Celebrate Sam, A Restaurant-inspired Bar Mitzvah in an Urban Loft

February 10, 2010 ,
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Honestly, it’s really never too early to start planning a bar or bat mitzvah.  Particularly when these celebrations can be as involved (or more so) as today’s weddings! and they are, sometimes, MORE SO! Which we love, why? because we love details!

For those that don’t know, becoming a “bar” or “bat mitzvah” is Hebrew for becoming a “son” or “daughter” of the commandment, and an adult member of the Jewish community.  It’s a “coming of age” rite that happens when a boy or girl turns 13 years of age.  Similar to most weddings, the momentous occasion generally includes a ceremony followed by a party.  The “ceremony” for a bar or bat mitzvah requires years of preparation in which the child studies Jewish history, the Hebrew language and the teachings of the Torah.  Trust us, it’s BIG, important and life-altering.  It’s also an event deserving of a SPECTACULAR party that is inspired by the personality and interests of the child.

One of our favorite bar mitzvahs was based on the heartfelt words shared by the mitzvah boy himself:  ASIAN.community.ORGANIC.warmth.MODERN.natural.GLOBAL.   Inspirational words coming from one of today’s savvy eco-friendly, globally-minded kids!   Working with an earthy color palette of amber, wheat, claret, chocolate and moss, we designed a contemporary environment using long feast tables, miles of brown velvet drape and textural golden lighting.   A variety of flowers, leaves, seed pods and grasses were designed in containers made of bamboo, pottery, wood and iron.   For a large event of 265 guests, it was a party that felt intimate, warm and reflective.

In a word, it was INVITING.

Sherman Mills, an enormous-but-stylish loft space, became an urban oasis with the spiritual warmth and intimacy of the client’s favorite restaurants Buddakan, Spice Market, Hakkasan and Raw.  As we normally do, we worked closely with Leslie Rosen Catering to develop and style a sophisticated menu for our worldly client, including:  a sushi and sake bar, mozzarella bar, ceviche tasting, Spanish tapas table, made-to-order brick-oven pizzas and a seated Roasted Halibut dinner.  The dinner service included shared family-style platters of grilled asparagus, sweet potato pancakes, roasted rainbow cauliflower and seeded organic breads.

As the night progressed, adults had the option to share stories at their dinner tables, dance with the kids on the dancefloor or sing-a-long with friends at the piano bar.   Everyone enjoyed a variety of games and activities during cocktails, with some of the more popular remaining open throughout the evening.

A HUGE fan of “all things chocolate,” Sam wanted to end the evening with a “death by chocolate” experience.  Individual desserts such as Southern Pecan Chocolate Bread Pudding, Frozen Hot Chocolate Parfaits, Double Dutch Chocolate Cupcakes, and Chocolate-Caramel Creme Brulees made a grand entrance on elegant restaurant-style “Cocoa Carts.”  Later in the evening waiters offered trays of warm chocolate chip cookies and cold soy milk.

Oh, and did we mention the dancing?  The non-stop, always-packed-with-kids DANCE FLOOR?

We thank The Papery for their stunning Luscious Verde save the dates, invitations, service programs and place cards made with recycled kraft paper and leather bands.   And as usual, where would we be without gorgeous photos to share?  These images were taken by Philip Gabriel Photography, a father and son duo that shoot both weddings and mitzvahs with an equally perceptive eye.   We never looked so good!

As always, MAZEL TOV!


  1. Love these photos! Great work. Thank you as well for the shout out. We really enjoyed creating the paper goods for this Bar Mitzvah.

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