Inside Maison Saint James' Luxe, Invite-Only Pop-Up Dinners

“It’s like make believe," a guest said of the Japanese sweet potatoes. But really, it could have referred to the entire meal. 

Maison Saint James is an invite-only culinary experience curated by Dallasite Marie St. James. Most recently, James teamed up with Tim Lavender of LAV’s Kitchen Table for a five-course feast. Sounds uber lux and fancy, right? It was.

The lavish dinner took place at a private home in Kessler Park. In an environment as such, one could assume the vibe would be rather stiff, but it was just the opposite. There was room for guests to get comfortable, even though what was in store was a mystery. 

“If I had to describe the perfect Maison Saint James guest, I would say: curious,” James says. “Curiosity is how I ended up immersed in the culinary world, and while Dallas is a huge market, there is still a ton of uncharted waters when it comes to culinary experiences. I think there is a new demand for something new, and events like Hotel L’Amour and LAV’s Kitchen Table are delivering that tailored luxury experience on a very accessible level.”

Maison Saint James and LAV’s Kitchen Table definitely delivered on that promise. Starting with a course called a Fresh Start, an assortment of tomatoes, Texas peaches, burrata and pesto.

But the two courses that resulted in the most dialogue among guests were That Pasta Tho — ravioli stuffed with mozzarella that sat in a lemon sauce that was inexplicably refreshing — and the Big Magic, seared salmon with a side of game-changing Japanese sweet potatoes that made you feel you’ve been potato-ing wrong your whole life. The night was finished with the Happy Ending, also known as lavender honey ice cream. 

If you're interested in attending one of Maison Saint James' luxe private dinners — the last two cost $85-$95 — join their mailing list or follow them on Instagram for updates. Maybe you'll get lucky and snag a coveted invite.

FoodMarie Saint James