Monte’s Trattoria is a Greenwich Village establishment that’s been serving the identical basic Italian meals for a century, however 9 years in the past the Mosconi household owned restaurant added one thing new to its menu: an annual Oscars occasion.
The concept got here up on the bar late one evening, when regulars John Bennett and “Dr. Mike” had been giving normal supervisor Peter Mosconi an earful concerning the motion pictures.
“So Peter mentioned, ‘Should you just like the Oscars a lot, we should always have a celebration,’” Dr. Mike, who declined to share his final identify for privateness causes, instructed The Put up. “He mentioned, ‘I put you in cost.’”
Accepting the problem, Dr. Mike and Bennett hosted Monte’s first Oscar fête in 2013. About 20 regulars donned tuxedos and night robes and gathered to look at the Oscars telecast projected on one of many restaurant’s partitions. Occasion-goers sipped movie-inspired cocktails and loved a luxurious feast ready by chef Pietro Mosconi, Peter’s father, however the occasion actually took off in Yr 2, when company dressed like gangsters and flappers to match a “Nice Gatsby” motif, impressed by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie.
“It simply turned a factor,” Dr. Mike mentioned. “And the occasion bought greater and larger.”
Annually the occasion has a unique theme (whether or not a celebration of Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball one yr or “Intercourse in Cinema” one other), however its traditions stay: Visitors are met on the “crimson carpet” by a cheeky Dr. Mike asking about apparel or favourite movies, with cocktail hour and dinner to comply with. Enjoyable film quizzes occur all through the night whereas company bask in free-flowing cocktails impressed by the yr’s Finest Image nominees.
For dessert, everybody enjoys Pietro’s home made cookies, Oscar-shaped statuettes caked in edible gold glitter. As for the fortunate one that wins the occasion’s film pool, she or he takes house a “chocolate Oscar” from close by Li-Lac chocolatier and a present certificates for a return journey to Monte’s.
“I consider our occasion as an Oscar model of the Golden Globes, the place persons are drunk after they make their speeches,” Dr. Mike mentioned, laughing.
One of many cinematic soirée’s attendees is Tony-award profitable Broadway producer Irene Gandy, a Greenwich Village resident for almost 50 years and a Monte’s common.
“I simply had a freakin’ good time,” the glamorous Gandy mentioned of her first time on the occasion. “I may see the love all of us have for one another on this neighborhood.”
John Bennett eats at Monte’s three to 5 occasions every week and would by no means miss the occasion.
“It’s an effective way to rejoice the Oscars, to rejoice the restaurant and to rejoice our group.”
The 2020 occasion went off with out a hitch as a result of it occurred final February, earlier than COVID-19 struck the town. However the months since then have been tough. At numerous occasions Monte’s has been closed, restricted to outside eating solely or open only for supply. The employees (lots of whom have been at Monte’s for many years) have struggled. Two staff got here down with COVID and a 3rd died from it.
“It’s been a tricky yr,” Peter Mosconi mentioned.
That’s why everyone seems to be so trying ahead to Monte’s ninth annual Oscar gala this Sunday. It will likely be all about rebirth, with a theme of “Spring Awakening” and a colour palette of pink, rose, lilac and gold. The evening’s specialty drinks — which you may make at house (see under) — embrace The Desert Rendezvous: a nod to a second in Finest Image front-runner “Nomadland” when Frances McDormand provides her fellow highway traveler a beer in a gesture of camaraderie (the “cocktail” is definitely a can of Peroni Nastro, served with or with out a glass).
Pandemic-era concessions might be made, in fact, with company carrying masks and social-distancing guidelines nonetheless in impact. Attendees additionally received’t have the ability to congregate on the bar like regular, whereas Dr. Mike’s “crimson carpet” interviews will occur tableside.
However optimism nonetheless abounds, John Bennett insisted.
“We’re all trying ahead to it. Everyone’s been cooped in and cooped up, and it’s time to take the tuxedos and night robes out of mothballs once more.”
Finest Image Cocktails
Annually, the Monte’s Oscar gala creates cocktails impressed by among the yr’s Finest Image nominees.
Should you’re not capable of attend this yr’s unique Oscars occasion at Monte’s – tickets are restricted to restaurant regulars and returning attendees – go forward and revel in their festive drinks from house.
The Finest Pal’s Revenge
With a nod to Carey Mulligan’s vengeful nurse in “Promising Younger Lady,” this model of the mind-eraser will knock you out.
- 1/2 oz. espresso liqueur
- 1/2 oz. vodka
- 1/2 oz. Sprite
Serve in a shot glass with excessive hopes.
Recognizing the music on the coronary heart of “Ma Rainey’s Black Backside” – in addition to the Pixar movie “Soul,” which can nicely win the Oscar for Finest Animated Characteristic – this Sazerac will heat the soul in addition to the stomach.
- 1 1/2 ounces. rye whiskey
- 1/4 oz. absinthe
- Peychaud’s bitters
Serve in a lowball glass and garnish with a lemon peel.
The Shaka, Not Stirred
Celebrating Shaka King, director of “Judas and the Black Messiah,” this martini will assist overcome any private betrayals you undergo.
- 3 ounces. vodka
- 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
Serve in a martini glass and garnish with “Queen” (inexperienced) olives.
The Golden Finch
In honor of David Fincher, director of a “Mank” awash in alcohol, this daiquiri permits one to each imbibe and stay inventive.
- 1 1/2 ounces. white rum
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 1/2 oz. easy syrup
Serve in a coupe glass and garnish with a lime peel.
The Conspiracy 8
Acknowledging the exhausting occasions on the coronary heart of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” this bourbon bitter ought to settle the nerves.
- 2 ounces. bourbon whiskey
- 1 oz. lemon juice
Serve in a lowball glass and garnish with an orange slice and cherry.