Happy Birthday, Andy Yu! Some of the best gatherings are those spent with friends celebrating special occasions.
Over the weekend, I attended a birthday luncheon for designer Andy Yu. Chef and restaurateur, David Burke, prepared a wonderful menu for 10. It included “clothesline” bacon and pastrami salmon, popovers, dressed oysters, lobster dumplings, burrata salad, tuna and salmon tartare, halibut t-bone, and several delectable desserts. I also made a delicious lemon and Armagnac pound cake for the party. It was a wonderful feast and a most delightful celebration.
Enjoy these photos.
Here I am with Chef David Burke and the guest of honor, Andy Yu. The party was held at Andy’s home, not far from my Bedford, New York farm. Andy designed his festive jacket.
There were lots of red decorations in observance of the Chinese New Year, which started less than a week earlier on January 22nd. This year is the Year of the Rabbit. Red is the color of good fortune.
There was a menu at each place setting – everything listed looked delicious.
… And each guest received several gifts, including this Reinstein Ross freshwater pearl.
We started with “clothesline” bacon served with black pepper maple glaze, pickle, and lemon.
There was also a pastrami salmon “clothesline” served with cornbread.
David also made giant popovers – served warm to the touch…
… with sweet butter.
These are dressed oysters – East Coast oysters with baby shrimp, ginger, and pickled vegetables, served on a brick of pink Himalayan salt.
We also enjoyed burrata salad as the appetizer with apples, acorn squash, kale, with a miso cider vinaigrette dressing. If you’ve never had burrata cheese, it is an Italian cow’s milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream formed into a thin pouch and then filled with soft, stringy curd and cream called stracciatella.
This is tuna and salmon tartare – with avocado, shaved vegetable salad, and gaufrettes – small crispy, potato wafers cut like waffles.
The main course was halibut t-bone with artichoke purée, tiny ratatouille vinaigrette, and kalamata olives.
Here is a lovely photo of my friend, Dominique Bluhdorn, and Andy.
For dessert, we enjoyed an Original David Burke Cake-top Tree with bubble gum whipped cream and cotton candy.
Also on the menu – Tin Can Cake with chocolate sauce, Heath Bar crunch, caramel anglaise, vanilla gelato, and whipped cream. It was devoured.
I made this cake earlier in the morning. It is a dense pound cake scented with lemon and Armagnac – a distinctive brandy produced in the Armagnac region in Gascony in southwest France. I also covered it with a sugar-butter Armagnac glaze.
Another guest, Amy Wayne, brought these fun cookies shaped like Chinese New Year lanterns. Amy found the cookie cutter and had the cookies made locally at Bedford Village Bakery.
Andy and Amy stopped for this snapshot. The jacket Amy is wearing was also a gift to Andy. She embellished a denim jacket with a flower on the front…
… And “It Had to be Yu” decals on the back – a take on the old classic song, “It Had to Be You” composed by Isham Jones, with lyrics by Gus Kahn in 1924. It fits Andy perfectly.
It was a wonderful luncheon on a mild and pleasant winter’s day. In this photo, Andy is joined by Nicole Russo Steinthal, Andy’s husband Dr. Evan Goldstein, Brooke Vogell, Angelina Lipman, myself, Dominique, Anni de Saint Phalle, and Melissa Tolin. Thanks for inviting me to the party, Andy!