Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

atlanta browsing by tag


A Sparkling Trip to Italy Via Canoe

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Good Morning Darlings!

Last week was a whirlwind of parties. I am back in the swing of things and diving in head first.

The lovely folks from Ferrari Trento invited me to join them for an exclusive lunch at Canoe, one of Atlanta’s most romantic restaurants. I tend to forget how close Canoe is, and yet it seems a world away from the city. There were less than 20 of us there for a glamorous preview of the Lunelli family’s stunning sparkling wines, paired with scrumptious cuisine prepared by Chef Matthew. The event was a lavish indulgence in the middle of the day.

Gracing the banks of the Chattahoochee River

Our group was seated in the private dining room and we all introduced ourselves. So many new friends!


I didn’t want to miss a moment hearing about these exceptional wines, so I chose a seat directly from our guest of honor, Marcello Lunelli, the distinguished winemaker.

Marcello Lunelli

Marcello Lunelli

Did you know that the rest of the world is drinking sparkling wine from regular wine glasses? We are the only ones drinking from flutes. Marcello wants to spread the word that sparkling wine is for everyday, not only special occasions. I concur. He made a great point by saying if he is out with his wife and another couple and they all prefer a different variety of wine, they can all agree on bubbles. I have seen this over and over again at our parties. No one declines a glass of bubbly!

Canoe’s dishes were a perfect accompaniment to the six (!!) glasses we sampled. Here’s a look at the menu and the wines we enjoyed.

Oysters on the Half Shell

Ferrari Rose’ NV Trento DOC Metodo Classico


House Smoked Salmon on a Crispy Potato Cake, Vermont Goat Cheese

Ferrari “Riserva Lunelli” 2006 Trento DOC Metodo Classico


American Prosciutto Salad, Compressed Melon, Parmesan

Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore “Giulio” 2002, Trento DOC

Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore “Giulio” 2001, Trento DOC


The “Guilio” 2001 was a standout for me. It has a remarkable nose with hugely expressive aromas of dried orchard fruits, cake batter and acacia honey. Cake! It was my favorite. And I think it might be your favorite, too, when you try it.

Next course!

Crisped Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Thai Salad, Yuzu

Ferrari Riversa del Fondatore “Giulio” RD 1999, Trento DOC

Ferrari Riversa del Fondatore “Giulio” 1993, Trento DOC


This was my favorite dish paired with my other favorite wine. The 1993 vintage is one of the more costly wines, but wow, for a special occasion, what a perfect splurge. I found it online retailing from $168 up to $358 per bottle. It was so exciting to be able to sample this exquisite treat. If you are a lover of fine wines, I know you would be thrilled to add this to your collection. Or, send to me as a gift! :) Trust me, you will be in grand company. Queen Elizabeth, Margaret Thatcher, Andy Warhol, Alec Baldwin, Brooke Shields and the Scissor Sisters have all enjoyed Ferrari scrumptious wines. Their wines were even served at a G8 dinner.

If you are traveling to Italy, you must make Trentino a stop and visit the charming Lunelli family. The vineyard even has a Michelin Star Restaurant, Locanda Margon, nestled amid the vines. I can’t wait to go. Shall we plan a trip together?

The company I enjoyed at this luncheon was marvelous. Joon Lim, who is a server and sommelier at Kevin Rathbun Steaks and I had a wonderful discussion about how most restaurant patrons are reluctant to ask for help when ordering wine. He is so fabulous that I have asked him to talk to me in depth about today’s sommeliers and why you should always ask for help. Look for the interview next week or so.


Many thanks to Ferrari Trento, Canoe and Palm Bay International. This was a special afternoon with special food, people and of course, the Ferrari Trento sparkling wines that will be gracing my dinner parties in the future.

xoxo, Patti

Dragon Con 2015

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Good Morning Darlings,

How was your Labor Day weekend? Was it filled with goblins and ghoulies? No? What?! Then you must not have been in Atlanta, my loves!

Dragon Con marks the end of summer for us here in Atlanta, with a big flourish! I think of it as the precursor to Halloween. Over 70,000 delightful individuals descend on our city dressed in the most amazing costumes! It is a revelry for all things weird and wonderful.

Here are a few of my favorite shots of the weekend. Come see us next Labor Day in Atlanta and stay for Dragon Con. It is a MUST DO!

Meet my fine feathered friend!

Meet my fine feathered friend!

Archer is my favorite show. And look, a Tardis!

Archer is my favorite show. And look, a Tardis!

Who ya gonna call?

Who ya gonna call?

Eric and I readying for a little time travel.

Eric and I readying for a little time travel.

And speaking of Dr. Who....

And speaking of Dr. Who….

And one of my favorites from the weekend – a meet up with Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows!

Barnabas and Me! BFFs. :)

Barnabas and Me! BFFs. :)

Now it’s time to think about all things pumpkin! Woo hoo! Welcome Autumn!

xoxo, Patti

Sip Up the Last Bit of Summer

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Good Morning Darlings,

The days are getting shorter and we are almost through August.

