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

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Mr. John’s Feast + 11

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

This past weekend was my birthday and there were no shortages of celebrations. Friday night was The Cafe at The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, Sunday night was pizza and beer on the porch, but Saturday was most special. My sweet bestie, John, cooked a fabulous meal for 12 of us – at my house, so I never had to leave. The party just came to me. Yay!

John decided on a La Dolce Vita theme, with all Italian cuisine. It was divine. The planning started weeks in advance, with John allowing me final say on the menu. I felt so pampered. The menu was as follows:


Savory Caramelized Onion Cheese Cake with Apricot Glaze
Assorted Crackers
Red Grapes
Green Grapes

Pan Seared Polenta with
Creme Fraiche


Pesto Insalata with Three Cheese Tortillini

Piatto Principale

Lasagne with Baby Spinach and Portobello Mushrooms


Chocolate Raspberry Panna Cotta


Come on in to see the evidence!

A Weekend Snapshot

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Happy Monday to you all. I hope your weekend was stupendous. The weather in Atlanta was ridiculously beautiful and we had lots of fun.

Friday night, Eric and I had ourselves a little date night and went to see the movie Red. This was a hoot. Lots of things blowing up and Helen Mirren as an assassin. What more could you possibly ask for? After the movie we ducked into Fox Grille at Atlantic Station for a drink and to catch up on all the games. Did you see the Yankees against the Rangers? Unbelievable.

Saturday, Eric had a haircut scheduled, so we had a cup of coffee together and off he went. I went across the street to take pictures of our neighborhood park being landscaped by our wonderful neighbors. When he returned, we picked up Valerie and took the MARTA to the Little Five Points Halloween Parade. This is always a a great time, with loads of costume ideas to be inspired by.

Eric, Valerie, Curtis, Me at the parade

To enjoy the parade, click here

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. Part I

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

You’ve read the article in Design Is Magazine. Now get all the behind-the-scenes skinny.

Driving the 3.5 hours from South Montgomery was a snap with Sirius radio in our rental car. Arriving in the Crescent City to 97F heat, we entered The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans to kind hellos and cool air.

Come on in for all the details!


Monday, October 4th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Whew, what a weekend. Lets get started with the recap.

Friday night we attended FLUX, the art installation in Castleberry Hill. It is more of an art installation than art festival because it is interactive and a bundle of fun. Called Le Flash last year, this year’s incarnation had a ton more partiers and more things to see. There were zebras running on buildings, movies projected onto high rises, singing heads, food carts and much more. Eric and I went with besties Crystal & Teague, said hello (and Happy Birthday!) to our friend Denise Jackson in her gallery, and then stopped for a drink at our other besties loft, Matt and Clint. It was delightful, exhilirating and cultured.

Roll the footage!

Crystal and Teague party down at Miss Jackson's gallery

More Fluxy Fun Inside

Clint’s Happy Birthday Funtime Dance Party

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Oh, this weekend was a hoot. Starting with everybody’s favorite bestie, Clint, and his funtime dance birthday party (and yes, you CAN call it a party! yay!)  To know Clint is to love him and anyone who has ever met him would agree. So when his partner Matt decided to throw him a dance party at his loft, our only response was – “which dancing shoes to wear?”  I mean, it was jam packed full of fabulous people wishing Clint the best birthday ever, with some of the best music ever and some of the yummiest cake ever.

You have got to see the photos!

Say Hello To My Favorite Birthday Boy, Clint

More Monkey Boy Fun Inside

My One Exception

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

As I stated in the beginning of March, there were no dinner parties to be hosted in my home this month. But, alas, rules are meant to be broken. The one person I would allow as the exception came to dinner last night. And it was so worth breaking the rules!

Last night our very special guest of honor was Clint’s enchanting mother, Sylvia. We had not seen each other in seven years and she was in town for a visit. There was no way my little moratorium was going to keep me from entertaining one of my most favorite people. And so I set about to show her a very good time.

On the menu was:

Caprese Salad
Pappardelle with Boar Ragu
Sauteed Broccoli Rabe
Fresh Garlic Bread
Lemon Tart

Mmmm, Meatballs, Y'all!

More Rule Breaking Fun After The Fold

A Birthday Party Worth Singing About

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I had the sweetest time in NOLA with my darling husband, but the birthday celebration didn’t stop there.  This past Friday night, 22 of us gathered to celebrate some more at Karaoke Melody, a terrific spot on Buford Highway that has private karaoke rooms. Most.Fun.Ever.

The photos really tell the story here, so lets begin!

Teague Checking The Mics

Join The Party By Clicking Here

Birthday Week Kick Off With Clint & Matt

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Thanks for not minding that I took a vacation for a few days. My birthday was this past Saturday and so the celebration started on Wednesday, of course!

My sweet Clint and Matt invited Eric and me for dinner last Wednesday night to kick off my birthday and what a dinner it was!  Starting with a huge platter of the biggest steamed shrimp you have ever laid eyes on followed by tender pan-sauteed tilapia with a luscious meuniere sauce, roasted green beans accompanied by cherry tomatoes, along side scrumptious yellow rice topped off with rich and gooey chocolate candy puff pastry purses for dessert.

But even better than the food was the company. Beginning the evening with a champagne toast and ending with lots of hugs, it was the perfect start to what would be the most perfect birthday ever.

But I bet you want to see all the yummy goodness, yes?

Huge Shrimp Cocktail

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