Who are you wearing? While Oscar night means dress stress for Hollywood stars, you get to watch them parade down the red carpet from the comfort of your own home. This Sunday, take a cue from the laid-back, oceanside character of Southern California and get your close friends together for a casual viewing party.
Inspired by the sun and sand of Los Angeles, we’ve put together some easy décor ideas to guide you when setting the table. We then tasked Michael McCarty, the man behind Michael’s Santa Monica and Michael’s New York, and the author of Welcome to Michael’s to coordinate a menu with fresh-from-the-ocean favorites fit for a cocktail party, along with a couple of refreshing drinks that will have you California Dreamin’ in no time.
Set the table with a plain white linen or canvas cloth — remember, the look is relaxed, so no need to iron out minor wrinkles. To serve the food, use rustic wooden and earthenware dishes; line a wide, shallow basket with two napkins to serve the shrimp.
To dress up ordinary hurricane candles, fill the bottom with an inch or two of sand before nestling the pillar candle inside. A scattering of seashells and tumbled sea glass along the serving platters completes the look.
A seasonal variation on a classic cocktail.
A new alternative to a margarita made with grapefruit juice and a complex, herbal and fruit flower-infused Italian liqueur.
Shrimp are an ideal cocktail party food; these fried shrimp are excellent dipped in either an aioli or ponzu sauce.
Bacon. Clams. Roasted garlic. Need we say more?
Home-cured gravlax is not hard to do, and delicious served on brioche toast points — it also pairs quite well with the mimosas.
When serving a crowd, opt to serve the tartar on one plate with the broth on the side in a pitcher. Supply guests with small bowls or spoons with which they can compose a serving to suit their tastes.