dinner was sublime, the company a bit regrettable

I hosted my first dinner party when I was 15 – Terriyaki Chicken with mixed vegetables – for my guests Anika, Karen and my classmate Steve.  The food was terrible.  A snow storm meant that Anika and Karen were almost two hours late and everything in my wok was painfully dry by the time of their arrival.  As bad as the food was, I was addicted to entertaining.  Amidst the last seven years as the General Manager of restaurants my passion for entertaining in the home was one of many casualties of my workaholic ways.  For the last several months, I have rediscovered the dinner party as my favorite way to socialize with friends. 


My dinner parties are prolific affairs – at least four courses, copious amounts of very good wine, and normally a six hour evening.  For this month’s dinner party, I invited the guest of honor to invite his friends – it was difficult to place control of the six seats at my table in another’s hands but GH is a dear friend with great news we were celebrating.


This was a bad idea.  But, let’s deal with the good elements of dinner first.  Everything came out of the kitchen beautifully.  


Champagne and Canapés

Ahi Tuna Tartar in homemade tortilla cups

“Texas Sushi” Chicken Chorizio Sausage, Seranno Peppers, and Guyere Cheese rolled in sundried tomato tortillas gently baked.  Served sliced into ¾ inch discs.

Mountadoun 2000 Brut Milleisme Champagne & some random bottle of Cava that I opened instead of 1996 Cuvee Doyard Brut because I deemed GH’s friends not worth the really good stuff.


Day Boat Sea Scallap Carpaccio with a baby Arugula Salad

2004 Weinzorn Single Vineyard Grand Cru Reisling


Roasted Tomato and Sausage Bisque with a dollop of herbed Crème Fraiche

2003 Toluca Lane Pinot Noir


Pork Tenderloin wrapped in Black Forrest Bacon poached in Olive Oil, and served atop a bed of Potatoes Escoffier and Spinach and Goat Cheese purses.

2004 Montes Folley Cuvee M Syrah

(ed. note: I know that wrapping pork in more pork is culinary overkill, but my approach to cooking can sometimes be described as “Shock and Awe”)


Selection of Cheese from local hoity-toity cheese shop, with truffled honey, wild berry compote, sliced almonds

The wine would have been 1977 Grahams Port but no one wanted any more wine.


I can ignore/forgive the following facts:

  • That four of the five guests arrived in jeans.  I really didn’t think it necessary to instruct a group of thirtysomething professionals that jeans are not appropriate attire for a dinner party. 
  • That four guests lack the social grace to not arrive 20 minutes early to a dinner party.
  • That the fifth guest thought it acceptable to arrive 45 minutes late without the courtesy of a phone call. 


What I cannot ignore or forgive is the pathetically paltry amount of wine consumed, and that one of my dinner parties ended in four hours.  GH can have another invite, but his friends are 86’d.




p.s. If you want recipes, drop me an email.  I would be happy to write them.




One Response to dinner was sublime, the company a bit regrettable

  1. Shannon says:

    I’m a dinner party queen myself, but I usually do casual events (and wear jeans). Maybe they didn’t know it was a more formal kind of thing?

    But arriving more than 10 minutes early or 20 minutes late is just unacceptable – I usually time courses and my cooking schedule based on when guests arrive, so I’m not fussing around the kitchen when I should be attending to guests. People need to realize how much planning goes into these things.

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