By Alexandra Malmed
Halloween is near. The holiday, which can and should be acknowledged if not celebrated every day, serves as a reminder of a few facts of reality and unreality. First, that that which haunts and troubles us are often just creations of the mind—paper ghouls and bats with wings made of trash bag and wire that remind us that our fears are protecting us. Second, that beauty and depth lie in both darkness and in light. Third, that the strange and bizarre, the haunting and wild, can be welcomed to the table.
This year, celebrate Halloween by throwing a dinner party for guests who you love, guests who you fear, and, of, course, a few souls, ghouls, and ghosts for good measure.
Set the table with linens of black and moss and our Honey bud vases, trickled with drippy, black tapered candles with eternal flames, will do the trick. Next, incorporate natural and supernatural elements—think elements like whole black garlic cloves, black branches haunted with hot glue spider webs, spiders, black calla lilies, open pomegranates, whole uni, moss, odd varieties of lichens, seaweeds, and mushrooms, juniper branches, and fish bones. Place these items—along with any of your choosing, and warn your loved ones to beware.
Green seaweed (raw) with oysters: each Montauk Pearl should be cleanly shucked, topped with a pickled pomegranate, and squirted with just enough juniper oil to make your guests wonder whether these bivalves were harvested from a magical underwater coniferous tree growing deep in Long Island Sound.
Sea urchin (uni), drizzled with lemon juice. Serve in shell for a dose of dramatic flair.
Langoustine drizzled with brownsugar and blow-torched within a bouquet of chamomile and yarrow.
Sushi sampler: salmon, uni, and black roe, served with ginger and black seaweed, in woven grass cups and nori wraps.
Crudite of black radishes, olives, mixed pickled vegetables, and aspargus with roasted black garlic dipping sauce.
Black silkie chicken (find it at most Asian grocery stores) with pasta nero and quail eggs.
Crown rib decorated with roasted celery and mushrooms.
Pasta made of edamame with black truffles.
Whole roasted cauliflower (blackened) served with caramelized onion puree, rosemary, and whole black garlic cloves.
Sea vegetable salad served with tamari dressing and roasted mushrooms.
Blistered shishito peppers with flakey sea salt and black pepper.
Slivered green beans with chiles and black sea salt.
Charcoal and cocoa powder meringues.
Pomegranate seeds, candied mushrooms, fresh ginger with sea salt.
Chartreuse, gin and mint cocktails.
Charcoal yuzu margaritas.
Black currant lemon drops.