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

February, 2011 browsing by month


Birthday Pizza and Porch Drinks

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Well, it’s been a week but it seemed like the birthday fiesta went on and on. Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday Sunday Sunday (insert motocross announcer voice here). Sunday was my actual birthday and we gathered everyone to eat pizza, leftover nibbles from Saturday night and drink some lively libations. What I didn’t know was that Eric had asked our dear Lisa to bake me a cake. What a cake!
You’re invited! Come on in.

FFF-Oscar Worthy Cocktails

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

My friend Kate in NYC has some great ideas for some award winning cocktails just in time for Oscar night this Sunday. How are you spending the evening? This is like the Super Bowl to me. I love everything about Oscar day – the preshow, the red carpet, the show. I’ll be watching, will you?

Will you be watching?

Take it away, Kate!
Time to make the cocktails! Come on in!

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!

What’s Hot, What’s Not…

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

The winner of our CSN Gift Card Giveaway is Domestic Diva! Congratulations! I will be emailing you with all the details!

Today we have a fun list of Foodie what’s hot and what’s not from our friend Nadin in NYC. I love this!

Just as your style calls for seasonal updates, so does your palette. Restaurants, big and small alike, cater to consumer interests within the food world and adapt their specials and menus accordingly. This year, Kobe Beef is out, and pork is in. Low sodium-focused products have been replaced by gluten-free items and the cupcake craze has moved from a sweet direction to a savory one with lasagna cupcakes and a meat-filled take on these sweet treats.

Below is a list of the latest food items that food connoisseur must have this season , as reported by
What’s In:

· Whoopie Pies
· Miniature Foods (not plates)
· Savory Cupcakes
· Gastro/Nitrous
· Pork
· Gluten-free
· Chefs at High End Restaurants

What’s Out:

· Kobe Beef
· Low Sodium
· Sweet Cupcakes
· High End Chefs Consulting for Smaller Outlets/Quick Service

So there you go. What do you think is in or out this year?

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Dexter Poindexter – Hot Hot Hot

The Cafe at The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

I have been more than fortunate since I started the blog over a year and a half ago. Oh, the fab parties and the wonderful people I have met have filled my life. But one particular experience left me with more than I could ever imagine. It was the day my darling friend Tami over at Running With Tweezers , took me to Lumen, at The Ritz-Carlton downtown as her “plus one”. There I met Sandra Ryder, who so kindly brought me into her circle of fabulous PR Directors, who, in turn, so kindly invited me to write about their respective Ritz-Carlton hotels.

And to kick off my birthday weekend, Miss Sandra invited Eric and me to The Cafe, and The Wine Bar to sample the most lovely, fresh cocktails and fine cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead.

Miss Sandra and I catch up on all the news.

Join me inside to see what The Ritz is cooking up!

Mmmm, Chicken Meatballs!

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Oh my goodness. I was totally spoiled this weekend. And as much as I would like to share all the grandeur right now, I must rest.

So tomorrow we will regroup. But today I will leave you with a new food product to ponder before the weather gets too warm. Although it can’t get warm enough fast enough for me. You? These chicken meatballs are yummy. And I don’t ever eat chicken meatballs. But these might have convinced me that it doesn’t always have to be beef meatballs.
What’s new in the food world? Come See.

FFF-My Birthday, You Get A Gift!

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

As I sit here in my office at my tiny desk, on my birthday Friday (actual birthday on Sunday), I can’t help but be so grateful for everything in my life. My incredible husband, Eric, my amazing besties, my good friends, and all of you out there in tv land. Or blog land, I don’t judge.

Happy Birthday To Me!

But since I love you so much, I thought I should give you a gift. CSN has so graciously offered a $65 gift card to their massive online store. Last time we did a giveaway with them, my bestie Clint won and couldn’t say enough great things about the wine glasses and linens he received. Clint said everything was packaged in the most pristine way and both items were gorgeous. And they have virtually everything you could want. You could buy me an offset spatula! Or, holy Toledo, they have Le Creuset, too! Check out this set of bright yellow cookware – wouldn’t this make you smile everyday?

Just like sunshine!

So, my little darlings…comment away. I would love to hear your idea for my perfect birthday celebration. The winner will be announced on Wednesday by a random drawing.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Marvin Gaye – Got to Give It Up, Part I (because it’s my birthday and this is my favorite song, of all time..)

