This Eat-a-Sode is switching up our routine post of reviewing our favorite cocktail lounges and mouth watering eateries, in favor of creating your own memorable experience in your own backyard! Every summer needs a perfect party… a glorious gala… a swanky soirée! Always loving a good theme, we brought our memories of our favorite vacations to life in our recent gathering, ‘Bonjour à l’été’, our reenactment of our explorations throughout Paris, Bordeaux, Provence, and the French Riviera.
Utilizing some of our favorite vendors throughout NYC and Long Island, a little inspiration from some of our go-to restaurants, and a dash or two of creativity, we shouted ‘Hello to Summer’ in our version of Parisian style, with 50 of our closest family and friends. On any of our nights out on the town, our goal is to always seek out the perfect scene and experience something unique! An evening out in our own backyard should be no different. Here are some of our favorite details about our fabulous French fête! It’s time to start planning your own unique summer scene today…
Utilizing clusters of small tables on the lawn, lots of bouquets of fresh flowers, a significant amount of candlelight and a massive string of bistro lights draped throughout the trees, we tried to create the feeling of an intimate garden party.
Event Staffing by Marsell provided two incredibly professional and efficient servers who took over displaying the dishes, keeping glasses filled with Prosecco and Rosé, cooking and passing hors d’oeuvres, and cleaning it all up when it was over. These girls hustled and were worth every penny! A awoke the next morning to a completely clean house, with not a trace of a party. We will never have a gathering again without them. www.StaffingByMarsell.com, ByMarsell@aol.com, 718-506-2321.
With a mixture of samba, bossanova, jazz, French pop, and classic throwbacks, our soundtrack was inspired by a golden age of jet setting… think Midnight in Paris meets the adventures of the first stewardesses on the NBC show Pan Am, mixed with the vibe of that awesome Heineken commercial.
- Pan Am Soundtrack- Music From and Inspired by the Original Series
- Pink Martini albums ‘Hey Eugene!’ and ‘Hang on Little Tomato’
- Yelle albums ‘Safari Disco Club’ and ‘Pop Up’
- Parov Stelar EPs ‘ The Paris Swing Box’ and ‘The Golden Boy’
- ‘The Golden Age’ by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
- ‘This Head I Hold’ by Electric Guest
- ‘She Said’ by Plan B
Les Boissons (The Drinks)
To keep everyone’s minds sufficiently lubricated, we tried our best to keep the cocktails flowing! Of course an initial greeting with some bubbly or summery Rosé, followed up by some light reds from the Côtes du Rhône or one of our signature cocktails. Personally, we loved mixing ‘A Parisian in Lisboa’ with a dash of ‘Some like it Jalapeno!’ for a sweet, but slightly spicy treat!
- Côtes du Rhône
- Bonjour à l’été [Vodka, St Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, Prosecco, Italian Grapefruit Soda, Orange Slice]
- A Parisian in Lisboa [Rosé Port Wine, Prosecco, Pomegranate Juice, Lemonade, Fresh Mint, Sliced Strawberries]
- Some Like It Jalapeño! [Tequila, Ginger Canton Liqueur, Lemonade, Jalapeno Slices]
- French Riviera Martini [Vodka, Chambord Raspberry Liqueur, Mango Papaya Juice, Lemon Slice]
- A selection of European beers, such as Leffe
Les Entrées (The Appetizers)
- Cheese Board including Honey Chèvre, Herb and Chive Chèvre, Blueberry Chèvre, Swiss, Triple Cream St. Andre Brie, Boursin, Smoked Gouda, Dubliner, Gorgonzola, Mild and Sharp Cheddar and a hard Tuscano.
- Charcuterie display with Pinot Grigio Salami, Chianti Salami, Genoa Salami, Prosciutto, Pepperoni, and a heaping mound of fresh French Baquettes
- All of the accoutrements we could think of! Red Pepper, Eggplant and Olive Tapenades, Pistachio Nuts, Honey, Figs, Grapes, Truffle Mousse Pate, assorted Olives, Cornichons, Roasted Red Peppers, Sundried Tomatoes and Sardines! We topped it off with some homemade Foie Gras straight from France!
The passed hors d’oeuvres were our favorite. Sadly they went like hotcakes and there were none left at the end… we would have liked those for leftovers!
- Figs stuffed with Chèvre and wrapped in Bacon
- Sweet and Spicy Peppers stuffed with Chèvre and Prosciutto and drizzled with Wildflower Honey
- Jalapeños stuffed with Brie and Smoked Almonds
- Mini Portobello Mushrooms stuffed with Crab and Parmesan and drizzled with Truffle Oil
- Asparagus wrapped in Bacon
- Tomato and Onion Bruschetta
Les Plats (The Main Course)
We were surprised that anyone could still be hungry, but L’s masterpiece had been cooking all day and its aroma had been tantalizing guests throughout the evening! A whopping 25lbs, the juicy Porchetta roasted for more than 6 hours in white wine, roasted red peppers and heaps of seasonings, which were all lathered onto skin-on pork belly that was then wrapped and tied around a pork loin! It was breathtaking. The entire slab was devoured within minutes.
The Meat Hook in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was the source of our incredible slab of pork. This specialty butcher provided us with lots of advice for initially choosing our selection, as well as ideas and tips for the complicated prep and cooking process. They were a fabulous resource and super nice! We plan on signing on for some official learning at one of their cooking classes lead by renowned NYC chefs. A full review to follow! 100 Frost Street, Brooklyn, www.the-meathook.com, 718-349-5033.
- Spinach and Rocket Salad with Chèvre, Figs, Cherry Tomatoes and Fig Balsamic
- Quiche Lorraine and Quiche Florentine
- Roasted Mixed Potatoes with Herbs du Provence and Truffle Oil
- The star of the show… A massive 25 lbs Porchetta roasted with White Wine, Garlic and Roasted Red Peppers!
Les Desserts (The Desserts)
Somehow dessert always seems to get out of hand. What started as a ‘simple’ chocolate fountain with fruit and smores fixings, grew into a display of overwhelming decadence. Between homemade baking creations and an assortment of goodies from Love and Quiches Desserts (178 Hanse Avenue, Freeport, www.LoveandQuiches.com, 516-623-8800), the offerings were diverse and over the top. Everyone was so generous! Butter and richness kept the French theme alive!
- Dark Chocolate Fountain with Strawberries, Frozen Bananas, Apples, Cookies and Marshmallows
- Homemade Eiffel Tower Chocolate Lollipops with Slivered Almonds
- Vanilla ‘Bonjour’ Layer Cake
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Rainbow Cookie Cake
- Key Lime Pie
- Banana Crème Chocolate Chip Pie
- Truffle Lava Cake
- Carrot Cake
- Brownie Bars
With our ‘Bonjour á l’été’ fête a success, one wonders what we should do next. An ‘Au revoir à l’été’ (Goodbye to Summer) party may be in the stars…