When the oversized ecru-and-black invitation to The Hermann-Grima/Gallier Historic Houses’ annual fall gala arrives, the members of The Historic Houses Society know to get their RSVP’s in a.s.a.p. This year, the event was held at the gracious home of William and Mary Hines. The couple stood in a somewhat informal receiving line with the evening’s co-chairs Kristen Dry and Joyce Pulitzer, greeting about 300 pals and supporters of these two great historic homes.
An amazing array of culinary craftsmanship was prepared, some “à la minute,” by Ralph Brennan’s Bacco, Redfish Grill and Ralph’s on the Park restaurants. The offerings wrapped around the Hines’ loggia with selections as varied as foie gras, grilled calamari, stone crab and buffalo sliders; in the kitchen scallops on lentils were served up, and there seemed and ever-changing selection of beef, lamb chops and more in the formal dining room. If anyone went home hungry or without best-of-the-brand cocktails or wine, don’t blame Bill Goldring, whose Republic sent over a more than generous supply for everything from champagne to the newest, trendiest vodkas. If they wanted to dance, and could find a place to squeeze in a step, Charlie Kohlmeyer and friends supplied the music. In a house this lovely, it doesn’t take much for Meade Wenzel to work her magic with flowers – they were tasteful and complimented the event to perfection.
Mamie Gasperecz, the director of the Hermann-Grima/Gallier Houses, was on hand to make sure every member was properly thanked for their support while encouraging others to help add to the membership rolls. If you haven’t visited these two beautiful homes in the French Quarter lately, it’s more than worth the trip. They are two of the city’s most stately residences that are open to the public.