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A Night In at The Centrale

With the vibrant restaurant and nightlife scenes surrounding The Centrale, it would be easy for residents of these Midtown condos to spend every night dining out and still never taste it all. And yet, sometimes an occasion arises that calls for a long, leisurely dinner — the kind of intimate atmosphere that can only be created in one’s home. When a night in with your loved ones is what you need, prepare to be the ultimate host! After all, your luxury Midtown Manhattan condo has all the elements required for a top-notch dinner party: a well-appointed kitchen, a spacious dining room, and unforgettable views. Or you can choose to take full advantage of The Centrale’s private dining room with seating for 10 and a catering kitchen. And you can even begin your celebration by welcoming your guests with predinner cocktails on the Club Terrace. Since you don’t have to fuss over calibrating the atmosphere, you can focus on other endeavors; namely, choosing your recipes, wine, and guest list.

 

Finding the right recipes for your gathering is key. Some dinner party rookies make the mistake of choosing complex, multistep recipes with a need for constant attention and a high risk of failure. (We’re looking at you, beef Wellington.) If you’re an expert home cook, we applaud you, but most of us would rather spend our time leisurely sipping wine with friends than laboring in the kitchen. Choosing a low-maintenance recipe doesn’t mean you have to make macaroni and cheese, either. Many mouthwatering dishes can be assembled in advance and left alone to simmer for hours — with the added benefit of filling your home with a rich, enticing aroma. In fact, the New York Times has a collection of make-ahead dinner party recipes that promise to dazzle, like oxtail braised with tomato and celery and tamarind spiced nuts with mint. Leave the elaborate dishes to the restaurants and allow yourself the gift of a relaxing night with friends and family.

 

Once you’ve landed upon a recipe you feel confident that you can execute, it’s time to stock up on some wine. Most of us know the wine-pairing basics — reds with red meat, whites for seafood and poultry, light wines with dessert — but the rules of pairing go far beyond those tenets. In fact, some of the rules are just begging to be broken, depending on the primary flavor of the dish. You could go down a rabbit hole on the internet, scouring the many dubious guides in existence, but we recommend the old-fashioned method: ask an expert. Midtown is home to a host of premier wine and spirits shops with knowledgeable staff members who are eager to share their expertise. Check out Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits, Crush Wine & Spirits, Manhattan Wine Xchange, or Oak & Barrel. Be sure to pick up several varieties — some guests will reach for their preferred wine, regardless of how it pairs with your dish.

 

Mingle a little longer with your company before dinner, gathered around your Capri marble countertops and waterfall island, knowing that your full suite of Gaggenau appliances including a five-burner gas range, electric convection oven, microwave, and dishwasher will be doing all of the hard work. (Select residences also include under-counter wine refrigerators, steam ovens, full-height wine refrigerators, and warming drawers!)

 

Our final piece of advice has to do with the dinner finale. Rushing to clear up may signal to your guests that the night has come to an end. Instead, allow yourself to linger. Even if you’ve had your fill, open another bottle of wine. This indicates to your friends and family that you’re content with their presence. After all, you’re sitting with your loved ones in a spacious dining room, surrounded by unforgettable views of the sparkling Manhattan skyline. Why in the world should you rush?

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