Gertrude Stein may have passed away in 1946, but a group of lucky Jersey City foodies recently had the chance to dine at her salon. Is this the beginning of the creepiest ghost story you’ve ever heard? No, it was simply a themed dinner hosted by the Underground Supper Club, an alternative dining experience.
Founded at the beginning of this year by Jersey City resident and chef Ramon Ruiz, the Underground Supper Club is a cross between a dinner party and a restaurant tasting menu. About once a month, Ruiz works with Jersey City business owners to secure a venue. So far, he has hosted events at Downtown venues like Woolpunk Studios, Dames Coffee Espresso Bar, Steam Café, and Exotik Fashion Lounge. Then, he creates a theme to suit that venue and a one-of-a-kind menu with beverage pairings.
Ruiz enlists local artist Jon Rappleye to help with artistic direction, menu concepts, hosting, and customer service. Rappleye, who is represented by a Manhattan gallery, has been living in Jersey City for 15 years.
The pair also run an online bakery called Gingerbird Artisanal Bakery that provides dessert, baked goods and take-away goodie bags customized for each dinner. The shop also makes baked goods for cafes and restaurants around town.