The toughest table to nail down, it turns out, is underground. Prelude to Staplehouse is a gastro-baby/supper club/restaurant-in-the-making put on by Ryan and Jen Hidinger, a lovely couple with a passion for food and community. It’s Atlanta’s version of Rao’s: everyone wants to to eat at their table, but it’ll only seat so many. If you’re looking to dine at this underground supper club, you’ve got to be quick on the draw. If you have yet to hear about it, get to know the man below the toque…
Q. Turn your private dinner party into a great big picnic, anywhere in Atlanta that you’d like. Where is it and what’s on the menu?
A. I suppose I would do it at one of the farms that I have a connection with. Helping them stay afloat and in return getting to use some of the best product available. Riverview Farms, Gum Creek Farms to name a couple. It would be a feast of all they had to offer from their land. Family style BBQ, grits and greens. That or I’d like to do a progressive dinner during the Grant Park Tour of Homes. Each house being a different dish, ending in the park with some drinks and music.
Q. Fellow Hoosier John Mellancamp wants to R-O-C-K in the A-T-L. Where are you sending him?
A. Well I think we would stop by a little pink house (I think there is one in Cabbagetown), then I’d take him to the tasty freeze (Zesto) and probably try to lose him while he was looking for Diane. I’ve never been a big Mellancamp fan, but I guess he would enjoy eating chicken wings with me at Taco Mac.
Q. Favorite Atlanta neighborhood(s)?
A. We lived in Cabbagetown for a few years when we first moved to Atlanta, and I loved it. I still think about how comfortable and laid back it is. Proximity to Inman Park, downtown and the interstate all the while feeling tucked away from the city. I’d also say Inman Park and Grant Park are on the list.
Q. Hidden Atlanta gem?
A. My number one is Noni’s! Great neighborhood restaurant and bar on Edgewood Ave. Matt Rupert (the owner) has put his heart and soul into that place and it shows. Too many restaurants open these days without any character, this place has honesty and comfort to it that is hard to find.
Q. After you’ve hosted a household of strangers for a private dinner party, where do you go to relax?
A. At the table they were sitting at! After every dinner when the house is clear, Jen, my sous chef Ben and I plate up any leftovers and pop a bottle of wine and discuss the evening. It’s relaxing for me to talk about each dish… what was great and what could be better.
BONUS QUESTIONS: What is Prelude to Staplehouse, and why is it awesome?
A. Prelude to Staplehouse is the beginning of what is to come. A laid back supper club held by my wife Jen and I. We are laying the ground work for what we hope will be my restaurant one day soon. What’s awesome about it, is that it’s a fun new way for Atlantans to dine! While underground dining is nothing new, it is relatively new to Atlanta. Once the restaurant opens we will continue to host private dinners as they are a nice break from the usual routine, most likely we will keep hosting them in our home. It’s personal, comfortable and genuine! Staplehouse promises to offer the best of what’s available on the local market throughout the spring summer and fall and to keep an interesting mix of dishes you may not find on every other menu. Food is supposed be fun for the patron and the chefs. I think people are ready for an environment that is laid back, memorable and still offers the quality you would find at the other great restaurants of this city.
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