Holiday Festivities Begin!

Even though it was near the end of November, Eleanor and Fred Goldberg held their annual Halloween Party at their home in Alia last week. Halloween has always been Eleanor’s favorite holiday, and she has more decorations than Caulfield’s! The house in Alia was decorated to a fare-thee-well. That is Eleanor’s forte and Fred shrugs his shoulder, grins and lets her have her way. (He may grouse, but he secretly enjoys it!)

It is a party for all ages. The children retreat to the lower level for all sorts of games and treats. The “big kids” stay upstairs to chat and visit over cocktails and a buffet dinner of smoked shrimp, rare tenderloin, smoked salmon, healthy veggies, and divine desserts, especially the golf ball size cake “lollipops” with different flavored coatings and centers.

Kate and Jack Underwood; Jan and John Goldberg and their girls, Lily and Lauren, and Jan’s parents Ted and Fran West; Char Verdi; Louis Waterman and his family; Libby and Don Parkinson; and Mary Margaret Phelps and son Bill were there. Also M.M.’s daughter Melanie McCool and her husband Steve were there with their son Brandt and his fiancée Eve. They will be married in May in Chicago.

BUTCHERTOWN GROCERY

Back in February 2015, chef extraordinaire Bobby Benjamin announced plans for his latest concept – Butchertown Grocery. This was just after he announced he was leaving his relationship with Louisville-based restaurant-management company Falls City Hospitality Group, the operators of Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar in Louisville and Union Common steakhouse in Nashville.

Butchertown Grocery had its grand opening on November 25, but the wildly successful “soft” opening events over the several weeks that preceded the official one could only forecast that Benjamin and his partners have a real winner.

From the beginning, the idea was to have guests come as casual as they felt like. The restaurant itself, which is on the first floor of the building, encourages any style of dress. The second floor is where early arrivers and those who drop in for a drink hang out in a real speakeasy atmosphere. There are no signs on the door, and once inside, there are heavy velvet draperies you step through into the dimly lit bar. A kitchen on the second floor serves bar food and charcuterie, but the main culinary attraction is downstairs.

For starters, try the linguine with wild mushrooms or the shaved Brussels sprout and apple salad with pecorino. For your main course the short ribs are really rich, but so is the hangar steak frites and the roasted chicken. The hamburger wasn’t being served the night I was there, but I understand it is worth going back for even if you have to stand in line. That said, save room for the chocolate pot de crème for desert. It is big enough to share, but you won’t want to.

THANKSGIVING

Amy and Herman Kessler entertained a house full of family and friends for Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Barbourmeade.

Cheryl and Herbert Redmon, Marge Harbst, her daughter Roz Carrothers and Roz’s daughter Lily, Marty Bybee and Leslie Broecker, Caroline and Chris Kessler – who was home from Dennison for the holiday – and Jackie Wacky Clark enjoyed a wonderful pot luck meal.

Always controversial for the seasonal meal are treatments of cranberries. Amy came up with a real winner. A bag of cranberries, cup and a half of sugar, half a cup of both bourbon and orange juice, some minced ginger, a cinnamon stick and an optional minced jalapeño. Boil until the berries pop and put in the fridge. VT