7 Restaurant-Worthy Recipes For Your Next Cocktail Party
Who hosts a cocktail party when they’re only weeks away from opening a third business? Partners and best friends, Sarah Keenlyside and Brandon Olsen, that’s who. La Banane, their first restaurant, was an instant hit with Toronto diners for its modernized French menu and sumptuous design. Jewel-like confections from their shop CXBO Chocolates fly out the door of the Kensington Market storefront. The third, Man Ray Bar à Vin, will be a luxe fondue bar showcasing their passion for both food and art.
Truth be told, tonight’s gathering is a kind of test-drive, with friends coming over to sample cocktails and bites that will end up on Man Ray’s menu.
“I’m most relaxed when I’m around my friends,” says Sarah. Adds Brandon: “I don’t know how to relax. For me, relaxing is making sure the food is perfect.”
“We both believe the environment is just as important as what’s on the plate,” says Sarah. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Brandon is pitching in chef skills with what’s on the menu.
Mulled Wine Punch
Brandy, port and spices add a delicious depth to this warm and wintry punch.
Get the recipe for Mulled Wine Punch.
Frying these shrimp mousse brioche sandwiches in clarified butter makes them irresistibly decadent.
Get the recipe for Shrimp Toasts.
Seared Scallops & Artichokes
Preserved lemon adds zip to balance the richness of this hors d’oeuvre.
Get the recipe for Seared Scallops & Artichokes.
Seared Duck With Prune & Endive
Keeping the elements separate allows guests to create their own perfect bites.
Get the recipe for Seared Duck With Prune & Endive.
Cheese Fondue With Fried Bread
Frying bread creates crunchy croutons to dip, but it’s nice to add variety with fruit, radishes and boiled potatoes.
Get the recipe for Cheese Fondue With Fried Bread.
Banana “Corks” With Chocolate Fondue
The cakelets created by using bouchon moulds are just right for dipping.
Get the recipe for Banana “Corks” With Chocolate Fondue.
French 227 Cocktail
This champagne and gin sipper is a playful spin on the classic French 75, using Man Ray’s street address.
Get the recipe for the French 227 Cocktail.
H&H style director Kimberley Brown and Paul Di Palma enjoy cocktails and a laugh.
Sarah’s colorful, art-filled Kensington Market loft makes a perfect backdrop for her preferred style of casual entertaining.