A while back, I received an invitation from IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group):
As a valued IHG® Rewards Club member, we’d like to show our appreciation by inviting you and a guest to a private dinner at the James Beard House with James Beard Award Winning Chef, Andrew Carmellini.
This was exciting on so many levels! First, I enjoy being invited to events and meeting, listening to and exchanging ideas with the movers and shakers. Second, the event was held at the James Beard House! James Beard was like the patriarch of gastronomic gourmet cuisine. Third, the dinner was prepared by a top New York City chef. I could go on, but I know you want to see the food.
The James Beard House is a beautiful townhouse in the Greenwich Village area of Manhattan. We were greeted at the front parlour…
… then we were escorted through the kitchen, where we saw the chefs hard at work ….
And then we arrived in the backyard area where people were enjoying the festivities and beautiful evening, where drinks (including a great Watermelon beverage) were poured, and where appetizers (including fresh oysters with Watermelon shavings) were served.
We mingled with old friends, met new friends, and heard all about the exciting new developments at IHG.
We were then led to the dining area on the second floor of the James Beard House. Can I say “Wow!”? It was intimate and elegant at the same time. I knew this was to be one of those events of a lifetime. Well, actually, I knew it the moment I received the invitation. We took our seats, and then the meal began. And what a meal it was!
Here is the menu – five courses each more delicious than the next, and each with a wine pairing. If only I could share flavors, and tastes in writing:
we began with an amuse-bouche of course!
First course, snap pea salad
For the second course, we were treated to soft woodsy layers of flavors of veal bolognese with parmesan truffle and some amazing semillion called Dirty and Rowdy!
The Third course was outstanding: Grilled LOBSTAH! It was accompanied by a glass of Chasseur Chardonnay.
The Fourth course was equally incredible – dry aged rib eye steak with a full-bodied Syrah from Baker Lane.
The fifth course, desert, was marscapone cheesecake, local blueberries and popcorn served with a nice Riesling Ice wine right from our own Finger Lakes.
IHG throws the best parties. They know how to listen and how to make people listen. They know how to make their valued customers feel valuable. And they do have a lot to say! IHG keeps surprising us with modern new concepts and properties, and customer service that makes me want to return again and again.
On the way out of the event, we were given a goodie bag, which included some pastries and an invitation to enjoy a few cocktails at Todd English’s brasserie, Ca Va.