Nisi Estiatorio, Englewood … Charthouse, Weehawken

4 Oct

foodiefriday  

 I wanted my sisters bridal shower to be something very special, I wanted to WOW the guests.  She’s had it rough and I really felt it was a time to celebrate her and her happiness.

She bluntly told me what she wanted.  Vintage, pink, bling.  She sent me a link to name cards holders and told me to find crystal perfume bottles as favors. She also informed me she didn’t want the typical “penne and vodka” type of party… but it was best to stick Mediterranean as to please the more authentic family members.

Well, she got the vintage, pink, and bling theme.  She got the name holders (only we used them as table numbers) as well as the crystal perfume favors.  It’s the not wanting a “penne and vodka” type of party is where the problem was.

Nisi was a raved about Greek restaurant in our area.  After a test run during her fiance’s birthday, we decided the food was fabulous. I mean the parking sucked, and the party room was tiny (although it had a private entrance and fireplace,)  but  Michael, the owner or whoever he was, was a typical business man.  He was a shmoozer.  We finally won him over (or was it the other way around?) and rented out beautiful main dining room. It was just an afternoon after all.

However, the handful of times we met up were a waste of time.  Nothing was established, not even this menu.

So I guess I will never know if it was finalized, but I thought we (with a ridiculous amount of effort on the my, as well as her fiance and his sisters, part) were able to negotiate beyond amazing prices (I’m young & on a budget!):

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But, as I’ve alluded, it was a painful process.

Michael was impossible to get a hold of.  He wouldn’t answer his emails. He would be ‘busy’ and unable to speak to me when I stopped in the restaurant, even if we had set up the time.  He basically refused to sign the contract, even after agreeing on it.  He refused a deposit as well, so, naturally, this made me nervous.

Seriously, imagine for a second that you couldn’t get a hold of, and when you did, couldn’t even stand to deal with the man who was in charge of your bridal shower.  Imagine this only months before the so called booked date… and with NO SECURITY.

It was not long after I came across a newspaper article saying Nisi would be moving th NYC. I don’t fully blame the management, their lease was up, but it would of been nice to be informed via Michael or anybody at the venue.  It makes me wonder if they would of ever told me.

When I called to ask for reimbursement on the invitations (the only thing I could think of)… he pretty much said “not my problem.”

I really hated him even prior to this so I tried to look at the situation as a potential blessing in disguise.

And thankfully, Vistaprint has a better attitude toward their customers and were generous enough to redo the invitations free of charge.  Even shipping was waived.

It was, however, impossible to find anywhere else that would match the prices, and after the hardship I had gone to get to the point we were at, I didn’t have the energy to try.  I went with what I feel is a staple, The Chart House, a penne and vodka kind of place.. but prestigiouser than she’d expect.  It came with a hefty price tag in comparison; since this was corporate there was no negotiating.  I think they may of let us waive the cutting fee (we brought in homemade cookies and a cake from an outside source.)

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The view was a deal breaker. The place is literally on a dock, overlooking the beautiful skyline. The room we booked had windows in place of half the walls.  We were able to choose the linen color (pink) and the event planner was even nice enough to let us stick a hook on the wall.  Plenty of extra tables, as requested, were provided, and the service was on their A game, cleaning up after us and making sure we were OK.

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The party favors were mini crystal perfume bottles shaped like hearts that luckily came in gray boxes with foam keeping them snug.  I got them cheap on Etsy. I added flowers and ribbon to the boxes to make them pretty.  We put the table numbers inbetween wine corks, also made pretty with flowers and ribbon.  I think the decor looked much more expensive than it was because I had the help of some crafty family members- AND bakers!!!!!

My only problem was a birthday party was going on in a room nearby and the confused guests kept coming through our room!  Even the sign in front of the building only made mention of their party, not ours.

We did an AMAZING job decorating.

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We made a dress with styrafome, tulle, and flowers.  We pinend the name cards to it with tiny pink clothes pins!

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The guests signed in on what will be part of a picture frame.

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The display above are some gifts. The sisters (me and the groom’s two) made a  gift basket with day of things. His parents bought her a bedroom set (displayed int he picture frame) along with some vintage bathroom acessorie’s that had once caught her eye and the bridesmaids chipped in for her chinaware, which we left a setting out.  My dad got her engraved uinity candles which we will use in the church, and my aunt brought a basket with prayer roses she made and we displayed them in the second basket.

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The food was mediocre.  I wish I could of afforded the steak! But my sister, as well as our guests, were sincerely delighted all the same.

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We had our little italian momma’s make tons of pasteires as well as cupcakes decorated to look like tea pots. We left boxes out for our guests to take home the goods in.

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