Fête Al Fresco

Magic in the Moonlight throws a fête for flowers.

Paul Soniat, Herschel and Anne Abbott and Gene Preaus

Melissa Calico

On October 14 guests gathered at the New Orleans Botanical Garden for the second annual “Magic in the Moonlight” dinner fête. The evening brought 300 guests to the garden for the sold-out event, where they enjoyed an “al fresco” dinner complete with cuisines prepared by chef Aaron Burgau of Patois and chef Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery. The exquisite four-course meal included braised lamb popovers, crab beignets, crab and pumpkin soup with shaved truffles and short ribs with butternut squash ravioli, capped off with desserts served by Sucré’s pastry chef Tariq Hanna.

Musicians Julio & Cesar strolled among guests throughout the evening, playing romantic tunes for guests sitting at tables adorned with arrangements created from City Park’s own greens. Local native, Landar Dunbar, led the auction where bidders took their chances on winning items varying from a full-size reproduction of Enrique Alferez’s “Reclining Nude Eating Grapes” and a Mario Villa bronze tabletop sculpture to a week at Elks Run ranch in Moonlight Basin, Mont.

Proceeds from this year’s “Magic in the Moonlight” will benefit the New Orleans Botanical Garden and will go toward the construction of a more centrally located entrance.

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