Just the fact that the awards are on a Sunday night makes this a casual affair. NOBODY dresses up on Sunday night anymore. This is one time when it is okay for the audience to be in casual dress while the actors prance around in their ball gowns and tuxedos. Unless, of course, you live in LA and are attending one of those parties catered by Wolgang Puck!
|Grace Kelly and William Holden|
I know, in the olden days, as my son would call them, an Oscar party would be a dress up occasion with champagne, caviar and the works. Not anymore. Nowadays Sunday night is casual night, even by New York standards. Let's face it, guys have to wear suits every day of the work week and they look forward to a more casual attire on a weekend. They deserve it. I remember my 12 hour days of panty hose and makeup and you wouldn't have been able to get me in that gear on a Sunday night if George Clooney himself came to escort me. (I'm lying, of course) That doesn't mean this has to be a slob fest as it is for the Super Bowl. Just more relaxed.
|My date, George Clooney|
For a party like this I like to go heavy on hors d'oeuvre with a simple entree for the main course. It's a long evening and you don't want to serve the main course too early. I think buffet style is the way to go if you have a crowd. Set everything out on the table including hor's d'oeuvre plates so guests can fix themselves what they want when they want it. Set up a bar for the drinks and let everyone fix their own. Serve the main dish around nine and later bring out a couple of desserts. Plan on the fact that some of your guests might want to leave early, depending how boring the show (or the party) is.
|Life Of Pi|
I can't say enough about putting together a guest list for this kind of party. Don't even think of inviting someone who is not a movie fan. They will just be bored and bore every one else in return. Those friends who enjoy movies and go to every single one released will enjoy this immensely. They are your guests. I remember one year when I was living in NYC leaving my office with my friend Silvia to go to a "client meeting " so we could catch the one and only movie nominated that we hadn't seen. The show ended just in time to taxi across town to her apartment and watch the beginning of the awards. That's a movie fan for you. It won two Oscars, including one for Daniel Day Lewis for Best Actor. Silvia and I still giggle every year about our adventure on Oscar night.
|And guess who's nominated again...Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln|
This year with three nominated movies set in the East... Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and Life of Pi, I have decided to go native with my main course. Notice I only said main course, not the whole meal.
I think it would be fun to serve the Lamb Curry with Carrot Raita and Indian Bread (pita bread is fine) and some lemony dessert like a lemon mousse or even a lemon tart or tartelets. Citrus goes well after a meal like this. Somehow it seems to cleanse your palate after all that spiciness.
As to the wine, the sommelier at Daniel, an Indian himself, suggests a Syrah from the Rhone such an earthy Cornas wine from the Rhône Valley, such as Auguste Clape’s Cornas Renaissance 2009 ($74). “Gamey and rich, the Syrah grapes play off the lamb, and the herbaceous and smoky notes marry well with the spices in the curry,” says Vaidya.
Another good option is J. L. Chave Sélection Saint-Joseph “Offerus,” Rhône 2007 ($29), a softer and more aromatic Syrah.
Oscar Night Dinner Menu
Indian Or Pita Bread
And here are the nominees. Tell me, who are your favorites?