Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We've Moved!

That's right!  Give My Regards To is now Amy Zaroff Events + Design!  Please continue to follow our blog on our new site.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

pop tarts and pasta.

minneapolis restaurant powerhouses' have struck gold again.
parasole with their uptown darling CAFETERIA and d'amico & partners with the suburban star, PARMA.

cafeteria's official name is UPTOWN CAFETERIA AND SUPPORT GROUP.  funny.  located in uptown across from stella's and adjacent to calhoun square, it is kitschy, in a cool way.  staff uniforms are tees with their job descrips:  "serve", "work" and "pour".  school lunch trays adorn the walls.  on each table, a caddy of mrs. butterworth's, siracha, soy sauce, ketchup and mustard.  top-notch breakfast (house-made pop tarts, caramel pecan french toast) and cafeteria classics (fried chicken, hot tom, crinkle fries and beef stroganoff) and with names like "the brainerd" (walleye) and "employee meal" (who knows), ordering is fun.  take the SKY CAR and sit up top.  do not miss the communal sink + vanity (a la chino).

an AMATEUR pic (i.e., from my phone) but i wanted you to see the cool wood tables

i am going to preface my review by saying that northern italian cuisine is my ultimate fave.  so excuse the prejudice, please.  PARMA 8200 is restaurant perfection.  that is, aside from the  obscure suburban location in bloomington in the normandale lakes development (landmark:  kincaid's).  from the dark, sexy decor (damask covered lampshades, croc pillows on leather armchairs with rustic wood coffee tables and hollywood regency-esque mercury mirrored walls) this place evokes italian glam.  its comfortable but glamorous and not at all intimidating or stuffy.  this is all before the 3,000 square foot patio has opened!  said to include three fireplaces, an outdoor pool table and lounge furniture to seat 118, sure sounds fab to me.  time frame for the patio opening is about two weeks.  menu highlights are the cheese tasting (you pick three), blue prawns served en papillote, linguine with white wine, clams and garlic, chocolate panini with vanilla gelato.....i could go on forever.  there was not one thing on the menu i would not order.  the cocktail list is cool too.  i had the italian soda which featured prairie vodka, a vanilla bean soda and campari to create a bubbly, peachy-pink soda.  the gin cocktail with tomato water and goat cheese stuffed olives sounds like what i will order when i am back for the patio opening.

both having opened in the last week or two, do not be surprised to experience crowds.  but once you have a table, i think you will find that both were well worth the wait.

lindsay piram, 

event designer

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

more than chips and dip.

summer equals 104 excuses to have a party (ps, there are 104 DAYS of summer).  for my non-local readers, let me explain to you what i call the “minnesota summer guilt” effect.  if it is nice out, and we do not go out and enjoy it, we feel guilty.  we survive brutal winters and so when summer does finally arrive, we better be ready to relish it.  no “housewives” marathons here.  if the sun is out, then we are in it.  a rainy day is sometimes welcome....at least we can get our laundry done.

some summer entertaining ideas we love:

hot diggity dog

chicago dogs are what i call “salad on a bun with a side of hotdog”.  sport peppers, celery salt, pickles, sweet relish, tomato wedges....a good mix of sweet and spicy.  lunds & byerly’s catering is offering a chicago dog spread for 25 people at $205!  pick it up, spread on your center island or picnic table out back and you have all you need for a quick and easy way to entertain.

pizza pie on wheels

so, thyme to entertain, a great local caterer, did the impossible (or what i thought was).  they bought a 1972 fire engine and stuck a wood fire oven on it.  think punch on wheels.  i am not sure i could have thought of anything better myself.  i am dying to use it.  basically, they pull up with the bright red beast (sirens off) and start slanging pies.  pair that with the great salad and side menu they have created to finish off this summer menu.  the novelty of it all would be worth it alone, but with thyme to entertain you know it will taste as cool as it looks.
call nate @ 612.871.2199 to get the dish

twenty-six feet of tacos

the set-up:  you invite your pals over and you are all relaxing and sipping margs and corona with a lime.  around the corner comes what looks like a tour bus.  your guests are on the edge of their lawn chairs in excitement....is bret michaels about to emerge?  nope, no bret....but TACOS instead.  yep, you read that correctly.  twenty-six feet of tacos = a taco truck.  and a BARRIO taco truck at that.  big and black and full of their yummy mexican goodies and i am assuming their tasty tequilas too.  
for more, check out:  

and barrio's web-site:  http://www.barriotequila.com/

mpls is admittedly behind the 8 ball on street food but catering on wheels seems to be on the rise.  we only have 104 days where we can get from our door to the door of the latest and greatest food cart without a parka, lets enjoy it while we can.

to summer soirees,

lindsay piram

event designer

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

runway to reality. and even events.

