Little Big Night

If you have followed along over the years you know that around Valentine’s Day every year we love to host a lavish dinner party with friends and family called The Big Night. Here is a little look at last year’s madness.

Well, this year without the commercial kitchen the chefs decided to reduce the scale and Marcus and I hosted a more intimate affair called Little Big Night.

Once again, I’ve enlisted my lovely husband to do a little recap as to how it all went down. 


Ever since my father’s appointment as Ambassador to the Peoples Republic of China last year, one nagging question lingered in my head…what are we going to do about Big Night?

Gone are the days of Terrace Hill’s expansive commercial kitchen, it’s ornate Victorian dinning room, silver service for 20, and the countless other niceties we had the privilege of enjoying. However, the only constant in the world is change and this tradition was far too important to the founders, to let slip away because we lost our venue.

A little known fact, this event was actually born in a small kitchen in an apartment on Polk Boulevard in Des Moines. The meal, guest list, flower budget, all needed to be slashed. We decided to host the 8th Annual Big Night (we actually named it “Little Big Night”) at our home in Adel.

LittleBigNight2018_12LittleBigNight2018_02LittleBigNight2018_10
[bud vase // napkin // napkin ring // dinner plate]LittleBigNight2018_11LittleBigNight2018_13
[snow started to fall as our guests arrived]LittleBigNight2018_16

Ship off the kids, board the dog, because four dudes with a penchant for the finer things are about to wow their spouses and significant others in a regular sized residential kitchen!
The concept: draw straws Iron Chef style
Four courses, four main ingredients (Foie Gras, Lobster, Scallop, Lamb), four Dudes. You draw for course number and ingredient.
This is how it played out:
1st Course – Amuse Bouche – Kevin – Lobster
2nd Course – Peter – Scallop
3rd Course – Marcus – Foie Gras
4th Course – Nate – Lamb
The menu:

LittleBigNight2018_17
[Champagne and Seafood Bar: Sturgeon Caviar, Jumbo Prawn, Puget Sound Oyster on the Half Shell]LittleBigNight2018_03
[Lobster Bisque Madame served in egg shell with soft-poached yolk and Cognac Foam]LittleBigNight2018_06
[Fresh Shucked Sea Scallop Tiradito – Salmon Roe, Truffle Pearls, Edible Floral]LittleBigNight2018_07
[Duck Trio – Seared Foie Gras and Breast, with Leg Confit, Parsnip Puree, Blueberry Cognac Sauce]LittleBigNight2018_08
[Herb Encrusted Rack of Lamb – Roasted Rainbow Carrot Medley, Red Wine Jus]LittleBigNight2018_09
[Gateau Marjolaine, followed by an assortment of cheeses]

LittleBigNight2018_14

A great night had by all!

About tomorrowstodos

To-Do lists: I love the feeling of putting a check mark in a box.
This entry was posted in Food, Friends, Lifestyle, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Little Big Night

  1. Shirley Dreiling says:

    You guys really know how too celebrate!! Everything looks delicious, so the men sure know what they are doing, don’t they? Really looks like a good time was had by all who attended!

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