February 2011

The Austonian

Texas’ tallest residential building, The Austonian, and the award winning Laura Britt Design welcomed guests to a special New Year Happy Hour with a view on the downtown high-rise’s 41st floor. Held in the recently completed model unit designed by Laura Britt Design, guests explored the exquisite interior with the Austin skyline as a backdrop, while enjoying wine and the low key tunes. Chef Brian Trumbull of McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant prepared a delicious selection of hors d’oeuvres for the evening and was on hand to answer any dining queries.

Jack & Carla McDonald’s Holiday Party at the “Stork Club”

It was without a doubt the party of the year, as Jack and Carla McDonald recreated the famous Stork Club, which was the place to be in New York City in the 1940s and 50s. In seeking a “glamorous, fun, and retro” theme, she came across an article by Dorothy Killgallen about all the people who held court at the Stork Club. Think Frank Sinatra, the Kennedys, and Marilyn Monroe. For the food, she enlisted Word of Mouth to develop a menu inspired by the original recipes of the club, like the Walter Winchell Burger and Crab Louie, from a Stork Club cookbook she found on eBay. The Mandarin Flower Company created the décor with red roses throughout the McDonalds’ glam Westlake home. The 200 guests sipped on Stork Club cocktails (gin, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, orange juice, and a dash of bitters), as Kevin Ahart and his band played holiday classics.

Four Seasons Paint Party

Four Seasons Hotel invited the city’s movers and shakers to kick-off the redesign of its Lobby area with a Paint Party at the Hotel. When not scribbling and adding their personalized graffiti to the walls, guests enjoyed color wheel cocktails, representing the warm color tones in the new Lobby, and delicious appetizers presented on artist palettes by banquet servers garbed in painter attire. Donations will benefit the Seton Shivers Cancer Center.

Giving City Austin's Givers Ball

GivingCity Austin celebrated the area’s young professionals who give back with their second annual Givers Ball. Hosted by the Austin Community Foundation, the ball was held at El Sol y La Luna on Red River. The young professional groups in attendance included Austin Involved, Austin Junior Chamber, The Long Center’s Catalyst 8, LifeWorks’ LEAP, and the Association of Women in Communications, among others. GivingCity is a web-based guide to doing good in Austin offering actionable community content with the goal of connecting more Central Texans to philanthropy and improving communication and collaboration across the community. For more information, visit givingcityaustin.com.

Last Look

Pamela Colloff, Chad Nichols & Jake's Little City

When Little City opened in 1993, Congress Avenue was lined with empty storefronts, vacant lots, and businesses that closed by five. Downtown was dead. Most Austin coffeehouses—Quackenbush’s, Les Amis—were less about the coffee than about hanging out. The proliferation of Starbucks was still a few years off, and a decent shot of espresso was rare.

Little City was different. I wandered in for the first time in 1994, when I moved to Austin, and it felt like home. It stayed open until midnight, and it drew an artsy crowd. In 1996, when friends of mine wrote a radio play called The Intergalactic Nemesis—which recently enjoyed a successful run at the Long Center—it was first performed at Little City, in installments we watched on Sunday afternoons over steaming lattes.

Soleil

Like Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1988 blockbuster Twins, The Oasis restaurant and its new sibling, Soleil, couldn’t be more different. The Oasis is DeVito: rumpled, rowdy, and a little tacky. Soleil is Schwarzenegger: calm, cool, and sophisticated. Yet they share the same stunning views over Lake Travis—and the same parent.

Eat, Drink & Be Married!

Author, Camille Styles is the owner of Camille Styles Events.

She's been planning for months... organizing every detail to make her wedding the fairytale of her dreams. Now that the big day has arrived, why not treat your bride-to-be friend to a good old-fashioned Southern brunch surrounded by all the important ladies in her life? Here, we’ll share a few insider tips from a bridal brunch we recently planned, with advice on how to do it up right and set a tone for the rest of the day that’s full of laughter and love.

Gilda Grace

Housed on 35th Street in the building that was once the beloved Gardens nursery, Gilda Grace is gracing Austinites with elegant offerings in fashion, gifts, and home accents. Originally from Nigeria, the boutique’s owner, Nere Emiko, draws from her travels around the globe, incorporating her finds into the store’s unique collection, making it truly one-of-a-kind.

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