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

May, 2010 browsing by month


Fun Find Friday – Picnic Baskets!

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Memorial Day is finally here and that means picnics. Here in Atlanta, that means Piedmont Park, Screen on the Green (back in Piedmont Park, y’all!), Lake Lanier and getaways to the beach and the North Georgia Mountains.  I love a fancy picnic basket, but there are all types to fit your budget (even toy baskets for your little ones!)

The Girls And I Are Hitting The Road

Stop On In For Some Picnic Ideas

Make It At Home – Spicy Tuna Rolls

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

If you love sushi, you know it can be expensive going out to restaurants to get your raw fish fix. Here’s an easy recipe for making spicy tuna rolls at home. Amaze your friends!

First, buy a tuna. Not the whole fish, but a couple of nice pieces of toro. Make sure the fish is sushi or sashimi grade, anything else will not work for this purpose.  Look for a rich red color. You may have to purchase it frozen, but that should be fine.  Of course, you will want to defrost it before use.  When you are ready to make your spicy tuna rolls, chop your tuna and mix with one tablespoon mayonnaise and one teaspoon of sriracha (Asian hot sauce). You may be like me and want to add more to make it spicier.

Yes, You Use Plain, Everyday Mayo

Roll On In For More Sushi Fun

A Mediterranean Repast With Dave & Sue

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I live in the greatest neighborhood in the world. Our neighbors are all close friends and the parties are almost continuous. Especially when the weather turns nice and we are all roused from our hibernation of the winter.

This past week was a divine dinner held at the home of our friends Dave and Sue.  Dave, a pastry chef, and his charming wife Sue had conjured up the perfect warm weather meal, a deconstructed salade nicoise. This was the ideal foil for the sweltering late spring we have been experiencing.

I had visited their home before, but never in the daylight. I was thrilled to stroll through the backyard garden with a pre-dinner cocktail.

A Lush City Escape

Come On In And Cool Off

The 3 Cs – Clint, Carrie and Castleberry

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Last week we received an invitation to join the cool folks in Castleberry for tapas and paella.  I love all the people in Castleberry and their fabulous loft culture – so urbane!  My bestie Clint is part of the clique, so we were thrilled to have snagged an invite for Tapas & Sangria at Clint’s and then to Carrie & Steven’s for paella (just a short stroll across the street!)

Joining us were Steve & Calvin (another C!), Tracy and Stephanie.  The nine of us had a grand time. Starting at Clint’s with both red & white sangria and a number of tapas. Ranging from tiny bites (olives and almonds), to more substantive fare (cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped dates & taquitos) it was hard not to get filled up on all the yummy tidbits.

Clint’s loft has just been repainted the most gorgeous combination of pale green and grey, making it even more chic than before.  More colorful than the paint? Clint and his neighbors.

Ice Cold Sangria Ready to Pour!

More Chic Loft Fun Inside

Blogger’s Brunch at Park 75

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

This weekend I had the distinct honor of being invited to the first ever Blogger’s Brunch at Park 75, inside the incredibly glamorous Four Seasons Hotel, hosted by Marsha Middleton and Abby Moreland of M-Squared Public Relations.

Atlanta's Four Seasons Hotel

It has been quite awhile since I had last visited this famous hotel and I wasn’t sure what to expect. But what I found inside far surpassed my wildest expectations.

Come On In To Experience The Wonder

Fun Find Friday – St-Germain

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

This week has been a flurry of parties and with the weekend approaching there seems to be no end in sight. Two dinners with Jeff at our house, Shameeka’s fabulous reception at the Mansion on Peachtree, dinner with my Love at WASABi after the reception, tapas at Clint’s followed by dinner at Carrie and Steven’s loft (more on that next week), tonight a dinner party at the home of neighbor and pastry chef Dave and his wife, Sue, tomorrow the exciting Blogger’s Brunch at The Four Season’s Park 75, then a graduation celebration with my favorite former boss and his precious family and on to Leila’s birthday party on Saturday night.

Whew. Sometimes, a girl is in need of a swanky cocktail just to slow down and reflect a bit.

Is that girl (or guy) you? Do you need a break, my Sweetie? Have I got the cocktail for you. Made with St-Germain.

The Rare and Beautiful Elderflower

But enough with the history, let’s talk cocktails.  You can surely sip St-Germain over a few slivers of ice as an aperitif, but most of the times I have had it in a cocktail, it has been paired with gin.  So yesterday I drove to Green’s and picked up a bottle of St-Germain and a bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin and got ready to mix.

