Bagels & Ballet

Two weekends ago Peter and I invited my parents and grandmother to see a performance of the New York City Ballet as a belated Christmas gift.  The program was fantastic.  This winter the company celebrated Tschaikovsky with a few weeks of programming set exclusively to Tschaikovsky's scores.  On the day we went, we saw Swan Lake (the one act version choreographed by Balanchine), Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 and Allegro Brillante.  The latter featured our friend Tiler, who told us that Balanchine once said that the piece was "everything he knew about classical ballet in thirteen minutes."  The piece was so full of energy and its impossible not to love anything that Tiler dances in.

The ballet was at 3pm so we invited my family, who drove in from Connecticut, to breakfast at noon.  We had engagements all throughout that weekend (including our anniversary!), so I wanted to keep the menu very easy and the clean up minimal.  We went for the classic New York City Sunday morning meal: bagels, cream cheese and lox with all the fixings.  All from the Lower East Side's belved bagel shop, Russ & Daughters. 

I wanted the table to feel elegant but casual, so I kept the china in the cupboard and instead repurposed mismatching kitchen items as serving ware.  I love our Staub dutch oven (6 qt.), which we use for everything, including serving bagels as you see here.  I used a mini Le Creuset baking dish (orange) to serve the vegetable cream cheese and a teal Le Creuset mortar (sans pestle) for the plain cream cheese.  I lined a mini Mauviel copper pan with wax paper from Russ & Daughters and used it to serve the salmon (I didnt want the copper and the Salmon to have a chemical reaction).  And I set either end of the table with mismatching vintage ceramic plates, one with tomatoes & onions (save a whole tomato for decoration!) and the other with a fruit salad.  I set the table with our everyday ceramicware but added our linen monogrammed napkins, pressed and tied with twine. 

 We set the end of the table with a tray for mimosas, an essential to any brunch party.  Along with prosecco, we served fresh squeezed orange juice and Cipriani bellini mix.


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend full of nachos, guacamole and superbowl fare!  I don't know about you but I'm hoping to sleep a little.



How-to Russ & Daughters:  Walk in and take a ticket from the ticket dispenser at the front counter (left hand side).  Look up at the electronic ticket counter all the way in the back, lit up in red.  The ticket counter is at 10?  Your number is 127?  Typical for a weekend morning.  The best time to go is around 4pm when the wait is typically 20 minutes or less (for this occasion, I went at 4pm the day before).  When your ticket is called, put your arm up and let them know that you yes you are number 127 (before they quickly assume no one is there and call number 128). And on the subject of tickets: don't miss your ticket being called because you're out for a walk or you'll have to start all over.  My favorite: everything bagel extra toasted with plain cream cheese, thin sliced Scottish Salmon and all the fixings (tomatoes, onions & capers).  The coffee is delicious but if you ask for sugar, beware.  They put way too much in.  Coffee is served on the right hand counter and paid for in cash since the credit card minimum is $10 and they wont let you wait for the hour it will take to make and ring up your bagel.