The reason? We were hosting an event for work for our donors - lunch, a sneak peek at the Fall/Winter 2009-2010 collections, and a portion of proceeds going to support our work cleaning and greening NYC at work.
Olivier Cheng catered the lunch - AMAZING! We started with Bedell (a local wine - yay!) chardonnay and blanc de blancs. Once seated, the staff served us an asparagus soup with thyme and crisped onions. I was struck at how gracious and swift the wait staff was! Certainly well coordinated! Once I sampled the deep green soup, I was immediately smitten. Not a touch of cream, but a truly smooth and asparagus-y taste that worked perfectly with the thyme oil and onion garnish. Could I lick the bowl - no, sadly - but it was that good!
Next came a Lobster Salad with frisee and sunchokes. I'm relatively new to shellfish, having a couple of years ago "cracked" my first lobster, and just last summer become a fan of certain crab preparations. However, it's still relatively "unchartered waters" to me. The salad itself was wonderfully assembled, the pinkish-red lobster the perfect complement to the green lettuce and the cream/yellow sunchokes. I had chosen a raisin-pecan roll (I'm guessing Eli's - Baked right next door to my old apartment!) to nibble at with my lunch. Taking my first taste, the flavors of the lobster with the light mustard dijon dressing melded perfectly in my mouth. YUM. Being new to the shellfish thing, I forgot that the claw is the most delectable. Not that the tail wasn't good - the claw was out of this world!!!
Lunch was followed by the most delicious dessert - a spiced rhubarb hazelnut tart. A spiced hazelnut crust was filled with tenderly cooked rhubarb cubes, finished with a lattice top and then a scoop of slightly sweet, and delightfully creamy, mascarpone gelato on top. Works do not express the symphony that commenced with my first bite of this treat. Of course, the indulgences didn't stop there, as the wait staff then brought out little dishes of petits fours, including rich chocolate truffles, gingerbread linzer cookies (omg yum!), macarons, mini black and white cookies...sigh. After running around coordinating the event all morning, of course I indulged! Do the employees at the flagship store dine like this every day? Mon dieu!
Walking back to the train with my co-workers, slowly and giggly, I breathed a sigh. Event over, extremely happy guests, and satisfied bellies. A successful day, and no regrets!