Dine Mile High Pop-Up Channels Air Travel's Glory Days

Smoked duck breast with pickled walnut and chicory
Smoked duck breast with pickled walnut and chicory
All photos by Billy Lyons

These days, airlines are notorious for failing to please even the most passive palate, but a quartet of Brits is channeling air travel's glory days for a pop-up, making sky food glamorous for a short while. Dine Mile High (secret location; no phone) is a theatrical dining experience that's landed east of Little Italy for an extended Manhattan layover, bringing with it sass and smoked duck breast, and a team that ensures that no glass of Champagne goes unfilled for long.

At check-in, guests are greeted by a friendly stewardess -- this is supposed to be the 1950s after all -- and receive a passport and boarding pass before heading into the departure lounge. Diners receive a stamp for every drink they purchase -- and two glasses of Champagne are included in the ticket cost -- and are encouraged to mingle with the flight crew pre-boarding. The charismatic cast includes a booze loving captain, a Parisian flight attendant with a hatred for British food, and a mustachioed "trolley wally" by the name of Richard "Dick" Fabulous. He's in charge of the beverage cart.

Diners are promptly transported through the gateway to the dining room of an English gentleman's club filled with a grandfather clock, bookshelf, and candle light. At the table, a picture of Winston Churchill awaits diners, as does a prix fixe menu designed by Oliver Templeton -- formerly of London's Moro. Dishes include confit sea trout and braised pork cheeks and lentils, though there are also vegetarian options available. Before dining, guests are treated to a safety demonstration that acts more as a guideline for the Macarena than an emergency landing. Throughout the meal, you'll be able to answer travel trivia for prizes, and the crew performs several skits throughout the evening. Dinner runs through October 4; reservations are $120.

Here's a first look:

God save Churchill a seat at the table
God save Churchill a seat at the table
All photos by Billy Lyons
Champagne anyone?
Champagne anyone?
Mingling with the captain and crew pre-flight is encouraged
Mingling with the captain and crew pre-flight is encouraged
Pay attention when the captain is speaking.
Pay attention when the captain is speaking.
Servers and guests are encouraged to dress appropriately for the occasion
Servers and guests are encouraged to dress appropriately for the occasion



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