Roaring in 2010 at New York's Soho House
Just two miles from the packed-in-like-sardines masses in Times Square, a different sort of New Year's Eve party was taking place at the exclusive Soho House New York. With a 1920's theme, brass band, DJ and cabaret performers, members and their guests filled the sixth floor dining room, bar and drawing room donning era-appropriate flapper dresses, bowler hats and tuxedos.
The private club is an offshoot of the original Soho House in London. In New York the club's name is a bit of a misnomer since it's set in the trendy nightlife hub of the Meatpacking District. Famous for its 15 minutes in a "Sex and the City" episode where Samantha gets kicked out of the rooftop pool because she's not a member, the club today is a mix of 30-something financiers and creatives. (One financier shared that he had to play up his hobby of dealing art in order to gain membership, since the club prefers to foster members in the creative industries.)
On New Year's Eve, two dinner seatings filled the crystal-chandelier topped dining room where guests nibbled on appetizers such as chestnut soup with truffles; lobster salad; and foie gras with spiced pear chutney. The perfectly cooked beef tenderloin and red-wine-glazed root vegetables was the standout entree with the other choices, braised fluke and cannelloni, distant seconds. During the leisurely dinner magicians entertained dinners and the band played jazz and ragtime.
After dinner guests retired to the drawing room where tables were reserved for bottle service (magnums of Champagne being the favored bottle). The party took a livelier spin when a DJ, dressed in wiseguy attire, began spinning pop tunes. The party reached a crescendo just as midnight struck. After the new year, more friends-of-members filled the rooms putting a squeeze on capacity. Some enjoyed the small smoking room (a rarity in Manhattan) where a burlesque performer entertained from a cage.
In a city hard hit by the economy in 2009, the Soho House channeled the zeitgeist of Manhattan with it's '20s theme. The party your cares away, 2010 has got to be better was the reining toast of the night.