR laments that in the 1980s said cello would have been stolen within 5 minutes.

      Yes, but 30 years ago a story like this one about dining in an apartment would not have yielded worries about health codes and letter grades – folks just would have enjoyed the idea and eaten up.


    14. Mikey G says:

      They aren’t the first people to try this…every time the health department shuts them down eventually.

    15. Wendy says:

      Was there a student chez Columbia University, who was punished for catering from his dorm room ? n.b. a book @ oysters in N.Y.C.. Who likes to use an AGA stove ? Save our family farms; our century farms, our family ranches. [sppfs : breast of budgerigar, &, stuffed budgerigars]. Stop 3rd cut to Food Stamps. n.b. Dinner with Eddie. Bon appetit.

    16. Diana says:

      It sounds like fun, I’d try it. It’s like a speakeasy for food. I expect there are zoning and health dept issues though.

    17. Lisa says:

      I think it’s an amazing idea. It brings people who never would have met together over a great meal. Kudos to the chefs.