Being a guest at a dinner party is great not only because you're typically surrounded by interesting people coming together and sharing stories over a good meal, but because you don't have to cook said meal. You share your sparkling wit, and your host shares their food. Win/Win! It's in this vain that City Grit, NYC's premier dining salon, was created, housed in a former school house in SoHo.

Helmed by one of our fair city's formerly-rising-but-now-pretty-much-confirmed culinary stars, Sarah Simmons, the mission behind City Grit is simple: to redefine the American dining experience. Most of the dinners are created and conceptualized by Simmons herself, infusing her signature Southern influence in all that she does. For Sarah, meals are a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine taste.

In addition to Simmons's own menus, City Grit hosts a series of well-known and emerging guest chefs from around the world looking to showcase their culinary talents in New York City. Past events have included the likes of Chris Hastings, the James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of Birmingham's Hot and Hot Fish Club, and Chef Jonah Miller, who cooked a four-course tasting menu, previewing dishes from his soon-to-open restaurant Huertas.

Seats to Sarah's dinners require some planning and you must purchase tickets ahead of time (obviously). Check out City Grit's site for more info and sign up for its newsletter to be kept in the loop for the next event.