Countdown to the 2012 Oscars

I always watch the Oscars but with the strong possibility that a few statuettes might end up on an Air France flight back from LAX to CDG I’ve actually been counting the days until February 26th this year 😉 And I’m looking forward to hosting a few friends over to cheer for The Artist (and Midnight in Paris.) I’ve learned a few things about hosting Oscar watch parties over the years. The first lesson is don’t get over ambitious. Two years ago, I decided I would serve one dish inspired by each Best Picture nominees. That was the first time they had 10 nominees too so it was a little painful. The French Press-cious coffee based on the novel Push by Sapphire was a bit of a stretch and nobody understood my Happy 18th Birthday Jenny Cake… I’ve learned to scale down and for 2011 just made Black and White Swan Cookies and The King’s Peach bellinis. With films set in Hawaii, the South and Paris, it’s a lot easier to take cues from the various nominees to inspire a fabulous Oscar night dinner party this year. 

Hugo and Midnight in Paris are both set in my hometown, so a French dinner with champagne would actually be perfectly appropriate (epicurious has a great menu suggestion). The Descendants spotlights Hawaii so why not pass SPAM musubi as a hors d’oeuvre? Just don’t let War Horse inspire you to serve any of Joey’s brothers 😉 Go for British fare instead if you want to pay hommage to Spielberg’s film. This year you can also provide your guests with a little something the stars will actually be eating that evening… D.C. local Naughty Bit Brownies will be included in the “Everybody Wins at the Oscars” swag bags that are given to the losing nominees in every major category. To nibble on the same brownies as Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Gary Oldman and Demián Bichir (but not Jean Dujardin, because *fingers crossed* he WILL win the Oscar for best actor!) just place your order online. Featured in the swag bag will be Naughty Bit’s complete line of 6 flavours and a special edition called The Starlet, that’s topped with chocolate-covered Pop Rocks and sprayed with edible gold. And of course no party would be complete without some games… Download an Oscar bingo and printable ballots from the Academy Awards’ website. Or just come up with your own drinking game… every time someone thanks their agent take a shot!

And if you don’t feel up to hosting, there’s some great viewing parties across town:

  • D.C. Film Society is hosting its annual fun-raiser Oscar party at Arlington Cinema ‘n’ Drafthouse ($20)
  • On U Street, The DC Center is bringing the Glamour, Glitter and Gold to Town Dance Boutique ($20 general admission, $50 VIP) and Nellie’s Sport Bar is hosting a viewing party too
  • The Art Soiree will take over The Hamilton starting at 6PM with a black-tie optional event, complete with a red carpet, Oscar themed cocktails and live jazz (tickets: $25.) The event is sponsored by EPG PR & l’Alliance Francaise de Washington.
  • The Heights has a special Oscar night food and cocktail menu celebrating each of the best motion picture nominees. I don’t think they would go well together but I would totally order a Midnight in Paris Croque Monsieur with an Iron Lady (dry rose, vanilla syrup and a splash of ginger ale.) There will be big screens to watch the award show of course, and special prizes like gift cards for those with the most accurate ballot.
  • Of course we all know the most fun part of award shows is critiquing the celebrities as they walk the red carpet… with that in mind, Helix Lounge is also rolling out the red carpet on Sunday with its annual Oscars Happy Hour, starting at 5PM and featuring a line-up of award worthy libations like the Southern Sweet Tea, the tropical Aloha, Oscar! and (I love anything that pays hommage to The Artist) the Strong, Silent Type with Absolut Citron Vodka, black raspberry liqueur, fresh lemon and a champagne float! Burgers will also be half priced ($6.50) all night.
I’m just hoping The Artist wins big and becomes the first French movie to ever win an Oscar for best motion picture. And Jean Dujardin becoming the first Frenchie to win for best actor in a lead role would just be la cerise sur le gâteau too! Is it Oscar Sunday yet? 😉

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