Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!
I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
Thankfully, under the watchful eyes of the Scotch Gods, this year’s Burns supper celebration was scheduled a week after the big nor’easter blizzard. The intimate black tie affair for 45 was held at the quaint and charming Resto. Its the perfect combination of rustic European hunting lodge paired with big hearty New York vibes. As our bagpiper greeted the well heeled guests, we hoped they were transported to a little inn somewhere in the Scottish highlands.
In keeping with the intimate theme, everyone was seated at one long L-shaped table, complete with tartan trimmings and a selection of whisky. This year’s selection combined some from the old world, new world and the far east. The highlight being the beautifully bottled Hibiki 12 year by Suntory Japan. No surprise here given its popularity and numerous awards – Hibiki is smooth on the palette with hints of marmalade and warm almond notes.
Our feast started off bold with big shared platters of chicken liver toasts and deviled eggs. Perfect to absorb the first few gulps and to give a ‘toast’ to the cheeky devil himself – Rabbie Burns.
Just prior to the huge platters of the main course called for us to pay our proper respects – To A Haggis. We then followed the bagpiping procession outside where the real theatrics happened. A bit of fire breathing performance art to kick off the main course felt truly magical! Highly recommend it – it will give your dinner the extra oomph and pizzazz (not to mention lots of social media worth snaps!). Just don’t try fire breathing yourself, leave it to the pros kids!
Dinner highlights included the perfectly charred beer braised steaks, addictive fries and bold kale salad. The lively conversations and barrels of laughter signaled that the feast was indeed in full swing. Guests helped themselves with more whisky and second-third helpings of beef and haggis, while a few brave gents attempted their best Scottish accents and read excerpts from Robert Burns’ famous poems. This was the ultimate ‘Dead Poets Society’ meeting if ever there was one.
The final (drunken inaudible) rendition of Auld Lang Syne reminded us of the timelessness of Robert Burns. Even though the lothario himself never lived to see his 40th birthday, looking at his portrait, his smirk and twinkle in his eyes hint at a sense of modern familiarity. Playboy, nature lover, bon vivant, man about town, incredible story teller… As our guests started peeling themselves away from the table, we headed off into the next phase of the night, continuing the ruckus merriment, each of us carrying with us a bit of the Rabbie Burns spirit into the cold New York night…