The Washington Post

Nothing to envy about ‘Gluttony’ supper club

As the unhinged "Saturday Night Live" nightlife critic Stefon would say, D.C.'s hottest supper club is "Gluttony."

Held Saturday night above the Fuel Pizza in Chinatown, this "ultra-modern dining experience" was the creation of the Arcane Supper Club, and this place had everything: Folding tables covered in crumpled copies of Express; an artist live-painting a Suicide Girls reject; and Chinese take-out boxes filled with dry rice noodles coated with Sriracha and salted by the tears of disappointed guests who paid $35 for admission to a party that appears to be, at best, a "Derelicte" fashion show and, at worst, a place where you might actually step on a dirty needle.

The entrance to Arcane's "Gluttony" event. (Maura Judkis/for The Post)
Newspaper-covered folding tables at Arcane's "Gluttony" event (Maura Judkis/for The Post) Newspaper-covered folding tables at Arcane's "Gluttony" event (Maura Judkis/for The Post)

A female bouncer with feathers for eyelashes directs you up the stairs, toward a hallway outfitted in caution tape and posters for "The Hangover Part III." Pass beneath the chandelier of broken baby dolls and you'll be handed a syringe of vodka that tastes like fermented Jolly Ranchers and feels like being force-fed Triaminic as a child.

And look who just walked in! Is that Miley Cyrus? No, it's a bunch of government contractors whose interpretation of the event's vague "edgy" dress code is fishnet tights with shorts and heels. Also in the dress code for men: "no hard-bottom shoes." (Time to bust out your Kenneth Doles. You know, the men's dress shoes with soles made entirely from Dole fruit cups?)

Don't forget to try the "Sweet B----," a punch that's supposed to be made of tequila, lychee, mango  and lime syrup, but actually just tastes like a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 that has been the victim of a 100-year gypsy curse. You'll find it on the opposite side of the room from the mannequin sporting an erotically affixed banana.

What else is on the menu? Here, check this crumpled ball of papers the hostess has handed you.

Tacos, after one guest tried to pick them up to take a bite, at Arcane's "Gluttony" event (Maura Judkis/for The Post) Tacos, after one guest tried to pick them up to take a bite, at Arcane's "Gluttony" event (Maura Judkis/for The Post)

D0n't forget about the Human Albatross.

You know, it's that thing when you throw a party with a "gluttony" theme and tell your guests to bring their appetites to an event that starts at 9 p.m., but then you make them wait in long lines for tiny bites of dim sum and tacos prepared one serving at a time, and then you hand them those tacos and they take them over to their dirty newspaper-covered tables and they discover that you haven't warmed up the corn tortillas, so they're hard and they just fall apart as soon as anyone tries to pick them up, and then you wonder if a garbage-strewn party called "Gluttony" where there isn't even that much food is just a performance art prank that's actually a commentary on the pretension of the D.C. food scene and the faux-exclusivity of supper clubs, but then you decide that, no, this group doesn't seem to be operating on that meta level and that they're actually just really bad at throwing parties, and then you and your date will bolt after 45 minutes. That's what a Human Albatross is.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.



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Stephanie Merry · April 7, 2014

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