Making Space

Making Space For Dinner

Part IV of Making space—for home, for preservation, for performance, for community.

Andrew Barton ’09

Andrew Barton ’09 and his childhood friend Lucas began their project “Secret Restaurant Portland” on a whim in 2009. The project brings together friends as guests and collaborators, many of whom are Bennington alums. The dinner events take place all over town—Barton’s home, friends’ homes, a favorite bookstore, even neighborhood parks. Peter Schweitzer’s photos are provided and captioned. Barton published recipes with photos by Schweitzer, some derived from the supper club, in The Myrtlewood Cookbook: Pacific Northwest Home Cooking. To read and see more from every exhaustively documented Secret Restaurant dinner, visit

Andrew Barton bent over a table in the backroom A person sets the dinner table while people sit on couch in the background A close up of green almonds

Left: A back room connected to my apartment kitchen. Note the piece of bamboo coming out of the wall, with hangers for drying pasta. Center: We turned a solid wood door into a portable long table. Sofie Sherman-Burton ’13 sets out snacks before guests arrive. Right: Fresh green almond included in the salad and arranged in patterns on the table. Something to eat, something to look at.

A table covered in plated food People sitting at a round table eating dinner in low light People sitting at a table and drinking in low light

Left: Finished dishes are plated before being sent through the kitchen and an odd foyer to the long living room. Center: Holly Myers ’12, and Josseline Black-Barnett ’10 eat nettle dumpling soup together. Right: Lauren Harris ’09 and Bryan Taylor Markhart ’13 hear the introduction to the next course.

Andrew Barton and Lucas plating green sage flowers in the background One of the chefs sits at a table with other diners People sit around a round table eating dinner in low light

Left: Lucas and I bumping elbows while trying to pick sage flowers and pop tarts out of their tin. Center: We want to offer a very different experience from a real restaurant. We are doing it in part so we can enjoy the food ourselves. Right: Everyone is eating together in the low light, the wine dances with the food, and someone puts on just the right record.