recently, amy zaroff events + design worked on a fashion event with the style experts from styledlook and styledlife.  a fashion event would not be complete without a runway show but this event had that and more.  the concept was to educate, in a fun and cool way, how to pair closet classics with elements of todays trends.  trends can be overwhelming and when we see them on the runways of milan and paris, at times its more theatrical than practical.  we all could use a few pointers on how to add animal print without looking like an animal and how to wear the seasons relaxed silhouettes without looking frumpy.  also, when and where these trends apply to our LIFESTYLE, for instance taking your basic trench and transitioning it from day to night to sport, etc.  
for me, as someone who styles events, i see the same applications for fashion AND events.  the way you belt a dress, is how i tie a sash to a chair.  mixing modern elements with vintage pieces is not only a fashion secret, it is an event styling standard.  and accessories?  the statement earrings are my statement vase.  a simple black dress with bright jewelry is no different than an understated table linen with the pop of color from great flowers in a striking container.  
tips from the pros, our friends @ styledlook and styledlife:

think about pairing casual white items with dressy items for casual elegance
pair metallic with white for a fresh look
do not forget about white accessories like jewelry, sunglasses and scarves
look for patent and shine, especially in bags and shoes

long over short and short over long for new silhouettes
fedora hats
accessories with ruffle elements
polka dots

clean lines and all-ages appropriate
look for trench inspired dresses
pleated skirts give the same great silhouette
different belts reinvent the same piece


lindsay piram
event designer

Monday, May 24, 2010

"and ive got mad hits like i was rod carew"

here in mpls, we are in for an exciting summer.  the arrival of the new target field has enlivened the city....there is a tangible buzz in the air, with a childlike excitement seen on the faces of those you pass on the street on game day in the city.  its proximity to local restaurants and mass transit is remarkable....it feels like it was neatly placed in the perfect spot, its only little nook on the corner of convenient and close.  

and this is coming from a girl who barely made jv soccer and had nightmares about the softball section of junior high gym class.  i am no jock.  attending the world cup in 2006 was a social event for me, not a soccer tournament.  so to hear me say that im excited about outdoor baseball, is big. 

so, this big environmentally awesome stadium, smack dab in the middle of our bustling metropolis is finally here.  the food and restaurants, the ability to suntan your face with a cold beverage just mere feet away from the fresh blades of well-cared-for-grass, the history lesson that is the artwork around every corner....its all great.  and for me, an event planner and for this, an event blog.....the part i love (and learned a lot about today at the ISES event held at target field) is the capacity to hold an event right there in the midst of it all.  from business meeting to mitzvah to wedding to gala, its all there.  the spaces are dazzling and diverse....from the budweiser deck where you feel atop of it all, to the champions club or delta 360 lounge with endless set up and configuration options.  (side bar:  i wonder if someone has a count on the number of fireplaces in the entire ballpark.  i think i counted over 10 in the delta lounge alone.)  of course, in its first inaugural season, the spaces are pristine.  everything is fresh and new.  but so is outdoor baseball in this town.  and i have a sneaking suspicion that excitement wont wear off for awhile.  

check out their website to learn more:

i look forward to seeing photos of actual events held there as they create and catalog.  until then i have to say i love their "furniture listing" column....tres helpful.


lindsay piram
event designer

Monday, May 17, 2010

perfectly placed place cards.

place card tables are one of my favorite places for drama, for wow (like big floral arrangement, ice sculpture, tree, etc.) and to play off your "theme" (in quotes as i know many of you dont want me to tell you your wedding has a "theme").  the placement of the "table" (or area, not always a conventional "table") is critical to your flow.  ive learned that putting it BEFORE the cocktail reception room or area increases the chance its misplaced.  i usually like to position it in a spot that is the natural walking area FROM cocktails TO dinner.  

at give my regards to, we see all the paper as a set or suite or wardrobe.  when i say paper, i mean from invite to program to place card to menu (and on and on).  anything printed.  the wardrobe doesnt have to be matchy-matchy, but it is great if it coordinates.  maybe different colors, same font....at least one thing in common to tie it all together.  the paper becomes the common thread, interwoven through all aspects of the event.  if you had a calligrapher address your invites, having her do the names on the place cards is a nice tie in.

here are a few place cards tables weve done recently:

and stay tuned for some FAB place card set-ups we have in the works for our events to come....


lindsay piram
event designer

Monday, May 10, 2010

a blog about blogs.

as we all know by now, blogs are everywhere.  everyone has one and you could find a blog sounding off on about any topic.

a blog on power tools?

a blueberry blog?
check out:  simply-blueberries blog for recipes, nutritional info and more.

and sunglasses.  anything and everything you ever wanted to know about sunglasses.

