Credit: The French-American Foundation

As such an iconic restaurant was the setting for the annual French-American Foundation Gala held last month, I was tickled to be invited to the lavish pre-gala cocktail in the Grill Room of the Four Seasons. The architects Phillip Johnson and Miles van der Rohe designed the space which has dazzled both out-of-towners and stylish locals since opening in 1959. Acclaimed as a power-lunch “haute-spot” in Midtown (east Manhattan), the restaurant has two public dining rooms: the Pool Room, an airy and romantic space, and the Grill Room, the more masculine with luminous French walnut-paneled walls and soaring two-story windows.

Guests were treated to Piper-Heidsieck Champagne and canapés, while the buzz of French speakers filled the room. Next, the lights dimmed, signaling that dinner service would begin in the other room to be served alongside the shimmering blue-green pool.

The event honoured Jacques Pépin, Mimi Sheraton, Bruno Bich, and Alain Papiasse. The Annual Gala Dinner is the premier fundraising event to support the work and mission of the French-American Foundation, as well as a key social event bringing together each year prominent leaders and figures in the French-American community. For more information about the Gala, click here: www.frenchamerican.org/gala

Valerie O’Halloran is the France Today Ambassador for New York

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