Yet, I cannot let summer go. I love the heat and the lazy weekend mornings.

This summer Eric and I have been discovering the wonderful breweries all around Atlanta. Every Friday we pick a new one and off we go to learn about the complexities of one of time’s oldest beverages.

Here are a few we’ve tackled so far:

1. Sweetwater Brewing. One of Atlanta’s oldest. We loved the party vibe here and I loved the Sweetwater Blue, which had a hint of blueberry to it. Yummy!

Always a party at Sweetwater

2. Eventide. New to Atlanta, but home to one of my favorite brews this summer, a Kolsch. Light and refreshing, this has become my go-to drink.

My new fave.

3. Monday Night. A playful tasting room encouraging you to “Tie One On” with some of Atlanta’s best beers. The brewery is tucked away in West Midtown, so it’s close by. I like the Nerd Alert.  The name and the beer!

Tie One On – and use Uber!

4. Wild Heaven. One of the first breweries Eric and I explored. A group of us went last year to celebrate E’s birthday and we really loved the laid back atmosphere here. Their Let Their Be Light is scrumptious. Grab a brew and play some cornhole for a couple of hours. Afterwards, hop over to Pallookaville and eat some tasty corndogs in their adorable dining room.

Relax with a Let There Be Light at Wild Heaven


5. Red Brick Brewing. Red Brick had a band playing the Friday we visited that made me wish I could take them home – they were Ah-mazing! This place gets packed and the brewing room was melty hot on the scorching day we went.  But the tasting room was nice and cool and with that many folks hanging around and sipping, you are bound to make a new friend.

Make a new friend at Red Brick!


All of the tasting rooms averaged $10 to $12 for a tour including a signature pint glass and 6 tasting tickets. That’s a steal! And everyone we met that worked at the breweries were all so nice and eager to teach us about what was on tap. This is a perfect way to kick off the weekend.

There are more breweries that we haven’t tried yet, but they are on our list. I will keep you updated!

How are you holding on to the last bit of summer?

Xoxo, Patti

Pillow Talk at The Mansion

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Good Morning Darlings!

I do love Valentine’s Day. And night. And luxury.

And old classic movies.

How can I tie them all together?

Make Your Christmas Eclectic with Eclectia

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Only a few more days before our big party here. We are scrambling to get everything done so all we have to do on Saturday night is open the door and welcome our friends.

The house is just about decorated and ready to go. Just a few finishing touches.

How about you? Are you ready? Is the house decorated or do you need help?

Help is on the way!

Just Chicken Salad

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Let me start by saying I consider myself to be a chicken salad connoisseur. I love pretty much any chicken salad. My dill chicken salad is thought to be a winner among my friends.

Do you love chicken salad, too? Come on in.

Young Chefs of the SE – Installment II

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

6/24/10 UPDATE – This dinner has been postponed due to the issues in the Gulf. Please send your prayers, karma and best thoughts to the lovely residents of New Orleans.

This Friday (June 25th) you have the opportunity to experience another spectacular dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta.  The guest chef for the evening will be Sue Zemanick of Gautreau’s in New Orleans. Chef Zemanick was the winner of New Orleans Magazine, Chef of the Year Award and one of Food & Wine Magazine’s Top Ten Best Chefs.  Considering that New Orleans is one of our country’s foodiest cities, I call this big news.  Believe me, I was at the first series’ dinner with Chef Adam Cooke of Blackberry Farms and I was blown away.  I can only dream of what Chef Zemanick is cooking up for Atlanta.  And at $85 per person, this is truly a steal. You may make your reservations through Open Table (remember my post about Open Table here? Go – get your credits!)

Chef Sue Zemanick

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Buckwheat Zydeco – Hey Good Lookin’

The Ritz-Carlton Hotels of The Southeast

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Just when I think life can’t get any better, I turn a corner and a wonderful surprise pops up. Yesterday was one of those days, but instead of one surprise, it was twelve in the form of the amazing Public Relations staff of the Southeast Ritz-Carlton Hotels.

It was my genuine pleasure to attend a special media luncheon as the guest of Sandra Ryder, Area Director of Public Relations, Atlanta. When I arrived at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, I was greeted warmly by each staff member I encountered. They embody the epitome of hospitality.

The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead

Find Your Next Vacation Spot Inside

Lunacy Black Market

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Last week, Eric and I visited Lunacy Black Market, the newest venture by Chef Paul Luna.  If you are familiar with restaurant lore in Atlanta, you would know that Chef Luna is legendary.  His past places have included Luna Si and Loco Luna, and he is back in town after a decade long absence with a cause. I once had a friend that worked for him and Chef Luna’s passion in the kitchen often translated to wild tantrums.  Has he changed?

Of course, he has. It’s been a decade. He has a gorgeous wife and partner in Cynthia, from D.C.  What’s that you say, Chef? You are running for Mayor?

Still, passionate. Okay, and still a bit wild.

Uninspired Cuisine? Explain, Please

More Lunacy After The Fold