Living Entertaining:

Striking the Balance

Striking the alluring balance of simplicity and elegance is an an element I remain aware of in all aspects of my life–it’s the cornerstone of how I cook, design a space and choose to dress. I continually challenge myself to find things that are both rustic and delicate, simple yet complex. I search for these dualities in every composition, attempting to create a beautiful union of oppositions by playing with different textures, qualities, and, always a dose of restraint. This is what makes a dish memorable, a space intriguing, and the taste of a cocktail remain on the tip of your tongue.

It was with this in mind that I set off preparing for my second dinner party with Cointreau,  Chef John Adler & Franny’s. In sharp contrast to our previous soiree in Amagansett, the evening was held on the terrace of my Dumbo apartment, overlooking Brooklyn rooftops and the twinkling NYC skyline. One of my favorite parts about our Brooklyn home is the terrace and its stark design – concrete and rusted steel speak to this girls edgier side. To find that delicate balance and offset the severity of this space, I layered in string lights and soft candlelight with patterned aztec pillows from friend Kim Ficaro’s  collection for Canvas. Set against the lights of the Empire State building and the subtle movement of textural sea grass, everything felt like it was coming together for a truly swoonable evening. Although, I must admit – no matter what the occasion, as a hostess my nerves still get the best of me as I wait for my guests.

But, as everyone began to arrive the buzzies inside of me and angst about being sure everything came together seemed to melt away. After all, it is friends and like-minded counterparts who truly make a celebratory evening like this come to life.  Upon the first to arrive were long time friends Rebecca Minkoff and Mara Hoffman with their delicious husbands in tow (sadly my hubby was traveling in London and missed all the excitement). Fellow foodies, Brooklynites, swooners and bloggers like Danielle Kosann of The New Potato, Jessica Richards of Shen Beauty, photographer Abbey Drucker, Fiona Byrne of the The Byrne Notice, and Pari Ehsan of Pari Dust came together to clink glasses and indulge in Chef John’s spoonable spread. I did indeed want to expand my EyeSwoon world beyond close friends to editors and people I admire in the food space like Cherry Bombe Magazine creator Claudia Wu, Jewels of NY swooner Diana Yen, and (whoop whoop) Bon Appetit editor Belle Cushing – BA is a massive source of continued inspiration! My girl and wingman Jennifer Fisher arrived just in time for dinner followed by Bill Powers and Cynthia Rowley with cotton candy bouqutes in hand from Curious Candy – making my little guy incredibly happy!  I was also excited to talk food & fashion with the Lucky editorial team who in turn shared this event on

The night was truly dreamy, with one of my longtime goals coming to fruition in the most seamless way. As I indulged in Olive Oil Cake with Cointreau Zabiglone I became abundantly aware that it was all happening—everything I love (the central elements of EyeSwoon) coming together like a long-in-the-works ballet.

Dress – Karla Spetic for Moda Operandi | Shoes – Rebecca Minkoff

Photography by Winnie Au

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