Byron and Michelle’s Engagement Party

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Love love love is in the air. Jay and Valerie will be tripping up the altar in September, but beating them to the vows will be Byron and Michelle in April. Our delightful friends Stephanie & Reeves threw the most lovely party for our betrothed friends last weekend in their comfy, cozy home in our neighborhood. They even keep chickens – remember the eggs from the morning after Valentine’s Day? Their home is filled with cuddly furniture and whimsical treats – like the painting of Rod Stewart dressed as a Storm Trooper, or the wig on the horse mask which would become the center of the party later in the evening.

The sweet guests of honor

Stephanie went all out – there were boodles of shrimp, tons of brownies, yummy spinach dip and tasty bruschetta. Delicious!

Stephanie knows what she is doing!

Perfect strawberries for dipping.

The weather was terrific, too, so we were able to enjoy part of the evening on the deck, viewing the chickens and checking out their fab view of the Atlanta skyline.

But inside was where most of the fun took place. Take a peek.
See what happens next!

Danny’s Seafaring Birthday

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Yes, this is my birthday week, but last week we feted our darling Danny at McCormick and Schmick’s with some yummy seafood. There were 10 of us and we just gathered, drank, laughed and enjoyed our plates of seafood. I think the photos (snapped by our friend, Eric Rice) say it all.

A special menu with a special message for our birthday boy.

Our group

Holly, Eric and Me

My sweeties John and Danny

My boys and me sharing a giggle.

Patrick and Andrew.

Eric, Danny and Bruce

Bruce, Danny and Sweet Rose

It was a fabulous night with some of my most favorites!

Happy Birthday my darling Danny! I love you!!!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Johnny Cash – Oh Danny Boy

V-Day Recap and The Morning After

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Hope you all had a fine Valentine’s Day – no matter who you spent it with. Ours was swell. Lets recap the menu:

Crab Cakes
Creamy Pasta
Fresh Green Salad
Lemon Souffle

It was all so good. The souffle was delicious, but needs some work. I thought it was pretty good for a first try. An oven thermometer would probably help to make sure it’s calibrated correctly.

Some photos?

Crab Cakes and Creamy Pasta

Eric whipped up the cream sauce with the most spectacular oregano and gorgeous Greek olive oil by Frixa, that was just sent by lovely Miss Leigh in St. Simons Island. The Chryssaidis family owns a restaurant, Athena, in St. Augustine, where they go through 20 liters of this elixir each day. Can you imagine? And you can buy both the olive oil and oregano online. Yum.

The sauce goes like this (thanks, Honey!): Melt 2 tbsp butter and add 2 tsp Frixa oregano, infuse with low heat while the pasta cooks. When the pasta is al dente, strain and quickly beat together 2 eggs, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup parmesan with a little pasta water. Dress the pasta in the sauce and drizzle with the butter to serve. (cooks note: boom done).

Eric’s crab cakes were essentially crab, a bit of mayo to bind and panko for coating. Perfect.

I dressed the table with three large pillar candles, red beaded placemats from Mexico, silver napkin holders, hammered silver flatware and red champagne flutes. Although I believe I forgot to shoot the table because I was so excited about dinner. Sorry, Darlings.

Here’s a peek at the souffle.

Fresh from the oven and dusted with powdered sugar.

To our plates.

And into our bellies! Nom nom nom. And having an excuse to practice my souffle skills is a delicious reason for dessert, yes?

But, Eric and I both agreed, the really special treat came this morning inside the delicate confines of four very fresh eggs, gifted to us by our oh-so-sweet friends Stephanie and Reeves, who raise chickens just a few blocks away from us. They taste nothing like what you buy from the grocery store. No, these are much more piquant, with a richness that betrays its supermarket brethren, and puts them to shame. And look, Stephanie puts the date each one, so you know exactly what day it was gathered.

Gathered 2 days ago! And more cooking in the background. In Beka!

We didn’t say too much during breakfast – we were too busy trying to savor every bite of those pristine eggs. Thanks Stephanie and Reeves!

Aren't they lovely?

Oh, and my Sweeties – I am giving away two tickets for The Wedding Experience tomorrow. You just need to comment here on this blog post. You don’t have to be a bride, you might have a friend who is getting married and could benefit from this – so get your comments in!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Nat King Cole – Love