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

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How To Host A Legend

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

You would call Eddie Ross a designer on Bravo’s Top Design, the former Senior Style Editor for Martha Stewart Living, Decorating Editor for House Beautiful, Contributing Editor to Woman’s Day and wildly popular blogger.

I am lucky enough to call him my friend.

When I learned that Eddie and his ultra fabulous beau, Jaithan, were going to be in town in July, they were so kind to set aside some time in their incredibly busy schedules to join us for dinner.

Okay, now that they have agreed to dinner – where do I go from here? This was not to be a wienie cookout with s’mores (though there is nothing wrong with that!), but needed to be warm, inviting and sophisticated – like the two of them.

Warm – check
Inviting – check
Sophisticated – let me work on that

Was I Up To The Task? Come On In To See

Tami’s Birthday Party – Chopped & Surprised

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

It was the weekend of birthdays this past week. Fun! First, we had Valerie’s birthday wine tour, then it was time for dear friend Tami H. of Running With Tweezers to have her big day.

And what a big day it was! Set up by her sweet boyfriend, Mike, who took great pains to keep it secret. Mike even put together a Chopped Challenge as part of the party. You know what Chopped is, right? It’s a reality/challenge show on Food Network where chefs compete for the highest score from the judges.

Mike chose all the ingredients for the Chopped “Slider” Challenge. Three teams of two competed in the kitchen of friends Brian and Terri. It was a hoot.

But first, Tami had to arrive. A ruse was invented to get her to Terri and Brian’s house and we were all gathered when she arrived, including an dear friend of hers from NYC who had flown in especially for the party. Don’t you love those types of surprises?

The cake was made by Christina Arpante of Mele Cotte. It was the coolest cake I have ever seen.

Camera Cake. Yes, That's Cake.

More Fun With Tami Inside

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

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

Miso Happy!

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

A week or so ago, Miss Tami and I had a girls’ lunch at Miso Izakaya just to catch up. Pretty yummy, I must say.

Even though the rain was coming down in buckets outside, inside we were feeling sunny and warm. The sushi here is so beautiful. Take a look.

Don't You Just Love All That Color?

More Fishy Fun After The Fold!


Monday, March 15th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

A little while back, sweet Tami from Running With Tweezers invited me to a p.r. luncheon given by Bakeshop, a fabulous little spot in midtown that you simply must try.

Upon entering, we saw tables laden with pastries for our enjoyment.

Luscious Fruit Tarts

More Scrumptious Eats After the Fold

Mike Has A Birthday!

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Thursday night was my buddy Tami’s birthday party for her sweetie, Mike. It was so much fun!  Lots of cool new people to meet and you have got to check out the birthday cake!

It's Nacho Party - It's MIKE'S Party! Har Har Har....ahem.

You Have Got to See This Birthday Cake!

The Larson-Juhl Experience

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Good Afternoon, Darlings!

Saturday afternoon I was treated to the most wonderful time by Larson-Juhl, those fabulous folks who hosted Thursday night’s dinner with Eddie and Jaithan. This event was a splendid afternoon tea and framing workshop with Eddie, and it was quite the fête.  Held at the gorgeous Larson-Juhl headquarters in Norcross, GA, a group of about 50 were lavished with the most amazingly presented food,  luscious sauvignon blanc and spectacular floral arrangements, created by Eddie himself. I also got a chance to meet reader Audra – Hi Audra! xoxo

Fabulous Details and Photos After The Fold

Pho With The Girls

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
Fresh, Tasty Spring Rolls!

Fresh, Tasty Spring Rolls!

Good Morning, Darlings!

Yesterday I had a great time with Tami and Shameeka at lunch.  Our original destination, Chateau Saigon, apparently has closed, but Shameeka knew just where to take us.  She took us to her favorite pho restaurant, Pho Dai Loi and soon we were all tucking into cha gio, spring rolls and the most delicious noodle dishes ever. We were so hungry that we forgot about pictures, but here is a nice review from The Blissful Glutton. Not only was it incredibly tasty, but so cheap!  I paid for pho for Eric and me (Eric was working, so take out was in order), and an order of cha gio and it was $16. I sure love Buford Highway. If you are in Atlanta and want the lowdown on how to Eat Buford Highway, try the website….Eat Buford Highway!

Shameeka was on fire yesterday and after lunch, took us all to a cupcake place she has been wanting to try. Caryn’s Cakes is the place where we all chose a cupcake (or two!) This was accompanied by champagne at my house and then our visit was done. It was all so quick!

But today I am off with Morgan to shop. If you don’t recall, Morgan is the niece of my bff, Vickie and she is staying with us until Christmas Eve. So I am enjoying all the time I can with her.  I know you understand.

But tomorrow I am back to discuss the Christmas Tablescape. Have a wonderful day, Darlings!

xoxo, Patti


Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Good Morning, Darlings! Hope your holiday season is coming along swimmingly.

Yesterday I had the good fortune to lunch with sweet friend Tami, of Running With Tweezers at Bocado, a new restaurant on the Westside of Atlanta (not too far from my house!) Apparently, I am Tardy For the Party***, since I am the only person I know who has not been there yet.  It was wonderful. Full of great conversation and great food.

Tami ordered the salad with cranberries, goat cheese and pecans.  I ordered the cubano – their cuban sandwich, made with homemade pickles! Yummy. And we split a order of the decadent garlic fries – fabulous! Some photos for you:

Tami's Salad With Goat Cheese and Cranberries

Tami's Salad With Goat Cheese and Cranberries

My Cubano, With Those Homemade Pickles

My Cubano, With Those Homemade Pickles

The Oh So Bad For You, But Taste So Good Garlic Fries

The Oh So Bad For You, But Taste So Good Garlic Fries

It was the nicest visit. It was so lovely that we are doing it all again on Tuesday, but this time with the incredible Miss “Broke Socialite” Shameeka.  We will be traveling to Buford Highway, and that’s always an adventure.

Since it was Wednesday, you know what that means – dinner with Miss Diane.  Last night I was kickin’ it old school with a simple meal of fried pork chops, mashed potatoes and fresh steamed green beans. And champagne, because if you get the chance, you should always drink champagne.

More cooking fun tomorrow, Darlings!

xoxo, Patti

***In no way endorsing those awful “Real Housewives of Atlanta”, but I thought the title was funny….