I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. I attended a Mario Batali chefs family dinner as part of the Mastercard Priceless New York series. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, and their client, Mastercard and the Priceless Moments Series.
Coco Chanel said the best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive. In a city like New York where people live paycheck to paycheck, storing their clothing in ovens, and living in cramped spaces so they can still experience the island that surrounds them, creating affordable and priceless moments can be hard to come by.
But if you’re willing to look, you will find that New York City is actually seething with opportunities. All you have to do is take off the lid, and see what’s brewing inside. No one seems to understand this better then Mastercard, who has created the ability not only to find these things, but to experience moments that will resonate forever. This is the mission and goal of their Priceless New York Campaign, which is creating Mastercard Priceless Opportunities all summer long.
Case in point, a four part family dinner series, sponsored by the credit card, and hosted by the New York Botanical Gardens. The series, which boasts a 3 course feast cooked and demonstrated by Mario Batali chefs also includes the chance to explore the Batali Kitchen Gardens; a beautiful open space at the event filled with vegetables and herbs used by the chef, and even sectioned off by specific restaurant. Surrounding the garden are family crafts events, including the opportunity to make your own salad dressing, and acquire fresh basil and herbs for cooking.
When I arrived at the entrance, I was taken by tram to the Family Garden, upon which I felt as if I was entering a magical, secret garden filled with vegetables, flower, and herbs, and far away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. As I perused the gardens, watching all the kids digging and exploring, and basking in the freshness that surrounded me, I felt as if I was in a special place, tucked far away from the city, and the perfect backdrop for a beautiful dinner.
The three course meal cooked by Chef Frank Langello of Babbo and Cruz Goler of Lupa included not only a app, main course, and desert, but a hands on demonstration for each dish, as well as a brief q &a. The enclosed outdoor area was filled with people, including many families, and as it began to pour around us, a group of strangers turned to a group of dining companions.
This event allowed, not only for a trip to a special place, and the chance for a special one of a kind meal, but also the opportunity to get to know someone you otherwise might not have ever met. Amid the chatter of new friends, I dined on buffala mozzarella with arugula pesto, vegetable puree, marinated runner beans, and pistachio olive oil cake. All while under the backdrop of the gorgeous gardens.
Anyone can eat out at a Mario Batali restaurant in New York. You can make months early reservations for Babbo, or Lupa, and experience the Italian delight in a bustling city. But thanks to Mastercard, and the Priceless New York series, you can hop on a train at Grand Central and head out to the gardens for a smaller, intimate, one of a kind experience all summer long. These are the kind of special events that lie just under the surface, all you have to do is take a look. Check out the remaining 3 family dinners, and sign up for your Mastercard priceless opportunity now, right here.
First Course of Mozzarella di Bufala with fresh arugula pesto and red cipollini Modenesi onions by Chef Langello Main Course- Strip Steak with marinated runner beans, fresh tomatoes on a bed of bean puree Dessert – Pistachio & Lemon Olive Oil Cake with macerated Berries
All photography by John Turck