LA, Dallas & Chicago: Our Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

lou grey darling dinners

This spring, Darling hosted a three-part dinner series in collaboration with Lou & Grey. The dinners took place in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago, each one held with the intention of bringing together creative-minded women in that city. Gathering around the table for a meal has always been a way to cultivate community for centuries and we wanted to do the same by hosting evenings of nourishment, both for the body and the soul.

LOS ANGELES

The series began in Los Angeles at Platform LA, a collection of unique businesses and eateries. We occupied the Lightbox, a light filled penthouse space overlooking the city, which provided an inviting atmosphere for guests to mingle. Guests arrived as the sun was setting and began the evening with some wine and nibbles provided by Cannibal LA. Many lingered around a large farm table in the center of the room adorned with candles, lovely flower arrangements by Chelsea Carter and romantic place settings by Dish Wish.

platform la

Images via Monica Wang

cannibal la

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

After mingling, guests took their seats and began the family-style dinner by Cannibal LA. Plates were filled with delicious salad starters and charcuterie boards running along the center of the table, piled high with charcuterie and delicious cheeses.

Editor-in-Chief Sarah Dubbeldam began the table conversation. “What makes you fierce?” and immediately after, small groups formed and the room began buzzing with self-reflection and encouragement as women evaluated ways that fierceness emanated in their own lives.

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

The urban loft felt more and more like a living room as the women occupying it transformed the space into a haven of safety and empowerment. Uncertainties were shared regarding occupations, behavioral expectations and overall life direction. Whether caught in the routine of the work world, bound by the uncertainties of freelancing, or simply attempting to find a unique voice among the multitudes of “should be’s,” women helped each other find their power and encouraged one another to own that power.

As the evening winded down, guests were still fully engaged in conversation, unable to pull away from the empowering atmosphere. Deep, lasting connections were forged around the dinner table thanks to curated conversation and the vulnerability of guests.

DALLAS

dallas

Images via Rebecca Kristin

The next stop on the Lou & Grey x Darling Dinner series was at the beautiful Joule Hotel in Dallas. We designed an al fresco dinner at the delicious Americano restaurant and feasted on arancini, a crisp mixed green salad, linguine rock shrimp scampi, Kansas City strip steak and wood fire mushroom pizza, all while sipping Stolpman Vineyards Sangiovese. The retro table settings were adorned with yellow and white flower arrangements by Chelsea Carter to compliment the retro vibe of the patio.

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

dallas americano food

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

Over dinner we asked questions like, “do you struggle with being authentic” and women instantly looked within and opened up about their struggles. We then served an authentic Italian tiramisu and continued to sip wine and share our hearts with each other into the evening. It was truly a magical night.

CHICAGO

chicago lou grey darling dinner

Images via Jamie Gray

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

Next up was the legendary cocktail bar, The Broken Shaker at the Freehand Hotel in Chicago. The Broken Shaker was the perfect choice for our intimate dinner party – it reminded our guests of a trendy home in the 70’s with octopus sketches on the walls, dark mood lighting, vintage rugs and wood tables. It provided the perfect canvas for our dinner and our guests enjoyed sipping delicious craft cocktails.

cocktails broken shaker

On the cocktail menu was:

Pussy Willow
Rosemary, clementine reduction and citrus shaken with cointreau and vodka topped with soda

ST. V.D.M. Margarita
Spicy blood orange winter green sangrita with olmeca altos tequila and mezcal vida, adorned with spicy herb salt

Log Cabin Old Fashioned
Hickory maple stirred with old forester bourbon, mellow corn whiskey and bacon bitters finished with smoked orange

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

The ladies dove deep into conversation over a family style meal comprised of chorizo deviled eggs, roasted cauliflower with ancient grains, picked red onion and cucumber with a local green salad and seared Spanish octopus with salsa verde. The mouthwatering meal was topped off with strawberry and rhubarb crumble and homemade ice cream.

A Darling Recap: Lou & Grey Darling Dinner Series

The night was truly one for the books, the ladies didn’t want to leave and we closed down the Broken Shaker sipping cocktails and bonding with on another over our fears and goals, while affirming and encouraging each other to pursue our dreams.

A big thank you to Lou & Grey for partnering with Darling for this inspiring dinner series! Also thank you to Platform LACannibal LA, the Americano at the Joule Hotel and the Broken Shaker at the Freehand Hotel for providing spaces as well as delicious food and wine for each dinner.

Article written by Darling Events Intern Lauren Rudinsky; Dinner series curated by our Events Director, Chelsea Carter, along with No Subject in Los Angeles and Lou & Grey.

This post is brought to you by the Darling Team! To learn more about who we are, please visit our Meet Our Team page.

3 COMMENTS
  • Bethany Olinger July 17, 2017

    How do you find a schedule for upcoming dinners? A friend and I are very interested in attending one, especially in Dallas!

  • Cathy F November 6, 2016

    What amazing photography in your post. I live in Dallas and I heart Americano.

  • Laura July 11, 2016

    Are you planning on coming to the East Coast soon! We’d love to have you! 🙂

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