By Anna Sekula Posted February 25, 2008, 1:54 PM EST
Despite the last-minute scramble to pull together the events thanks to the uncertainty surrounding the Los Angeles award show, both New York magazine and the New York chapter of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted their annual Oscar viewing parties last night. (Entertainment Weekly, however, canceled its annual bash at Elaine's.) While the decor at both is always fairly simple, the events made some subtle references to the Best Picture nominees through food and drinks.
Up at the Carlyle, the Academy served a five-course meal created by the hotel's executive chef, James Sakatos, to reference the five nominated films. The menu included a black-ink risotto with black trumpet mushrooms, braised cuttlefish, and blood-orange foam to suggest There Will Be Blood's oil wells and a dry-aged New York strip steak and braised short rib with heirloom carrots and creamy grits in Bordelaise jus representing the Texas setting from No Country for Old Men. The Academy's New York program director, Patrick Harrison, planned the event, which drew Jerry Stiller, Celia Weston, and Erica Jong.
Downtown at the Spotted Pig in the West Village, New York opted for cocktails instead of food to highlight the night's big nominees, with drinks such as “No Country for Old Captain Lawrence Pale Ale” and “Michael Clayton's Collins.” The clear favorite of the night was the “Juno & Juice.” Despite being in a holding pattern until the strike was resolved, the event—hosted by editor in chief Adam Moss and film critic David Edelstein, and planned by Lauren Starke, New York Media's communications manager—packed the restaurant with a mix of guests including actors Alan Cumming, Diane Neal, and Eddie Izzard, Congressman Anthony Weiner, and designer Liz Lange.