This being my birthday week, I decided to have a very small dinner party on July 3. I like to keep the group small enough so that everyone can interact around the table. When I mentioned this to my friend, Arnold Myint (who is an amazing celebrity chef–catch him on Food Network Star, Sundays at 8), it started his wheels turning. In fact, he decided to turn it into a fantasy trip to someplace far more exotic than our back porch. I always love to be involved in Arnold’s projects because his inspiration always inspires me. He is an artist, and food is his medium. He starts with whatever the menu idea is and builds a whole ambiance around it and he doesn’t miss a detail. He works fast. He enjoys people and loves to feed them. And, no matter what he is serving, it will come out looking like a picture. There is nothing like having Arnold take charge of the kitchen.
We moved all the furniture off the porch and set up low tables and pillows. Everything was candle light. The feeling was intimate and the food was delicious. We had Persian Pickled Cucumbers, Radishes with Feta Dip, Mushroom Caviar, Pea Salad with Dill and Mint, Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Lemon, Curried Cabbage, Mashed Lentils with Red Pepper, and Naan Flat Bread. The dessert was a beautiful Green Tea and Lime Cheesecake that we picked up at Avo. Everything was perfect as the late afternoon drifted into evening and we sat on the pillows, eating and drinking and enjoying each other’s company on a perfect summer night.