At first glance, Dîner en Blanc might seem like a typical product of Toronto’s street-food obsession: it takes place outdoors, revolves around eating and, in true pop-up form, lasts only a few hours. However, the third annual Toronto-via-Paris culinary event promises a little more elegance than the average food truck fest. Instead of paper plates and plastic cutlery, the expected crowd of 1,400—in head-to-toe white formal dress—will dine with crisp linens, fine china and champagne flutes, and it’ll all happen in a random public location that will be revealed (to the attendees, as well as the public) mere minutes before the bash begins. Adding to the mystery surrounding the event, the only way to score a ticket is to be invited or to join a waiting list. (Important note: a final batch of tickets will be released today at 4 p.m.—if you register for the waiting list now, you may have a chance of getting one.)
Should you be successful, a few things to keep in mind: guests are responsible for bringing, and lugging around, every component of their own personal dinner party, including table, chairs, cutlery, centrepiece and “epicurean feast” of choice. They’re also subject to a handful of other rules, the most important of which pertain to dress (non-white clothing prohibited) and alcohol (no beer or hard liquor). As evidenced by last year’s edition, held in a parking lot near Queen and Church streets, the result—elaborate dinner displays, music and dancing, and the rare excitement of turning a dirty patch of concrete into a high-class dining experience—is well worth the effort.
Sept. 17. $28–$40. Secret Location, toronto.dinerenblanc.info.