How to Nail the Off-Registry Wedding Gift? A Very Special Experience for Two

Going off-registry for a friend or family member’s wedding can be risky — best reserved for only daring friends who know the couple well. But for those who are up for the challenge, a thoughtful off-registry gift that truly complements the couple can the most meaningful. We got married this past December, and one of the more unexpected but happy surprises have been some of the off-registry wedding gifts from friends and family. Knowing my French husband Olivier and I love cheese and wine, one friend gave us gift cards to boutique shops we hadn’t yet tried in our neighborhood, Moore Brothers wine and Beechers cheese. Other friends gifted memberships to MoMA, so we can get our culture on a bit more (while there’s so much to do in New York you’re a boring person if you find yourself bored, it’s also easy to be lazy and miss some of the city’s many arts and culture offerings). But the coolest gift so far showed up at our door last night at 7pm: Dante Giannini, a personal chef to make a romantic dinner for two in our tiny Chelsea kitchen, making “farm to table with seasonal ingredients” in a “classic French/American” style. We had a moment: Olivier joked that now Dante’s cooked a three-course gourmet meal in our kitchen, I can’t complain anymore about not having enough space. Ha. But seriously, the meal he managed to cook on a counter space of less than two feet square was quite incredible. A few photos of our night:

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Creative use of space! All this fit in our kitchen.

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Braised pork chops…

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…plus a mint-yogurt sauce for the appetizer.

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The finishing touches…apple salad and truffle oil!

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Prepping the table: Decanting a Durigutti Malbec from Back Label wines + lots of candles = roooomaannncceeee.

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We finished every bite!

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Buttery sauteed mushrooms to top a lamb chop entree.

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Lamb chops with lentils, sauteed mushrooms, basalmic reduction. Delicious!

DSC_0464Homemade apple crumble ice cream and lemon tart. Tasted like cookie dough!

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