Food and drink: Buffet stations featured savory bites such as duck empanadas and salmon and avocado sushi rolls. The tandoori-chicken skewers were a bit dry and missable, but we couldn’t resist eating one or two—or three—Cubanitos, bite-size sandwiches of ham, pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles between two warm pieces of Cuban bread. Desserts included bricks of fudge (which melted) and trays of sweets and tartlets, such as miniature lemon-meringue pies (which were delicious). If you were willing to wait in line, a trip to the fully stocked open bar was rewarded with a glass of wine or the drink du jour aptly named Power Drink, a zingy concoction of Cointreau, orange juice, sour mix, and Red Bull.
Scene: Crowds braved the downpours Saturday evening for a chance to eat, drink, and mingle amid Richard Avedon’s “Portraits of Power” exhibit. The main hall, which housed most of the action, was simply decorated—spotlights on the columns were the most dramatic things we saw. With only a few tables and chairs peppered throughout, there was plenty of room for mingling and dancing. Upstairs and downstairs were velvet-roped VIP sections, where guests with red bracelets could enjoy less-crowded bars, a glass of Champagne, and a few couches and tables. By 10, the DJ was finally successful in drawing a crowd to the dance floor—there’s nothing like “Shoop” and “Mo Money Mo Problems” to get a crowd of twenty- and thirtysomethings moving. When we left at 11:30, Zipcars decorated with flashing LED lights were idling outside, ready to take VIP-ticket holders to the after-party at the St. Regis hotel.
Ratings (see our ratings explanation here):
Boldface names: 1 out of 5
Swankiness: 2 out of 5
Food and drink: 2 out of 5
Overall exclusivity: 2 out of 5
Total score: 7 out of 20
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