With so many charity benefits, store openings and brand-sponsored evenings clogging up the New York social calendar, it’s rare to celebrate an actual person for doing nothing more than existing. But such was the case this past Thursday night when man-about-town Euan Rellie celebrated his 40th birthday at Bar Milano, the soon-to-be opened restaurant from Lupa owner Jason Denton and his brother Joe. (For more on the Denton brothers, check out the upcoming May issue of W). The event, of course, did have a host: The Supper Club New York, a dinner and social club run by Brit transplant Tamsin Lonsdale.
After downing cocktails in the bar (where the windows were still covered with brown paper), the crowd, including Rellie’s wife, designer Lucy Sykes, Thom Browne, Rufus Albemarle, Luigi Tadini and Kelly Bensimon, moved into the dining room. According to etiquette, couples had been seated separately, which led to a fair amount of surreptitious place-card swapping and table hopping. “Please, Euan asks that everyone being seated,” chirped the ubiquitous 17-year-old actress Leven Rambin, jumping up and down on the banquette and giggling at her garbled grammar.
Soon after, the exuberant birthday boy stood up on the banquette himself. “Listen, I could have invited my closest friends,” Rellie announced. “But instead, I chose to invite all you fashion journalists.” The crowd, which did include a fair number of industry types, took the ribbing well, perhaps because they were feasting on the restaurant’s Northern Italian fare, including seared scallops with celery root and caviar, trout with potatoes and chard, pork chops with escarole and borsetti alla pizzocheri (whole wheat raviolis shaped liked little sacks). For dessert, the waiters wheeled out a giant cake, out of which popped a girl who warbled “Happy Birthday” before Rellie covered her with kisses. “Lucy, don’t look,” he shouted.