In New York on Oscar Sunday, the red carpet will be more than a runway for hopefuls in borrowed gowns and glitter. Chef Daniel Boulud will host a special dinner and viewing of the awards show for the east coast Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at his Restaurant Daniel. The signature drink, a moired pomegranate-colored cocktail with an ice cube ball featuring a mini gold statue of that hunk of an award, is called Red Carpet: pear-infused vodka and Saint Germain, an elderflower liqueur, topped with Champagne.
With the ultimate in Gallic grace, Boulud explained his party raison d'etre: I envy Wolfgang in Los Angeles, so we are celebrating here in New York. He and the Daniel staff worked hard to create canapes that correspond with the films:
For Amour -- "You know we are French!" -- he created Pomme d'Amour -- a red glazed "tomato" shaped duck pate. "Yes, we like foreign films," so for A Royal Affair, a Danish movie, smoked sturgeon, with caraway and aquavit will be served. For No from Chile, bay scallop ceviche; for Life of Pi, tiger shrimp with samosa; for Kon-Tiki, a Polynesian journey, barbecued mahi mahi pops. For Les Miserables, Pain Surprise: four kinds of sandwiches set in the hollowed-out boule.
The main course is a trio of salmons: poached, roe and tartar, and a duo of beef: and, the "piece de resistance:" braised short rib with horseradish and rutabaga, and roasted ribs. All will be choreographed with what is going on in LA.
As with who gets the Oscar, the choices at Daniel are difficult. For Argo: What do they eat in Iran? Not piles of caviar? Ah, maybe the rice, but the best basmati is prepared by a friend in Greenwich. "I adored Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook and thought to honor him with a Nobu-themed hors d'oeuvre. But it just didn't work out." And much as he loved the movie, the Philadelphia Italian fare cooked up for Sunday dinner sports viewing, regional crabby cakes and homemades, just didn't make the cut.
What's the difference between the West and East coast academy's celebrations? Said East Coast Academy Director Patrick Harrison: "We are not getting awards, or giving speeches. We are not nervous, just having a great meal with friends."
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.