Dinner with Friends, Brooklyn-Style!
As you all know, one of my favorite things in the world is a good dinner party. Though I love to throw them at my place, by the time I've planned the menu, bought the groceries and the wine, arranged the flowers, cleaned the apartment, set the table, and cooked the food, the guests are arriving and I'm still drying my hair! These days, I'm all about collaborative dinner parties. Ones where I'm responsible for some of the food, but where other friends play a role as well – whether doing the flowers, bringing some wine, creating name cards, or making dessert or an appetizer.
In keeping with this collaborative spirit, I teamed up with my friend, style guru and blogger Amy (Graziano) Anderson, to host a dinner party for Anthology magazine's Winter 2013 "Americana" issue. The setting was Amy and her husband (photographer Eric Ryan Anderson)'s beautiful Brooklyn loft, full of exposed brick and a wall-size mural by our friend chalk artist Dana Tanamachi. The idea was that all the guests would contribute in some way: from decor to food to wine to music. Fortunately for us, Eric agreed to capture the evening on film, along with our friend Andrew Shepherd.
The partnership was brilliant: Amy focused on aesthetics and all I had to do was make the food. For the table, Amy created a beautiful wintry table-scape of branches, fresh cotton, and red Eucalyptus leaves, and set the table with mismatched flea market plates and vintage silverware and cloth napkins from her great grandmothers. In lieu of wine glasses (which "break far too easily," she says), Amy used various sizes of mason jars which she collects. (For more style inspiration, check out Amy's fabulous blog Parker, Etc.) Given the wintry theme, I created a menu of all-American comfort foods like Chicken Pot Pies with Kale and Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pears as a starter. Everyone brought bottles of wine, Dana hand-wrote place cards, and the Anderson's friend Bobby Long - whose new album Wishbone comes out next week! - brought his guitar and played an acoustic set after dinner. All the while, Eric and Andrew snapped pictures and beautifully documented the evening.
The story is finally out and I'm so glad I can share this exciting news you all! We actually held the dinner back in late October (the eve of Hurricane Sandy, to be exact) but Anthology's Issue 10 is just now available. It's a HUGE honor to be a part of this beautiful and inspiring publication. If you've never heard of the magazine, go online and subscribe here. (Seriously - trust me on this!) Print copies are sold in a few stores, and you can order individual issues (like the recent Americana issue) from them as well. The quarterly San Francisco-based magazine features stunning photos and stories about designers and artisans–and travels and books and home design and dinner parties–all under the motto "Living with Substance and Style." Which, I of course love...
The first few pages of the Anthology feature..so exciting!!
Working on this story was an absolute blast, and it reminded me what talented friends we have!! A huge thank you to Amy and Eric for opening your beautiful home, to Amy for making the table so gorgeous, to Eric and Andrew for so perfectly capturing the evening through your pictures, for Dana for writing the place cards and creating the stunning mural several years ago (but who's counting?!), to Kirby for coordinating schedules so Bobby could be there, to Bobby for treating us to an incredible acoustic post-dinner concert, and to my love Brandon, for lending your wit and good looks to the party! It was an amazing night, and one we will especially never forget as pre-hurricane winds whipped against the windows and the city shut down all subways mid-party as the storm approached. So thank you all not only for being a part of the evening, but for risking life and limb to be there!
Dinner at the Andersons' Brooklyn loft
Dinner is served: Chicken pot pies with arugula, radicchio, fennel salad
Bobby Long preparing to sing a few tunes from his new album
Should you decide to recreate our dinner party menu for your friends, all the recipes are on The Yellow Table! Click on the links below for recipes...
Brooklyn Family Dinner Party Menu:
*All pictures in this post were taken by Eric Ryan Anderson and Andrew Shepherd for Anthology magazine.