FosterATX Event: Il Nido Cena, A Taste of Italy

 

Half a year ago, I was starting to learn how to use a DSLR and quickly fell in love with photography. From there, I started my Instagram account in hopes of connecting with local creatives and started searching for people near me by querying local hashtags. I stumbled upon FosterATX's account and was in awe when I attended the first event. There was so much beauty and style: beautiful lighting, a welcoming entrance, craft cocktails with the perfect balance, talented musicians that can stir something inside you, and an intimate environment with creative people like talented photographers and makers. Half a year ago, I was struggling to fit into this amazing city that is Austin, mostly because I didn't know how to find people that I clicked with or had the same interests. I don't necessarily like partying, but I enjoy the occasional craft cocktail at a speakeasy with toned down music. If the bar is an old Victorian house with lots of charm and moody lighting, I'm there. I like talking food. Like really talking food. Going to innovative restaurants and analyzing every exotic ingredient and discussing what makes everything balance out so well. Honestly, traditional tacos and BBQ are quite boring in my opinion (sorry Texas!). I like traveling because it inspires my cooking and the artist inside me. My fellow coworkers (who are engineers) never understood why I was so fixated on incorporating art into everything. I almost contemplated moving back to New England, frustrated that nobody resonated with me. But then I found Foster. These girls really care about design and put so much effort into creating a beautiful space. And by attending these events, I've met so many people who are the same way. It's been an exciting journey watching these girls curate jaw dropping events one after another, and this most recent one is definitely one of my favorites.

At around 7pm, guests arrived at this beautiful red home on the East side. Walking through the side gate, you enter the cozy backyard embraced in string lights and Italian instrumental music. Each guest is handed a glass of rosé and encouraged to mingle and walk around. There's an olive tree in the back which adds a nice Mediterranean touch, and the tables are set with textured napkins and bouquets of eucalyptus and wild flowers. Everywhere you look, there's greenery. There's something soothing about the whole place.

After some hugs and how are you's, everyone started seating themselves and exchanging introductions with their neighbors. The guy who owns Peached Tortilla sat near us and got bombarded with questions like how did you start your business and do you still work in the kitchen. Conversations about restaurants in town dominated the table for a while because let's face it: all attendees are here because of their passion for food.

The girls introduced themselves and chef Ryan Peace, who talked about each course as they were served. More wine was poured as the night went on and there was chatter about cooking, favorite Ramen places, Netflix cooking shows, and travel. Andew had just flown back from Belgium that morning and already made plans with Anthony to drink the sour beers he brought back. Erica and I gushed over the langoustine that was served, which was flown straight from Italy for the event. We were trying to teach people around us how to crack open the shell and the girl next to me sent hers flying... and everyone had a good laugh. People were stuffed by the main dish and the affogato was a great pick me up after the food coma daze everyone was in. By the end of the night, we were all friends and said our farewells before heading home. There's something special about sharing a 4 course meal with people under the warm glow of the globe lights, and Anthony and I walked back to the car wishing we could experience it all over again.

 

Sources: table and napkins (Loot Vintage Rentals), ceramic plates and glassware (Peached Tortilla)

 

Menu

Antipasti: Stracciatella, Salsa Verde, Botarga, Arugula

Primi: Baked langoustine, green garlic & saffron risotto, prosciutto chip

Entreé: Lamb shank ragu, Anson Mills polenta, birds nest, duck egg

Farewell: Blood orange affogato