Oops! I left the house without any recipes for cocktails, so how was I expected to mix up a drink with no ingredients?  See? I have been busy this week!

But the distinguished crafters of St-Germain are kind enough to include a few recipes in the tiny book that comes attached to the sexy, belle epoque, bottle. Funny, the original St-Germain Cocktail doesn’t even mention gin.

The St-Germain Cocktail

2 shots Champagne or Dry White Wine (preferably Sauvignon Blanc)
1.5 shots St-Germain
2 shots Sparkling Water or Club Soda

Stir ingredients in a tall ice-filled Collins glass, mixing completely. Garnish with lemon twist. Feel fancy-schmancy like the French.

For those of you wanting to try a gin based cocktail made with St-Germain, here’s a doozy from Robert Hess at the Chanticleer Society (this is especially for you, Chioke!)

Clipper Ship

2 ounce gin
1 ounce St-Germain
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 dash absinthe
Garnish: Lime twist
Shake with ice, strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Feel tipsy. Smile a lot. Have Jeeves drive you home.

Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend!
xoxo, Patti

The Broke Socialite, Queen of All Media

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Tuesday night I had the pleasure of attending a reception for my fabulous friend, Shameeka Shy Ayers aka The Broke Socialite. This gorgeous fete was held at the very prestigious hotel, The Mansion on Peachtree, in the heart of Buckhead. I implore you to peruse their website so you can feel the opulence.

From the moment bestie Crystal and I stepped out of the car, aided by the most pleasant Darrell, our valet, to the doormen on our way out, we were treated like royalty.

Once inside the hotel, you sense that no expense was spared to make this a spectacular getaway.  Designed by noted architect, Robert A.M. Stern, this 42-story beauty rises like a queen from her throne. And Tuesday night, the queen’s name was Shameeka.

Honoree Shameeka Takes A Moment For Photos

Come On In And Join The Party

Remembering Citrus High School

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

You know what warms my heart?  By now, I’m sure you know that it’s Eric and my crazy dogs. But my friends come right after that. And tantamount to that is getting to see old friends after a long absence. I always consider this a precious gift.  One of those precious gifts recently came in the form of seeing childhood friend, Maureen. Bestie John, Eric and I met up with Maureen at Park Tavern in Atlanta while she was visiting our city with Carly, the daughter of another of our classmates (honestly, where has the time gone?)

I picked Park Tavern for their view of Piedmont Park and the city. There really is no better view in town.

Our Beautiful Atlanta

Reminiscing Inside!

Miller Union With Miss Tami

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Last week Tami Hardeman and I had a chance to meet for lunch (we are all so busy these days!) Our choice of restaurant was the deliciously organic Miller Union. This beautiful spot is in a bit of weird area, if you aren’t familiar with this side of town. Happily, it is close to where we live.

Welcome To Miller Union

We started with the baby carrot and radishes served with a creamy feta cheese. So yummy! And good for you, too!

Who Knew Healthy Could Taste So Good?

And after catching up with each other, Tami and I both order the special salad of the day – smoked trout over greens with chopped cucumbers and radishes. It was really fantastic.

Miller Union's Wonderful Smoked Trout Salad

I don’t think it took either of us too long to clean our plates. It was that good.  So we sat, visited some more and took in the lovely patio on this lovely day.

Miller Union's Darling Herb Garden

Normally, I don’t like to critcize, but if you plan to sit on the patio for lunch during the week, you will inevitably encounter the many semi trucks barreling in and out at a deafening decibel.  We literally had to stop talking when a truck came by because there was just no hearing each other speak.  But the service was gracious, the food divine and as an added bonus – in the bathrooms they had two rolls for bathroom tissue – one rolled over and one rolled under. That really tickled me. I love those little details.

If you get the chance, please visit the nice folks at Miller Union. I promise they will make you very happy.

xoxo, Patti

Miller Union on Urbanspoon

A Night Of Magic, Courtesy of Valerie & Jay

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

The best thing about having a blog is the opportunity to toast those you love best.  So if you will indulge me this lovely Monday morning, I would like to tell you about the party we attended Saturday night.

Adorable friend Valerie graduated from Georgia State and we all gathered to celebrate her accomplishment. Our sweet hostess Denise even made a sign:

Congratulations, Valerie!

Does Anyone Notice That Funny Spelling For Graduating? Come In and See Why