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Belen and Bennett's Soiree, 1

To say this one was slightly over the top would be an understatement… but in an oh-so-delicious way. Aaron F. Belen and Bistro 82/Sabrage along with Chuck Bennett and The Social D hosted an exclusive private party, dubbed Soiree 1, that left guests wanting for nothing. Held in the sleekly-designed Sabrage lounge upstairs from Bistro 82 in Royal Oak, some 200 Metro Detroit A-listers showed up to get their party on.

There were buckets of chilled champagne – Perrier Jouet – topping the tables and lining the walls at every turn; a French-speaking model named Alex poured shots of Courvoisier in the men’s room (yes, in the men’s room); the deejay, Rodney Page, dazzled everyone as he walked the room, dynamically accompanying the tunes he played on the sound system with his electric violin. And Renee Godin’s gorgeous models in body-hugging cocktail attire were perfect hostesses.

The food, all French inspired dishes from Bistro 82, was amazing. A seafood station topped the massive aquarium – towers of oysters, jumbo shrimp and Alaskan king crab legs; lining the bar was a consistently replenished display of such delights as duck confit vol au vent, brandade croquettes, and curry crab salad with fingerling potato chips. There was also butler-passed prosciutto wrapped asparagus with a balsamic reduction, braised short rib spring rolls, squash bisque, deviled eggs, and root beer glazed lamb spare ribs.

The terrace held a special treat of its own – a huge ice sculpture etched with Sabrage on one end and Zim’s (the evening’s vodka of choice) on the other. A server was on hand pouring Zim’s through the ice sculpture allowing it to ooze out nicely chilled as it perfectly nestled itself into an awaiting pre-chilled stainless steel martini glass. And the pièce de résistance -- a colorful and plentiful assortment of fine caviar with traditional garnishes at the base of the ice sculpture.

Big shout outs to a few people whose input to this event was invaluable. Scott Sadoff is the man! He’s in management in AFB Hospitality, and he magically turns visions into reality. And cool man, Justin Near of Near Perfect Media whose endless resources, great ideas and cooler-than-thou coordinating skills were perfection. Thank you to Rachel and Amelia for keeping us organized.

At party’s end, guests were offered Wagyu beef sliders with horseradish cream, arugula and roasted pepper to go. Each guest also received a $50 gift card for Bistro 82. It was my distinct pleasure to host this event with Aaron Belen. Through the whole planning process, he remained a perfect gentleman and a class act. In my world, it was a perfect party, and that says a lot.

So why did we call it Soiree, 1? Duh? Soiree 2, 3, 4… Stay tuned.

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