This past winter the East End had a salon to rival Madame de Recamier’s of the early 19th century. Created by sculptor Almond Zigmund, the salon is a once-a-month dinner featuring local artists and writers at her husband, chef Jason Wiener’s restaurant, Almond. On March 11 writers David Kozatch, Jennifer Senft and Kara Westerman read samples of their fiction and essay work. Readings blended with the starter of pickled baby roots and fried potatoes with anchovy dressing, a main course of lamb neck braciole with flageolets, and creamy lemon, pineapple-vanilla sorbet for dessert. A sell out crowd of 70 people — architects, writers, artists and their friends ate and drank together.
A previous dinner included artist April Gornik reading excerpts from Moby Dick. Other evenings featured readings of author Shirley Jackson’s work, an installation by artist Jill Musnicki and a performance by singer/songwriter Cynthia Hopkins. During one dinner video artist Christine Sciulli showed three video clips between courses of black and white themed dinner that included squid ink cavatelli.
Zigmund started doing the dinners in October 2012 and plans to continue through May this year, perhaps starting up again in the fall. A recipe for success on a weeknight in the doldrums of winter—stimulating, thought provoking art and writing with a delicious dinner served family style. $40 includes a three-course meal and a glass of local wine or New York State craft beer, tax and gratuity included.