Saturday, April 10, 2010

From Art Deco in Hyde Park to Urban Chic in the West Loop (Part 1)

Over the past year or so, I have been working with this couple and their families on their wedding & rehearsal dinner. You would think that working with 6 people on two events that there would be some major discrepancies but shortly after scheduling one of our first meetings while I suggested Starbucks, they suggested The Violet Hour, I knew that this was going to be a fun weekend to plan! Besides being able to have fun with the process of planning the wedding, the bride & groom & their parents are all foodies and all of them have impeccable taste. Great food, wine, music, cocktails, decor, china, and glassware...my kind of family....great events to come!


The rehearsal dinner would start off the first part of the weekend. The groom's parents live in Hyde Park, in an old historic building built in the 20's. The Art Deco design of the building is simply stunning. On the 22nd floor, there is a ballroom that seats about 100 guests. Keep in mind, there are huge windows overlooking Lake Shore Drive, and a beautiful terrace that faces south with a perfect view of downtown. Stunning! Let me take you to Hyde Park to relive this magical evening.

As the guests arrived via Coach Bus from the Wit Hotel, they were greeted by the staff from Bonsoiree Catering in the lobby with champagne. They left their coats in the lobby and were escorted upstairs to the 22nd Floor Ballroom. As they came off of the elevators, some were mingling around the bar area, others went outside to enjoy the slightly chilly, but tolerable terrace looking at the city skyline, while others found their escort cards and made their way to their place setting.

At the tables, the guests found their place card, along with these brilliant off white art deco base plates, topped with a black hemstitch napkin and menu card, platinum silver, Riedel glassware, and gorgeous low laying table centerpieces by Blumgarten. All of the guests would be enjoying their dinner that evening sitting a comfortable and cool black contemporary chairs. I loved them so much because it was as though they were made for the room.

As the guests sat down for dinner, Chef Luke from Bonsoiree Catering & Restaurant had a foodie dinner ready for the guests. He had been preparing for over 42 hours for this event and was ready to get it out of the kitchen. We started with a Sushi Grade Scallop Motoyaki that was simply divine. Course two, he sent hot from the stove a Roasted Yellow Tomato Bisque, Fennel & Duck Confit Potsticker that the guests raved about. And for the main event, guests enjoyed a Poached Main Lobster with Peruvian Potatoes Maxim & Baby Turnips or an Herb Marinated Filet Mignon topped with a Cabernet Reduction and accompanied by Haricot Vert (fancy name for green beans). Finally coffee was served table side with a Black Plum Crumble, Cassis Almond Cream, & a Dark Chocolate Mousse. All in all, as the groom got up to say some final words and as Chef Luke to come forward, the crowd roared with delight. I am not sure, but I am pretty sure a few women asked if they could marry him. Go Luke !

Throughout the evening, the bar was open and cocktails were flowing. There was a piano player playing throughout dinner, and a nifty lounge, (that I did not get photos of off!) to the side for folks to step away from the crowd. All in all, it was an elegant affair that was preparing the guests for what was to come the next evening... something totally different... something urban & chic. Watch for Part 2 and see the wedding unfold at Salvage One.

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