I neglected to recap the events of March 4th, possibly because it has taken this much time to get, as we say in the business world, "back on schedule."
My roommate and I hosted a sequel to the dinner party we threw in the fall. Forty-nine people had attended that one. With loftier ambitions in tow, we decided to ask a friend of ours, Erik from the neighborhood, if it might be possible to use his enormous loft for the party. Danielle and I had been at one of his party's in the winter and remarked, "We have to throw a party here." It took a few weeks of warming him to the idea. But we had an advantage; he and one of his 4 roommates had been to our first dinner party. They'd had a swell time. We held a meeting two weeks in advance at the party location. Met the other roommates. Tried to clarify the purpose of the party. There wasn't one. "Danielle and I are going to invite a bunch of people you don't know to your apartment."The Nassau Street Location
When we arrived for our informal meeting, I was taken aback by the mess of the apartment. I remembered it as a cavernous space. My imagination had blinded me to the possibility of it being, like any apartment shared by four guys, a little on the slovenly side. The four guys who lived in there were not the cleanliest folks in the world. Even until three hours before the party, a bed was stationed in the living room. Every available walking space was covered in somebody's laundry. But there were advantages to their laid-back ways. They didn't give a damn about our micromanaging, our furniture re-arranging, our taking over their kitchen and their lives for one night. We let them invite whoever they wanted and that was that. Party approved. Which was good, because we'd already finished the invitations. Invitations
Danielle somehow managed to scrounge up a dozen boxes of dinner party invitations from the stock room of her office. We collected mailing addresses and sent out 45 print invites. We sent them up and down the eastern seaboard, to four of the five boroughs, yet completely forgot to send an invite to the guys on Nassau Street. The Monitor Street Location
Three days before the party we went grocery shopping. Since Danielle and I have opposite schedules, this required compiling a 4-page grocery list and dividing it between us. The master list was itemized by measurements in applicable units, with every ounce of sprouts and tablespoon of paprika accounted for in the 25 different dishes we were cooking. We recruited the crock pots of nearby friends, and on Friday morning I began prep cooking. Danielle joined me in the evening, and we chopped, peeled, seasoned, defrosted, marinated, stored, and labeled everything we possibly could. At 3am we went to sleep. At 11am on Saturday morning, we got seven crock pots going simultaneously and fired up the oven. With nothing to do between 11 and noon - too early to cook, prepping done - I made a delicious hazelnut mole sauce to sprinkle on the bacon-wrapped turkey breasts.Arrival at Nassau Street Location, 2pm.
Hauling necessary furniture, our entire collection of pans, plasticware, cutlery, cutting boards, crock pots, and a fridge-full of food, Danielle and I began setting up. Jonny Cigar showed up to chop. Nick Bennett didn't. By 5, the place was clean, the bar was set up, the salads were underway, and the hot food was waiting patiently. At 6pm, the party began.The Menu
Each of the dishes required some finesse. If every side dish was going to be delivered with its main courses, we had to keep on a steady pace till about 8pm, when the last of the food was to be served. We served four different salads with grilled meats on the side (sirloin, salmon, chicken), along with some ambitious empanadas, as our Summer Menu. Danielle was mostly responsible for these items, and they were gone by 7. The Winter Menu was more of my responsibility. And at the meeting two weeks prior I noticed that we'd be working with a mini-oven instead of a full-size. Nearly everything I had intended to warm in the oven was roasted on the burner instead, because I just could not get it hot enough. But the soul food, Indian, and Latin menus went out smoothly. I was pretty drunk by the time I needed to serve the finale entree: 8 cornish game hens, stuffed with mushrooms and cranberries, glazed in lime. Strawberry mashed potatoes on the side. They got sliced. They got served. Somehow. Jonny Cigar performed a show with a dead ovenbird in his hands. That's all I remember.Dessert
Again, Danielle was head chef for this part of the operation, and it came to pass that the desserts were on the table at precisely the same time we ran out of booze. 9:30, the place was dry. The DJ's wrapped up at 10:30, the party was still well-populated at 11. I left with some friends to get a drink at Enid's around the corner, and saved the cleaning til the Oscars Sunday night.The Wrap-Up
On Sunday, Danielle, Connor, Erik and I swept up the aftermath and tried to put together a list of attendees. 82 people were accounted for, and well over 30 bottles of wine and hard alcohol consumed. I put a recommendation for "Scotch" on the invite and 9 bottles showed up - from Johnnie Walker to an Albemarle 10-year to an 18-year Macallan. I believe the price tag perfectly matched the $500 worth of food consumed between 6 and 9:30. What remained? A half bottle of 4-year old Haitian Rum (supplied by Jaron), the fantastic Patron Espresso-flavored dessert Tequila (supplied and strategically hidden by Derrick) and the hazelnut mole sauce I never served. The party was an absolute blast. We learned invaluable information about hosting large-scale events, and some of it I share with you below. If you made it out, thanks for coming. It's gonna be hard to top, but we'll try. I'd say August, though it may be possible to put something together in June.