The Great Gatsby may have been published in 1925, but this May 10, it’s being turned very 2013, with the debut of major motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
But forget those dates. The only one you really need to remember is Sunday, May 5, when from 2 to 5 p.m., the Restaurant at Madrona Manor in Healdsburg is hosting a “Great Gatsby Soiree.”
What better place for it, in Sonoma County, anyway? According to owners Bill and Trudi Konrad, the grand 1881 Victorian mansion on a Westside Road hillside has been the site of many over-the-top celebrations such as those showcased in the novel chronicling a wild, wealthy summer of 1922.
With its rolling lawns, lavish gardens for discreet tête-à-têtes, and winding driveway for elegant motorcars, it’s easy to feel Gatsby-chic. The warrens of ornately decorated rooms and porches promise luxury as well as playful games of hide-and-seek.
For its tribute to the Roaring 20’s and The Jazz Age, the Manor will be transformed into an adult playground, with a vintage lawn party, swinging live jazz, Gatsby-inspired food by Michelin-starred chef Jesse Mallgren, retro cocktails, and silly games. All guests are encouraged to wear 1920’s fashions, and those with a gift for dance can share their best versions of the Shimmy, Charleston or Black Bottom.
The $65 soiree includes food plus two vintage cocktails, and chef Mallgren has created a special menu of appetizers that are directly inspired by passages from The Great Gatsby:
“At his parties, Gatsby served spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.”
• Crispy local oyster wrapped in spiced ham
• Waldorf salad of celery root, roasted grapes, black walnuts and buttermilk
• Suckling pig “pork pie”
“A succulent hash arrived and Mr. Wolfshiem, forgetting the more sentimental atmosphere of the old Metropole, began to eat with ferocious delicacy.”
• Lobster hash of cured egg, dry farmed potato chips and caviar
“Daisy and Tom were sitting opposite each other at the kitchen table with a plate of cold fried chicken between them and two bottles of ale.”
• Cold fried chicken with goat milk biscuits and dark ale mayonnaise
Gatsby was famous for opening his home to guests, and for soiree-goers wanting a deeper taste can reserve one of the 22 rooms in the Manor or its adjacent cottages. Party-goers who wish to stay over the night of the event will receive a special package rate of $350, which includes deluxe Sunday-night accommodations, two tickets to The Great Gatsby Soiree, and a lavish buffet breakfast.
All attendees, meanwhile, will receive a come-back voucher for 25% off their room bill during a subsequent Sunday-Thursday stay (valid May 6-Dec. 31, 2013).
Details: Madrona Manor, 1001 Westside Rd., Healdsburg, 707-433-4231, madronamanor.com. Tickets are available at gatsbyatmadrona.eventbrite.com.
Tip: Go Gatsby style, in a shiny, chauffer-driven limo or Town Car from Pure Luxury Transportation.