Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review: The New City Grille is Open for Private Dinner Parties

Just last week I was invited to the New City Grille for a dinner party and the invitation confused me, as they aren't open for dinner. Come to find out, our dinner party was a private event that included a hand-printed menu, a delectable cake made for the event and drinks by an outdoor fire pit following dessert. Lucky for our party and diners seeking a different and unique experience, Thierry Oppenheimer caters private dinner parties in her restaurant, at a very affordable price.

Our dinner party began with appetizers and wine in what normally serves as the smallest of three dining rooms in the restaurant. The party started with a chic spread of wine, Pellegrino, cheese, crackers, olives and prosciutto with melon, served by a very professional wait staff.

Following the appetizers we were seated at a dining table that ran the entire length of the restaurant and sat more than 20 people. At each place setting was a 35 card with the evening's meal written out, a classy touch that is the norm for wedding receptions. The table setting was simple yet elegant done in all white and silver, with small votive candles functioning as the main source of light.

Much like dinners served in Europe, the main course was served first, a light and delicious seafood lasagna, one of Theirry's specialties. The second course was a Greek salad served with very light vinaigrette, a perfect cleanser for the palate following fish. After clearing the salad plates, small glasses filled with caramel popcorn were placed every two people and orders for tea or coffee were taken, I opted to stick with my wine.

Before opening her "down town" restaurant, Thierry enjoyed a successful career as a professional baker, a job that led her across the United States and Europe. I first met Thierry at a cover shoot for El Paso Magazine where we featured one of her four tiered wedding cakes, certainly one of our most beautiful covers. Upon returning to El Paso after a long stint away, Thierry continued to make cakes and opened up the New City Grille south of Paisano. The New City Grille is home to delicious lunches and a very packed house.

Luckily for our party, Thierry baked one of her gorgeous cakes for dessert, which she showed to each guest, earning her a round of applause before the slicing and plating. The cake was a light and tart lemon cake with a lavender icing, an ideal compliment to the evening's fare.

After dessert the party was escorted outside to the patio where chairs were set up around a fire, already burning bright, where guests finished their wine and coffee before heading home.

The New City Grille is a perfect location for a private party (no more than 40) for you and your closest friends or colleagues. The dining area is intimate and the staff is friendly and very much a part of the evening's festivities. Pricing varies based on the meal and dessert and you can call Thierry (pronounced Terry) for a quote at 915.474.7777.

Living up to it's down town description, it's hard to fathom such a unique and intimate dining experience only blocks from the Santa Fe Bridge, in such a remote section of Downtown El Paso. Give it a try for your next private party, as the atmosphere cannot be matched and the food is divine.

New City Grille
504 S. Main Street @ Third Ave.
El Paso, TX 79901

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