so you get my point right?  now take the event world.  more specifically, the wedding world.  there are soooo many wedding blogs out there it makes my head spin to think about it.  and then, when youre on one, it links to another, that links to another and another and ....
there is so much to read and take in on decor, the dress, the ring, the shoes, the invite, the favors, the place cards.....everything!  there is so much great info out there, its no wonder my clients need me to weed through it all and help it make sense to them, for them.  as fun as it all is, i know it can be overwhelming to hone in on what makes sense per person, per event.  it needs to fit and synchronize and tell a story.  the story being the start of their life and what has led them to the place they are now.  i LOVE telling that story.

blogs i heart:

i subscribe to, of course,  style me pretty.  it showcases recent weddings through photos in a way that tells the story of the couple so perfectly (usually in a very "homespun" kinda way), focusing in on all the little details and stylings we so love.

preston bailey's blog is very reflective.  more brain candy than eye candy.  (although the photos on his site are unbelievable.)  i love his "whats in, whats out" features and his reading lists.

of course, the martha stewart weddings blog is good.  everything martha does is.  amy and i met darcy miller (the editor of martha stewart weddings) at the special events show in nola in jan.  creative and stylish, her wedding point of view is a great one to read.  subscribing to "darcy's idea of the day" is a good way to get cute and clever ideas on the regular.  today's tip?  have an ice cream truck stop off at your next summer soiree.  see?  cute!

marcy blum's blog has recently become my fave.  shes sassy and opinionated and we all know i like that.  her most recent post was just so perfect.  she articulated everything ive been saying and thinking about events and their CONGRUENCY for so long.  there IS a psychology of people at events, and ignoring or disallowing for it will not bode well for a party.  it DOES take a professional, or at least some serious thought, about the mixture of elements and aesthetic put into an event....making sure they make sense.

let me know your thoughts on marcy's most recent post.  and what other event blogs you take time to read through on the regular.

thats all for today,

lindsay piram
event designer

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

summer salut!

nothing says summer like a patio and a cocktail.  incorporating specialty drinks that exude the couple or the theme, or both, is one of my favorite finishing touches on my events.

a list of some of my faves (old AND new):

the mojito.  you cant go wrong with this cuban classic.  its refreshing and sweet, without being too sweet.  switch up some of the mint for cucumber, to reinvent.

the stuff:
1 1/2 ounces white rum (bacardi will do)
4 slices peeled seedless cucumber
6 to 8 mint leaves
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
1 packet equal or splash of simple syrup
chilled ginger ale

the style:
in a tall glass, muddle together the cucumber, limes, mint and Equal. add to cocktail shaker filled with ice. add rum and shake. fill glass with crushed ice, return mixture to glass and top with ginger ale. garnish with a slice of cucumber.

if i need to transport myself to nice or monaco, pernod (pastis) is the way to do it.  the anise flavor is crisp and clean.  super simple, pour over ice and add chilled water.  the cloudy yellow color reminds me of filtered summer sunlight.  

voted one of the top 20 cocktails in the US, the juliet and romeo is deserving of the honor.  and of course, perfect for a hot and steamy day.

the stuff:

2 oz beefeater or henderick's gin
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.75 oz simple syrup
3 drops rose water
3 drops angostura bitters
3 slices cucumber, peeled
6 sprigs mint

the style:
muddle cucumber and pinch of salt. slap the mint. add rest of ingredients. let sit for 30 seconds (time allowing). shake. strain. garnish with 1 floating mint leaf and 1 drop rose water on top of leaf, and 3-5 more drops of angostura on the surface of the drink.

pimm's cup.  the drink of wimbledon (and basically all of britain) is as refreshing and crisp as they get.  

the stuff:

1 1/2 ounces of pimm's number one
4 to 5 ounces of 7up
wedge of lemonslice of cucumber

the style:
combine all the ingredients, in these proportions, in a large pitcher, and then pour it into highball glasses filled with ice.

although the derby was last weekend, i see no reason to hang up your mint julep cup.  especially when there are variations out there as yummy as this.

the stuff:
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1 pint blackberries
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup bourbon
4 cups small ice cubes
4 sprigs mint, for garnish

the style:
roughly chop the mint.  in blender, puree mint, blackberries and sugar.  press through fine sieve into bowl, discarding seeds.  return puree to rinsed blender, add bourbon and small ice.  blend and spilt between four glasses.  garnish with mint sprig.

im not much of a martini girl, but this one i could never pass up.  summer EQUALS strawberries.  and basil?  this is genius.  locally, d'amico is doing this.  thank god someone is.

the stuff:
3 strawberries, plus one thin slice for garnish
3 basil leaves
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce gin (i like tanqueray 10)
1 ounce vodka
1/2 fresh lime juice

in a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries with the basil leaves and simple syrup.  add ice, remaining ingredients and shake well.  strain into a martini glass and garnish with sliced strawberry.


lindsay piram
event designer

Monday, April 26, 2010

what's your.......color?

