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The Mystery, Allure, & Luxury of Cannabis Fine-Dining NYC

Cover Image for The Mystery, Allure, & Luxury of Cannabis Fine-Dining NYC
By Sophie Brochu
Posted
Categories:Interview

Welcome To New York City’s most exclusive cannabis fine dining experience. Founded by Dr. Carlos Gasperi, this extravagant operation serves nightly 8-course tasting menus with stealth-like discretion. Diners don’t congregate, they convene. There’s no social media presence or Google listing. There is a chef, however, his name will not be revealed. Step into a secretive world of cannabis-infused luxury.

Who is behind Cannabis Fine-Dining NYC?

Behind CFDNYC is the creator of Maison Sun, Dr. Carlos Gasperi. Like our sister restaurant Maison Sun, CFDNYC is a true fine dining speakeasy. We convene in unique, luxury spaces throughout New York City. We reveal addresses at 1 p.m. day of our guests’ reservations. Our locations are chosen in the interest of architectural distinction and refined interior design. Our executive chef, whose anonymity we wish to protect, brings years of experience having worked in elevated positions at several two and three Michelin starred restaurants. We have been in operation roughly since the time the recreational use of cannabis became decriminalized in New York City.

What can guests expect when they walk through the door?

Guests can expect a highly exclusive and luxurious cannabis dining experience. We offer spectacular locations, serve premier cru and grand cru champagne and Burgundy, and of course, tasting menus prepared by world-class chefs.

What also separates us from the rest of the fine dining community is an element of storytelling. With the presentation of each dish and wine, our chefs and sommeliers tell stories. Be it a story about the centuries of tradition of a winemaker’s family in France, or a story about a dish being inspired by Haejang-guk (해장국, 解酲-) otherwise known as “hangover” soup in Korea, storytelling is very much at the heart of CFDNYC.

“It would rock our world if we became the first Michelin starred cannabis restaurant in the world.”

What can you tell us about cooking with cannabis?

The truth is there is little cooking involved. Without revealing too much of our secret, we use a liquid form of cannabis to infuse our osetra caviar. We discovered caviar absorbs liquid cannabis solutions exceptionally well. We speculate this is likely due to the high natural fat content found in caviar. Guests can expect to feel the effects of our mild 35 mg dosage approximately mid-way through their dining experience. Contrary to common misconception, our caviar dish is the only dish we infuse. This being said, we are perfectly capable of customizing the intensity of the experience for each and every one of our guests. Because we rely on a manual spray of finely infused coconut oil, and not cooking oil, dosage levels are quite easy to control, making it practical to infuse additional dishes upon request.

What sort of locations are you working out of?

We currently operate out of three permanent locations. Our first location in SoHo is still very much active. Imagine a private dining room inside an art gallery in SoHo, hidden inside a historic, residential building. Our second location offers truly magnificent views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges from the 75th floor of a highrise building in Tribeca. Our third location in Brooklyn offers a chef-centric experience surrounding a custom fabricated Molteni stove. The same location originally belonged to the famed three Michelin starred restaurant ‘Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare.’

You operate under-the-radar. Is there anything you’d like readers to know?

Yes, very much so. We advertise exclusively on Tock because we wish to protect the integrity of our brand, as well as maintain the level of exclusivity for which we are known.

We also understand there is much negative stigma in the fine dining community associated with the use of cannabis. We wish to break those barriers.

To prove our point, we invite our guests to the same events and locations as our Maison Sun guests. With rare exception, our Maison Sun guests are entirely unaware they may be sitting next to a guest who is having an infused menu. The congeniality of the experience we find remains the same. Thus, it is a risk we feel is worth taking.

What’s inspiring you right now?

Currently, we are very much inspired by the opening of our third permanent location. When we took on the project of re-opening the original Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare location in Boerum Hill, we had no prior experience in construction or the legal legwork involved in the opening of a conventional brick-and-mortar restaurant. The mountain of challenges and setbacks has been tough, brutal at times, even, but also rewarding. We were very fortunate to secure a deal with our landlord to operate out of a kitchen infrastructure that once attained a three Michelin star status. We are confident it will very much help us elevate the level of cuisine we offer our guests.

What’s next?

After two years of being in business, now that we operate out of a conventional brick-and-mortar location, we are hoping Michelin inspectors will finally visit us. It remains unclear to us, however, whether the Michelin guide would ever risk its reputation given the stigma that is still associated with the use of cannabis. We pray and hope they will judge us strictly for our gastronomic merits like any other fine dining establishment. It would rock our world if we became the first Michelin starred cannabis restaurant in the world. That is certainly our ambition.

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