Alisa Morov, an American cookbook author, and Louise Brody, a London born designer and art director, have pooled their extraordinary talents of cooking and stylish home entertaining to form a new private club- like dining experience, The Very Swell Project.
In May, Alisa and Louise started playfully conjuring up theme events every month that incorporate food, fun, and frolic.
Last month I was invited to their Mad Men Cocktail Club, inspired by the hit television series harking back to the swinging 60s Madison Ave. New York. The events are held in Louise Brody's smart and airy atelier in Montparnasse which has an interesting history. It was Picasso's atelier in 1912 to 1913 and he did most of the cutouts for his guitar series that was at MOMA in New York earlier this year.
The invitation said 60s dress, so I wore my Penguin polo and when Louise answered the door, she had a serious 60s look on- a pale blue daisy print dress with a flared skirt and dainty black spike heels with rounded toes and lace inserts. The heavenly atelier with high ceilings and a dramatic skylight looked like it was pulled right off the set of Mad Men, with authentic mid-century furniture in mint condition. Louise and her architect husband live and work in the space and it is also used as a contemporary gallery called Atelier 7, with new exhibitions held every four to six weeks.
The bartender was already busy shaking his shaker and offering Swell Shimmer- a Champagne based cocktail, Old Fashioned's, Vodka Gimlets, and pouring Straight Bourbon while Blame it on the Bossa Nova by Edie Gormé was blaring in the background. The menu was a suburban 60s throwback for sure and would have made Betty Draper proud:
Chex MIx (I ate so much I got a stomachache)
Celery with Green Goddess dip
Waldorf Salad cups
Smoked Salmon canapes
Ham and cheese sandwiches
Chocolate two-pepper cookies
It was all prettily presented on colorful tin and plastic serving trays along with patterned plates from the era. I must have eaten enough for three pregnant women (or for six), as the food was so delicious and also it was stuff that I miss and haven't eaten in so long.
The crowd of about 20 was mostly American ex-pats with a smattering of French people. Many I knew from before and they were lively and fun and I am sure the free flowing cocktails fueled the merriment. I also met some new and interesting people and have already made dates to meet some of them again.
Alisa and Louise were hospitable and warm hosts and it was a most delightful evening. They have come up with a winning and unique formula in an appealing setting and I wish them much success.
The Mad Men dinner costs 70 euros per person, which I think is very reasonable for the quality and variety of food and for unlimited cocktails. Events are all themed and open to the public. You can browse their monthly event calendar and sign up for them on their website. They are also doing afternoon teas, suppers, and full-scale dinners.
In addition to my Eye Prefer Paris Tours, we now offer Eye Prefer New York Tours, 3-hour walking tours of New York's best neighborhoods including Soho, Meatpacking/West Village & Tribeca. Tours cost $195 for up to 3 people and $65 for each additional person.Come take a bit of the Big Apple on an Eye Prefer New York Tour!
Come experience my blog ìliveî with my Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I lead. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.Tours cost 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris. www.eyepreferparistours.com
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotteís professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.