i am pantone obsessed.  from simple color bridges to the pantone app on the iphone (a virtual color library at your fingertips and the ability to bring color with you anywhere), pantone takes COLOR to another level.

and ever since i discovered the pantone fashion color report, i havent stopped clipping and ripping out swatches of my favorite combos and hues.  the report is divided into spring and fall, released bi-annually and features designers such as betsey johnson. michael kors and zac posen with a sketched piece or ensemble in one of the 10 colors featured in the report. 

its been shown that color trends are first seen on the runway in designers new collections.  the following year you will see those colors predominately in home decor and interior design.  the second year of the color, it emerges into events.  so for example, shitake (pantone 18-1015) was a part of the fall 2008 color report.  that means, this fall 2010, shitake is a totally happening part of an event color story.

look at yellow (freesia, pantone 14-0852), this color was everywhere in fashion in 2008 (and still is, actually).  i received the most fabulous yellow bag in October of 2008 as a thank you from a client.  i love the brightness of it and the statement it makes with about any look.  now, spring 2010 and yellow is THE event color.  its like my event-color-crystal-ball!

the pantone color reports (and their ability to forecast the color story) are amazing.  but wait, it gets even better.  enter colorstrology.  based on the day of your birth, a pantone color is assigned to you followed by three words and a short description about YOU and how wearing, meditating or surrounding yourself in this color will help you......do xy and z.  it may not be your favorite color (although mine happens to be) but if you feel an aversion to the color, they recommend looking at the colors that were used to create it and see which one is creating the tension or disturbance.  (see more in the "about colorstrology" section)

it really is a fun, cool tool that met our team at GMRT with an uncanny pinpoint precision.  soon you will be checking out your moms color, your ex-boyfriends color and everyone in-between.  id love to hear what you discover, through COLOR, about you and those you love (and love to hate).  

go pantone.

lindsay piram
event designer

Monday, April 19, 2010

yes, i read menus like some read "twilight"....

what's a "FOODIE"???

im sure you've heard the term.  there are "foodie" festivals.  "foodie" handbooks.  and "foodie" 'zines.

but what IS a "foodie", and where did this term COME FROM?

a "foodie" is, quite simply, a food and drink aficioando.  not only to like food but to be interested in it.  the term was coined in 1981 by paul levy and ann barr who used it in the title of their book the official foodie handbook.  though used interchangeably, "a foodie differs from a gourmet in that gourmets are are epicures of refined taste who may or may not be professionals in the food industry, whereas "foodies" are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation and news."  gourmets want to eat the best food and "foodies" want to learn everything about food.  the ordinary and the extraordinary.  the science, industry and personalities.  "foodies" are obsessed with all things culinary.  they read menus like books.  terms such as "epicureans" or "gourmets" conjure up snobby images of people who will only eat at restaurants with truffled pate on the menu.  not so for a foodie....anyone can be a "foodie".  "foodie"-ism is a modern, popular way of engaging food culture for the general population.

"foodie"-ism is a true hobby.  some areas of pursuit and activities within the overall umbrella of "foodie" would be:

restaurant openings and closings
wine tasting
beer brewing and sampling
food fads
health and nutrition
food science
scotch tasting

some "foodies" may develop a particular interest in a specific item, such as the best croissant or french fry or souffle or ceviche.  lots of magazines now have a food column and the rise of "foodie"-ism made way for the food network and other food programming, such as top chef, iron chef and hell's kitchen.
also more evident are the rise of specialized cookbooks, neighborhood farmer's markets, food-orientated websites like zagat and yelp, the institution of the celebrity chef, food blog, food movies such as julie and julia (which came from a food book that came from a food blog) and food specialty stores like williams-sonoma and sur la table.  local favorites of the specialty store are kitchen window, cooks of crocus hill and golden fig.

there are some basic traits of being a "foodie".  they would never answer the question "what are you eating?"  with "i don't know".  in general, you have to know what you like and why you like it, recognize why some foods are better than others and in general, have good tasting food all or most of the time.  this isn't to say that you can't eat nacho combos once in awhile, but it is to say that you aren't fooled into thinking that is a well-balanced meal.

do you know the difference between a poblano and a jalapeno?  barrata and brie?  heirloom and beefsteak?  if not, as a foodie....you would find out.  do you have to shop exclusively at farmer's markets?  no, but as a foodie you look for good, fresh produce.

as a self-proclaimed "foodie", i am lucky enough that being a "foodie" is a part of my job.  my obsession with cooking and reading about food and drink and my fascination with trying new restaurants, actually pays off for my clients.  my events have themes and food plays a part of it.  a big part.  recently honored with an industry award in the category of "best use of food and beverage" was about as big of an honor as a "foodie" can get.  to be recognized for using food as theme makes all those dreadful (read:  sarcasm) hours of wining and dining worth it.

lindsay piram