{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}


The Monday Night Dinner in Astoria

Last Monday I went to a dinner party. I didn't know anyone there. Not a one. Ever done that?

If you write a blog, it's likely that you have. If you write a food-related blog, it's probably something you look forward to. But if you're anything like me, it's the kind of event that triggers the same feelings of awkwardness you felt walking into the 7th-grade dance alone.

Is my breath okay? Will anyone here want to talk to me? How's my hair?

Of course, showing up 30 minutes late after ringing the wrong doorbell would make anyone feel like a bit of a dork. That poor old lady three blocks away is probably still trying to figure out what a blogger dinner is.

Anyway, the party I went to pushed me out of my comfort zone and for that, I thank the hostess. Her name is Tamara Reynolds, and she has hosted dinner parties in her backyard for both strangers and friends for 10 years. The woman knows what she's doing too--she even wrote a book about it. It's called Forking Fantastic, which is kind of the best title for a cookbook ever.

This particular dinner party was initiated by the ladies who write a great local blog called We Heart Astoria. If you live in Astoria, you should start checking this site regularly. If you don't live in Astoria... you should move here! It's a helluva town.

And every few Sunday nights, there's a helluva dinner party being hosted in a lovely little garden there. 

Check out that night's menu:

Candied Bacon Lollipops
The Last Tomato Aspic (with Crackers)
Chilled Roasted Red Pepper and Sumac Soup
Lettuces with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, Anchovies, Coddled Egg and Sherry Vinaigrette

Heirloom Carrot Salad with Lemon, Cardamom and Ginger

Summer Squash, Chard and Herb Gratin

Spicy Calamari Poached with Cracked Green Olives, Garlic and Saffron
Roasted Plums with Burnt Honey Ice Cream

And now, you should check out the blogs of some of the nice people I met who made this gawky girl feel like one of the crowd.


  1. I need to get myself to one of those dinner parties! I read We Heart Astoria regularly, so maybe I'll see you at one one day.

  2. i will definitely be checking out that first site!! sounds like my cup of tea.