April 25, 2011

Mad Men 40th Birthday Party

A classic, manly, red meat and martini vibe felt like the right backdrop for our friend Richard's 40th birthday party. For the cigar aficionado, Amy customized match books and made all of her arrangements in an array of wooden cigar boxes. Keeping in theme, we did a martini bar, all shaken, not stirred (I'm suddenly a big fan of 'signature names' for 'signature cocktails'). I went traditional steak house with the menu, loving an excuse to serve iceberg wedges with buttermilk blue cheese dressing. And, instead of bananas foster or cherries jubilee, we did our own version of a theatrical dessert: individual tabletop roasted s'mores. We simply lined terra cotta pots with tin foil and filled them with hot charcoals. Seeing as how s'mores are my all-time favorite dessert, I'd call this a home run. And while I considered using fancy chocolate and homemade marshmallows, some things are best left in their original form, as a classic is a classic for good reason.
The Menu

martini bar

"the richard"
vodka, dirty sue premium olive juice, olive

vodka, apple liqueur, house sour

vodka, lemon twist


caprese crostini

artichoke, green olive, arugula, lemon crostini

lamb meatballs with minted yogurt dip


iceberg wedge with buttermilk blue cheese dressing & chives

family style

grilled flank steak
horseradish cream & chimichurri sauce

wilted spinach, wild mushrooms & green garlic

roasted truffled fingerling potatoes

grilled asparagus, lemon, parmigiano reggiano


roasted s'mores



OMG, Martinis this week?

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this menu!!! CC

Deirdre Zahl said...

So great!!!! Wish I could have been a guest!

Erin said...

This is "man" encapsulated. Classic, but updated. You had me at flank steak and grilled asparagus.

Sheila said...

Could you give specific instructions on creating the tabletop s'mores containers? That is such a wonderful idea since we live in an apartment and are unable to have a firepit. TIA! :-)
~ S

tiffany of camp1899 said...

love this idea for the tabletop s'mores! i'm going to try it this weekend.. did you use lighter fluid to get the charcoal going? and if so, did it affect the flavor of your marshmallows? thanks!

Anonymous said...

Whoa. I veritably never post on blogs but this just blew my mind. What a masterpiece!

Annie Campbell said...

Tiffany-We did use lighter fluid, and it did affect the taste a tiny bit...I haven't trouble shot that issue yet. It didn't interfere that much. Do you know of a lighter fluid or product that avoids the 'taste' factor?

happyfamily said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

In April 1996, Consumer Product Safety Commission revised the label on charcoal packaging to more explicitly warn consumers of the deadly CO gas that is released when charcoal is burned in a closed environment. The new label reads, "WARNING...CARBON MONOXIDE HAZARD...Burning charcoal inside can kill you. It gives off carbon monoxide, which has no odor. NEVER burn charcoal inside homes, vehicles or tents."

Beth K said...

I like the Match Light Charcoal -- it has virtually no odor, so doesn't effect the taste. I'm sure it's still harmful for you, though...

Kristin said...

May I ask where the match boxes were found?

Anonymous said...

Can you share where the match boxes were found or how they were made? This is a perfect idea for a guy party!

Anonymous said...

i'm really interested in the matchboxes and where they were sourced from! thanks so much...

Linzy said...

Hi! I love this!!! Where did you get those cigar boxes? I love them! I have looked all over but can find nothing as lovely! If you are willing to recycle I'd love to buy them from you?
You have wonderful style!!

Caroline said...

This entire blog has inspired me for my husbands 40th birthday coming up! Can you tell us where you got those personalized matchbooks and cigar boxes from?

Moe said...

Add me to the list of people interested in knowing from where the matches were sourced!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome dinner party. And, I love S'mores - so I don't mean to be a downer here but... Do this outdoors. Many people have died from burning charcoal indoors or in other confined spaces. Burning charcoal gives off carbon monoxide which in concentrations of as little as one part per thousand in the air in a confined space are fatal if inhaled over an extended period. The incomplete combustion of carbon produces carbon monoxide, which binds strongly to hemoglobin, rapidly decreasing the ability of blood to deliver oxygen to the body = hypoxia = death.

guinegag said...

First of all tell me dear; why you used here the ‘mad’ word in your theme of birthday party. I mean all is fantastically arranged here in best birthday party bar nyc, for celebrating your 40th birthday. So why did you say that?

Unknown said...

Everything about this event is CLASSIC!!! Very Well Done. I would be interested in the sourcing for the items (matchbox, skewers and cigar boxes). IF you would be will to share. Although it would be easier to hire you for my husbands 40th birthday party. We are in Texas.

Unknown said...

Ah! Where did you get those cigar boxes, if you don't mind sharing!

Dotty Giordano said...

Hi! Love the matchboxes. From where were they sourced? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

The term 'Mad Men' was coined in the late 1950's to describe the advertising executives of Madison Avenue.

There is also a TV show called Mad Men that is set in the '60's and follows a fictional advertising agency on Madison Avenue.

Unknown said...

You are an awesome blogger. This is one of the best blog I had visited so far. Hope to read more post from you in the future. Keep it up. God bless.


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