Originally appeared on The Scout Guide Alexandria
SOCIETY FAIR is dedicated to food, and I am dedicated to SOCIETY FAIR.
When my husband(!) and I were planning our wedding and wedding-related activities for the weekend, our main priorities were for each event to be held in our beloved neighborhood of Old Town and at a location that was meaningful to us, to be laid back, conducive to our guests mingling and visiting with each other, and we wanted to serve great food and drinks. After deliberating for about…oh, one second, we both knew we had to host our Friday evening Welcome Dinner at SOCIETY FAIR.
SOCIETY FAIR is basically our Cheers after all. For years, SOCIETY FAIR has been where we take the kids for lunch after church on Sunday, one of us will pick up prepared entrees and side items from the Market to feed us throughout the week, it’s where we meet friends for coffee, lunch, or dinner, I’ll often work from there, and when I need to grab a quick hostess or teacher appreciation gift, I duck in, because I know the Market will always have the perfect bottle of wine or sweet treat for me. Luckily, the Bistro and attached Atrium were available and thus ours for the evening.
The staff at SOCIETY FAIR, already knowing us quite well, immediately placed us in touch with Annee Gillett, Eat Good Food Group’s Director of Events and Fairy Godmother for SOCIETY FAIR, RESTAURANT EVE, PX and EAMMON’S, to start planning the perfect evening for us. When I told her we refused to put together a seating chart for any one of our events, Annee immediately grasped the vibe we were going for and worked with the chef to customize a dinner menu for us.
Our guests were greeted at the door with their choice of our favorite cocktail, a perfect Manhattan, or a Boozy Hibiscus Lemonade. Justin Owens, The Fair’s Resident Butcher and Curd Nerd, curated one of his Signature Crostini Bars which included assorted cured meats and local cheeses, Pate de Campagne, house made jam, French ancient grain mustard, cornichons, olive tapenade, sweet and spicy pecans, crab dip and at my request, lots and lots of pimento cheese served on crostini, sliced baguette and lavosh.
For our passed Hors d’oeuvres, we traded in traditional beef tenderloin with aioli for Filipino Pork Belly Skewers and Crab Cakes with Remoulade.
To accommodate the size of our party, the Atrium was sectioned with screens and palm trees and decorated with couches and brightly colored cushions for more lounging and mingling by our guests–or pillow fights for those who were supposed to be dining at the kids’ table enjoying our kids’ favorites–tomato soup, Tilamook cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries and fresh fruit. Knowing most kids, including ours, would need to get home and go to bed following dinner, they were treated to their own tier of individual cakes iced in SOCIETY FAIR’S signature pink and turquoise.
After my husband’s siblings properly feted us, the grown-ups then feasted on Chef Larry’s double fried buttermilk chicken and mashed potatoes, shrimp and grits, Gumbo Louisiane, summer corn salad and tomato and basil salad. Figuring it was too late to gain or lose anymore weight for the wedding at that point, we both happily dug in!
Our guests then enjoyed our favorite desserts of Cajun brownies, lemon bars and marbled Circus cake while continuing to settle in at the Wine Bar in the Bistro for the night.
I think our guests had fun. I know we sure did, and we were able to rest easily that night knowing all had been perfectly sated by our favorite, good eats from our second kitchen in the neighborhood.
I hope to see YOU at THE FAIR soon!
In life’s most joyful moments and in the darkest of hours and seemingly impossible circumstances, there is grace. Abundant grace always abounds if you allow yourself to see it. This I know, and these are my lessons in grace.
Read about what came before Sweetness Follows at TeamKennett.com.