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Holiday Season Entertaining

Bonnie: Parties that are different from the norm (whatever that is), provide lasting effects, meaning your friends will talk about them for years to come. I know mine do.

For your next gathering — whether during the holidays or throughout the year — party plan with a twist. Not just the food, but the event.

For example, consider my Black & White New Year’s Eve party. Hands down, the most fun New Year’s Eve. First, the party was in November. Yes, November. (I had to stage it for a photographer for my weekly newspaper food feature.) And unlike the actual holiday, the gathering contained absolutely no pressure to have fun.

I asked attendees to don black and white. Men enjoyed an excuse to dust off their tuxedos; women easily grabbed a black dress. Everything was black and white — from table settings and decorations to the food — except the fresh red rose I placed on each woman’s black dinner plate. (That touch of red could also be from a tomato skin rose garnishing the main plate.)

The food? Truth is, I had to dig out the newspaper article from the 80s to remember! It contained recipes and alternative menu suggestions, including Belgian endive Romanoff (caviar topped endive), vichyssoise or a smoky flavored cream of chestnut soup, filet mignon with a blue cheese sauce, duchess potato cups filled with garlic mushrooms, fennel and cucumber salad, and a chocolate mousse cake or a white Russian cake decorated with chocolate shavings.

Today, I’d do a black and white meal differently. Caviar and vodka to...

Bryan: As I’ve mentioned before, holidays are all about food, and holiday entertaining is no different. Food and beverage, of course, makes all the difference when it comes to creating a memorable party experience for you and your guests. There are two very different kinds of holiday season entertaining in my opinion – family vs. friends. Family gathers around the table for the religious holidays (Christmas, Chanukah, etc.); it’s a chance to revisit familial...

Eric: It seems as though we’re on a holiday writing kick, and with good reason. With the ensuing Christmas season, and the always provocative aftermath of the New Year’s Eve celebration, it seems right to put aside the culinary talk and focus on the traditions (or lack thereof) that we usually look forward to enjoying. From reading my mother’s and brother’s comments, you can easily put together an...

By | December 19th, 2007|Just For Fun|4 Comments

Bite of the Best Official Launch Party

Bonnie: Pardon our indulgence. Next week, we’ll be back to business as usual. Usual as a BiteoftheBest.com’s NewsBite, that is. This week, instead of sending you a Featured Bite about one recommended product, we’re featuring the details — and tons of photos — of our official launch party.

With Eric home for a couple of weeks getting ready to go to Zanzibar for a hospitality internship, I decided Bryan should fly home too, and we’d celebrate our new site since we’d all be together at home for the first time in a couple of years.

“Thanks for coming,” I said, as I handed each guest their official coded party map detailing the evening’s food, libations and entertainment. “Be sure to turn the map in when you leave to see whether you’ve won the Soda Club Seltzer Maker or a Lean Cuisine Susan B. Komen insulated lunch bag.

“Grab your mug and a spoon for tastings. Everything here has been or will be featured as a Bite...

Bryan: I haven’t been to my hometown in a bit, so returning this past weekend for the launch party was a great time and just another reminder of how good food is so integral to good life. The predicted 100% chance of rain stopped an hour before the party started and everything went smoothly from there. Friends, family, good food and a few cases of wine—what more could you ask for? Flavorful soups and Absolut100....

Eric: As part of my time in The Netherlands, I was able to start a party & event organization, www.thegc.nl. Over the years of spearheading and planning events, and marketing and running operations, I discovered one of my passions: planning and coordinating to the very last detail. I was glad to be able to travel home and help my mother plan and organize our website launch party. It was nostalgic to...

By | October 31st, 2007|Just For Fun, Rambling|12 Comments

21C Museum Hotel

Bonnie: Brrrring.

I overheard a voice leaving a message, asking “Is there anything I can do to help you during your stay…”

For a moment I was puzzled, but I needed to wonder no further as the caller continued… “I’m the concierge at 21C…”

Nice touch to call ahead, I thought. 21C was the hotel I would be staying at in Louisville, Kentucky for an upcoming Culinary Trust board meeting.

I had read accolades about the new boutique museum hotel, and was already a bit biased as I knew the owners—Laura Lee Brown and her husband Steve Wilson—from partying during Derby and other Louisville festivities.

I knew them to be patrons of the arts, having seen their personal collection of works from emerging artists to Picasso adorning every wall, nook and cranny throughout their home. From what I had read, 21C would be similar (although sans the Picasso as all the art in the hotel...

Bryan: The innovation of boutique hotels always amazes me; and the originality and avant-garde nature of 21C seems to be in a class all its own. Add to this a Drew Nieporant restaurant and you have an experience fit for an emperor (penguin that is).

Eric: I am currently finishing an education at a hotel school located in The Hague, Netherlands. I haven’t visited and hadn’t even heard about 21C until my mother mentioned it in one of our discussions, but from what she has written about the boutique...

By | September 5th, 2007|Just For Fun|4 Comments