I am constantly amazed by Suzy’s and my absolute good fortune in being able to devote our time and energies to developing relationships with incredible Italian artisans in sectors that span food, wine, Italian culture and beyond. And I often remark that “I don’t deserve this” – meaning that I’m not particularly distinguished or expert in anything having to do with Italy yet I constantly fall into situations where I get to rub elbows with some truly remarkable Italians – and am able to share them with our friends and customers.
I am truly overwhelmed by an opportunity that came my way recently that I want to share with you. Recently a friend and customer of ours asked if I had heard of an Italian violin virtuoso named Luca Ciarla, whom she had come across at some point during her travels. I confessed I had not and she suggested I contact him, believing we would hit it off. I did a little googling and found some videos of Luca in concert. I was hooked, literally overwhelmed by his talent and creativity and so I immediately reached out to him by email. A few emails and phone calls later, he and I were finalizing plans for an art exhibition for late August in our Galleria that would feature the works of a contemporary Italian artist named Keziat, with whom Luca often collaborates in a multimedia, interdisciplinary way. Luca offered to give a brief performance – “Music for the Eyes” – at Keziat’s opening reception and he suggested that we organize a dinner where he and Keziat would be our special guests and Luca would perform a private mini-concert for our dinner guests. To say I was blown away by the thought of such a one-of-a-kind experience would be a gross understatement.
I brought this opportunity to our executive chef Liam LaCivita who was intrigued by the idea of preparing a special menu for an “Artists at the Chef’s Table” dinner. Liam checked out Luca’s concert performances online but was even more moved when he visited Keziat’s website and saw her hauntingly beautiful work. He then set out to create not just a dinner, but to use the table as a canvas, painting a seven course menu that was inspired by Keziat’s art. The result is our Artists at the Chef’s Table dinner on Friday, August 30. As with all of our Chef’s Table dinners, seating is limited.
I want you to be there.
Yes, I want you to join me at this dinner. I know it’s not cheap. Tickets are $125 and non-refundable, but this is the type of “I don’t deserve this” experience that I want to share with you. This sort of thing – an incredible art exhibit, the chance to spend time with the artist in the gallery and over dinner, a private performance by Luca and an inspired menu from Liam – is what makes what Suzy and I do truly special.
You can purchase your tickets online or call the store (202.333.3904). Or just reply to me by email. If you can’t make it I would still appreciate it if you would not only spread the word, but urge your friends not to miss this opportunity. Let them know, too, that Keziat and Luca will be at a special reception for the opening of Keziat’s Introspective exhibition on Thursday (August 30). Admission is free but tickets are required for any of the three separate hour-long timed receptions at 6:00pm, 7:15pm and 8:30pm. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served.
I thank you for taking the time to hear me out and look forward to seeing you on Friday.
Bill and Suzy