Friends that slay together stay together. Not seeing family for Thanksgiving this year? Well, that’s why Friendsgiving was created. We have been lucky to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and Friendsgiving with friends. We hosted Friendsgiving in our NYC apartments for the past 5 years. Rising cases of Covid-19 make Friendsgiving more challenging this year. We had dinner at Bottino in September and thought Bottino’s Pool Room would be the perfect location for a small Friendsgiving. We are excited to share our tips on how to safely host Friendsgiving in NYC during Covid-19.
How to Host Friendsgiving in NYC during Covid-19?
So how can you host Friendsgiving in NYC during Covid-19? We don’t recommend a Friendsgiving at home, unless you can host it outdoors or request guests to take a COVID-19 test. We hosted a Bee Friendly Friendsgiving outdoors in October. This dinner was so early that we had to be creative with our menu because no traditional Thanksgiving ingredients were available.
Another option is to find a restaurant with a heated outdoor space or a room adjacent to a garden or outdoor patio. Bottino’s Pool Room is perfect for Friendsgiving. It is located next to the garden and you get the benefits of indoor warmth and outdoor steady air flow. You can also ask your guests to take Covid-19 tests and share negative results before the group dinner. You want to make sure you host the best Friendsgiving, which means keeping your guests safe too.
How to Decorate the Dining Table for Friendsgiving in NYC?
Bottino has crisp white linens and white tableware. We recommend adding fall flowers and small pumpkins for a festive look. We created this beautiful autumn centerpiece with a layer of eucalyptus, Myrtle leaves and variegated pittosporum. Next we used a variety of bud vases and placed purple, yellow and orange calla lilies. We also added some small pumpkins because we wanted to have a gourd time with our friends.
The Friendsgiving Guest List
Aren’t our girlfriends gourdgeous? Keep your guest list small. As the host, you will be able to spend more time with your friends. We limited the party to 10 guests, which is actually now limit of gatherings in NYC as of November 11, 2020.
Our Friendsgiving Menu
We worked with Danny Emerman and Chef Jamie Kenyon to create a delicious Friendsgiving menu.
Start Meal with Aperitivo
Our meal began with an Aperitivo. An Aperitivo is a pre-meal drink meant to whet your appetite.
When guests arrived, they had their choice of 3 Aperitivo: Sparkling Rosé, Margarita Picantina and the Bottino Spritz. The Austrian Sparkling Rosé has delicate berry and cherry aroma and pairs nicely with Italian appetizers. You can stop and smell the Rosé. The Margarita Picantina is made with chili-infused Patron. Take life with a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a really big margarita. The Bottino Spritz is also a light sparkling cocktail with grapefruit. We were in a Spritzy state of mind.
Friendsgiving Appetizers, Entrees and Dessert
The appetizers for the table included arancini balls and crostini with ricotta and honey. The arancini balls are rice balls mixed with cheese and coated in bread crumbs and lightly fried with a sprinkle of parmesan. They were delicious. The crostini was creamy and the fresh figs and honey gave it a fall feel.
Our next course was Apple and Butter Lettuce Salad with Pomegranate, Walnuts and Stilton Cheese.
Entrees included Pan Roasted Chicken, Capelletti Con Zucca and Branzino. The Chicken paired nicely with the parsnips, the house made stuffed pasta with squash and mascarpone was creamy and delicious and the fish was perfectly roasted and served with fingerlings and broccoli rabe. We shared the fish and pasta, and they were both delicious. The house made pasta was our favorite. Guests had their choice of a Grenache or Pinot Bianco.
For dessert, we had a choice of Biscotti, Bread Pudding and Pears Poached.
Feast your eyes on this squad. If you aren’t going home for Thanksgiving or looking for ways to host a small Friendsgiving, check out the Pool Room at Bottino. You’ll be having a gourd time with your friends.
Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!Amanda Bradley