Of course, Queen Elizabeth graced Sunday’s Tea Party celebrating Mickey Berenberg’s significant birthday.
“My mother thinks she’s the queen,” said Wendi Rosenstein, who hired a spare one for this party for 130. Loring Social was decked out like this was an elegant wedding. “It’s high tea and how can you have high tea without the queen? My mother loves everything British, so I said we’ll do a high tea.”
It only makes sense that the daughter of the owner of the beloved, now-defunct, Lincoln Del would have a food-themed gala executed to perfection. Event planner Susan Gray made sure of it.
Gray was a taskmaster, said Berenberg, a longtime pal of mine going back to when she owned now-defunct Mickey’s Penne, a cards and novelty shop in the Minneapolis skyway. Whenever Berenberg asked for an element inconsistent with afternoon tea, Gray would bark — No! You can’t have that because that doesn’t happen at tea!
Women in fascinators and finery were allowed. “I look like a chicken,” is what Berenberg said of her headpiece.
Gray was very much on my case when I arrived, early, without a fascinator and before either of the queens.
Among the photos displayed was an enlargement of Mickey, looking pouty and more innocent than imaginable. It was obviously taken before her late dad, Moishe Berenberg, nicknamed Mickey and her pal Lynn Goldman, Vilde and Khaye. Vilde khaye is a Yiddish phrase that means wild thing or wild animal. “He would see me and said Vilde and when he saw Lynn he would say Khaye,” Mickey told me.
“Mickey is a kick,” said attorney Fred Krietzman, “and she likes to hang out with fun-loving people who enjoy life.”
Goldman said Mickey seated her at my table because she knew I’d enjoy the vilde khaye in her. Krietzman, whom I know through another friend, and his wife, Beth Krietzman, author of “Shopping with Clara: A Journal of Letting Go,” also joined us for the three-course meal of berry platters, American and European cheeses, mini scones, clotted cream, lemon curd, assorted jams, five different finger sandwiches, prosecco and of course, cold and hot teas. A petite dessert buffet followed with macaroons and other sweets.
The very queenly Deb Bursell mingled and greeted everyone in that accent. She did not, however, participate in the conga line. She would have needed to bring up the rear to avoid having someone step on her lavish purple cape.
After doing a quick Sunday Q&A on video with Berenberg, I deserved combat pay. Same might be heard from her grandson Matt Rosenstein, with whom I was very firm when he tried to interrupt me to have a conversation with his maternal grandmother. His paternal grandmother, Elaine Rosenstein, complimented my willingness to put Matt in his place.
I was not so tough on granddaughter Millie Wiesner, who moved in for a hug with her Baubie before I could grouse. Besides, Wiesner is an invaluable asset. “She’s in charge of pulling the hairs on my chin [so] I look good when I’m in the box; when I go out,” said Berenberg.
Calling Ann Curry
Ann Curry, where are you?
Chef Banrith Yong reminded me how much I miss seeing the former NBC correspondent during a rather unfortunate excursion to Jordan. I was on my way to a Peace Pole ceremony to which neither MapQuest nor Siri could provide me successful directions. Others made it, so this was a media problem. After spending too much time driving around looking for the farm — when your friends own property in out-of-the-way places THEY should give you directions — I got hungry. I pulled into Suzette’s Fine European Cuisine (too conveniently down the road from Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store).
I had a salad and some bread that was not worthy of the special: stuffed prawns with a sauce, a little mashed potatoes and carrots, string beans, asparagus, all of which I ate, even the radish. The plate was so beautiful I posted a photo on Twitter.
The chef came out while I was eating to ask how the meal was. I told him it was very good.
“I know you,” he said.
No you don’t, I said in a confidently playful tone. I was wrong.
Yong couldn’t recall my name but he knew exactly who I was. And he remembered where we met.
It was at the Depot, for a gala being headlined by Ann Curry.
Hey, Ann, since you don’t seem to be rushing to get back on TV, come to Minnesota and I’ll take you to eat at Suzette’s.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9’s “Jason Show” and “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.