Monday, November 10, 2008

Meet the Wedding Guests Luncheon at Payards

Here comes the bride!

Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

"Jack you haven't RSVPed," the voice on the other end of the line said. Ohh! Oh, I thought, what have I not done now as I cast a nervous glance at a growing pile of untouched mail? "You should have received your invitation weeks ago, Donna scolded. "

"What's the date, where is it, I'll be there," I shot back. "Blaike (her youngest daughter) and I are having a luncheon for Capron, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce you guys (meaning her college buddies) to friends of the family, that way you'll know each other at the wedding and I won't have to make endless introductions."

Leave it to Donna to think of everything I said to myself as I hung up. She was always "the boss," the leader of my college posse, my dearest friends from first semester freshman year. I smiled and considered how very lucky I have been to have these incredible women in my life, and now their kids are getting married! While a few sons have walked down the aisle, this event was particularly exciting because Capron was the first "daughter" to go. You know how it is when "Moms" are planning weddings.

Payard, the grand dame of French Patisserie's on the Upper East Side with an upstairs designed to accommodate private parties, was the perfect venue for the luncheon. Elegant wood paneled and subdued mustard yellow walls with large gilt framed mirrors create an image in one's mind of rich chocolate pudding and swirling lemon custard long before dessert arrives. The anticipation of things to come gives the place a lightness and gaity that belongs uniquely to Payard.

The menu was the perfect conversation starter, everyone chose something different so we could all have a taste of almost everything. Among the selected appertizers were a thick rich and creamy butternut squash and chestnut soup, crab, smoked quinoa and wild mushroom broth, and our absolute favorite choice, the duck terrine with pistachios and walnuts. Ahh! For the main course, a sublime risotto with smoked salmon, warm chicken salad with seasoned greens and shallot herb dressing, and a delictible cobb salad with chunks of avocado, dried grape tomatoes and lush roquefort cheese, all received high praise.

When several waiters arrived carrying silver platters of what Payard is best known for, our lively chatter ended as we ohh'd and ahh'd over the tempting desserts. A momentary hush settled over the table as we considered our choices: fruit tarts in luscious cream, a deep dark chocolate mousse, warm chocolate gateau with marshmallows, pumpkin custard, meringue, lemon tart, a goat cheesecake napolean, truffles, and an assortment of macarons. They were just too perfect to touch. Is there any doubt we did?

To keep our collective sweet tooths in check and sample as many as possible, we split desserts in half. But not the macarons, (one tiny lemon macaron was especially memorable). Nothing like sharing desserts to cement new friendships; I look forward to seeing them all again at Capron's wedding in January.

Donna, Blaike good show! Thank you.

Best wishes Capron and Matt for a long and rewarding life as you begin your journey together.

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York

P.S. If you call now, you may secure a table during the busy hectic Christmas season.

Address to Remember: Payard Patisserie and Bistro, 1032 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10021, 212-717-5252,

Directions: From Times Square, MTA S or 7 to Grand Central Station, 6 to 68th St., walk north to 1032 Lexington between 72nd and 73rd.

    Photo by Joseph Knight

    ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

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