Usually, "You order your food, it comes, you pay for it, and you leave," Reider says.
But at Pith, "Nobody comes to my supper club because they're hungry."
They come for the experience.
"It's really a lot of fun to have like an 80-year-old couple and a 12-year-old boy chit-chatting next to each other," all in a personal setting, says Reider. At several Pith meals, guests have even hit it off and gone on dates afterward.
"For me, the best meals don't happen in restaurants, they happen in houses," he says. In fact, Reider lives with roommates in the townhouse where Pith is held.
"I want to create content and experiences that show people this and inspire them."
Reider is not alone in his thinking. Pith is part of a growing food scene in which dining no longer has to exist within the confines of a traditional storefront. Companies like EatWith, VoulezVouz, Feastly and OneTable provide homemade, communal meals hosted in homes. And there are other eclectic options, like eating eco-conscious meals out of a cargo container or eating a meal while hanging from the sky.
It's a sign that diners are looking for a novel experience filled with adventure, networking and intimate conversations with strangers.
That's exactly what Reider wants to provide.
The road to chef-dom
Growing up in the suburbs of Boston, family meals shaped Reider's philosophy around food. Dinner was a time to "sit down, breath," talk about was happening in each other's lives and even "bounce ideas off of each other," he says.
Reider often helped out in the kitchen. And the only way his artist parents would let him and his younger brother, Nathan, have dessert was if they made it themselves. So Reider created things like "the factory of sugar cereals," as they came to call it, which consisted of layers of various breakfast cereals.
While at Newton South High School, Reider founded the school's grilling club and started hosting meals for friends. He recalls once attempting to make a soup stock by pouring a wine into a vat of boiled fat and accidentally scorching his friend's roof in the process.
"I was like, 'I just burned down my friend's house,'" remembers Reider.
When he went to college at Columbia University, Reider planned on becoming an economist. He served as a work-study student for renowned Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stieglitz.
Then he started his supper club and everything changed.