THE SPIRIT OF SALVADOR: While many an art historian has to dig deep, and make a few leaps of the imagination, to pair a noted artist with the concept of cuisine, devotees of Salvador Dalí don't have to go searching too far. The lover of life and vivacious bon vivant was an outspoken fan of the pleasures of the table, going so far as to publish a cookbook in 1973. Remembering the richness of ideas the artist brought to his canvases -- and to his dinner table -- is part of the fun of a one-night-only dinner set to unfurl, lavishly, with two top toques at the help, at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point. Not only will the supper be a culinary tip o' the hat to the much-loved, still-obsessed-over painter, food-wise, but an actual Dalí artwork will be displayed as part of the spirited festivity.
STONEHILL TAVERN... is the sublime setting for the gourmet gathering, and the tavern's Executive Chef Raj Dixit is one of artists behind the edibles. The other? None other than the celebrated Michael Mina, who once called Stonehill Tavern home. The duo is overseeing the creation of several plates on a sumptuous, fall-fabulous menu, like "Jack Be a Little Pumpkin" (a first course treat boasting carnaroli risotto, Maine lobster, and garlic emulsion) and "Paradiso Fantasy" (the dessert course, which is described as "sweet and salty decade"). As for the image created by the artist? A work on loan from Galerie Moderne is part of the party.
CHEF DIXIT'S INSPIRATION... for the five-courser stems from "the drama and marvel of Dalí's original color wood engravings," passion-filled pieces like Purgatory's "Dante Purified." The tavern's own sommelier, Paul Coker, will frame the artwork on the dishes in lively libation style. Or, if you're more of a beverage buff, perhaps the vinos of the night will serve as the main storyline while the bites punctuate the plot line.
ST. REGIS HISTORY: Salvador Dalí and his wife Gala called the St. Regis in New York home "every fall and winter in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s." Also accompanying the pair? A pet ocelot.
RESERVATIONS?They're a must. Just be sure to find a sitter for your sweet pet ocelot, should you have one.