Guest Post: Jill Sites on dinner at Elizabeth Coyne’s gallery

Last Saturday night I attended a dinner party at my friend Elizabeth Coyne’s gallery in Sawyer, MI. Twas a beautiful warm summer’s eve with delicious food, conversation and much laughter. I’m very happy that fellow guest Jill Sites, who writes the incredible food and wine blog Eat It-Drink It (Tag line: You know you want to), agreed to write about the evening. In addition to writing her popular blog, Jill owns The Wine Shop at the Acorn Theatre in Three Oaks, Michigan. 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks, MI. 269.756.3879. Thanks Jill! And thanks to Elizabeth for hosting such a lovely gathering.

There are several reasons that those of us who live a Chicago-Michigan lifestyle do so. The beach? Yes. The “get out of the city” mentality? Yes, that too. But there is also sense of community out here that some of us are lucky enough to experience. Last Saturday night artist (and dear friend) Elizabeth Coyne threw one of her slightly impromptu dinners, and the evening reminded me that community is key and that people make the place. Elizabeth often hosts these gatherings in her home or, as was the case on Saturday, in her Sawyer gallery space. I’ve been to many dinners in both venues, and they have always resulted in great wine, exquisite food, and wonderful people (not exactly in that order). They are some of the most relaxed, easy nights one can imagine. Spending time with dear friends and acquaintances alike, sharing stories of art, food, life and more. The picnic table was strewn with a gorgeous fabric, welcoming all to sit and share. Plates of food were spread about (with gorgeous white bug netting covering each dish), and there were bottles and bottles of wine on the side table. A genius move was made here, I have to say, in the choice of wine glass. No one wants to serve great wine out of plastic, but no one wants to risk breaking their wine glasses directly in front of the place they do business either. The solution? A box of jelly jars, of course, which only added to the European feel of the evening.

Catering to the diverse crowd, a vegetarian lasagna delighted everyone, and the watermelon and feta salads refreshed us all beautifully. A little bread, a little tapanade . . . it all flowed perfectly. And to cap the evening, two lovely blueberry cobblers. What made this meal even more beautiful was that 90% of the ingredients were locally grown in our backyards and made delicious by simple, easy, preparations. But it’s the people that take Elizabeth’s dinners from special to extraordinary. Last Saturday it was chatting about the rate of tourism in the area with a florist and her book-shop owner boyfriend, seeing the cool young couple who own the idiosyncratic antique shop cooing at their three week old son and hearing the kitchen designer and the artist talking about an upcoming charity event. Jelly jars of Cotes du Rhone and Pinot Blanc clinking, we weren’t stopped by the impending rain or the mosquitos.

It draws us together, this love of our area. It makes us a community, this love of design and art and people and food. And of course, for most of us, the love of a great glass of wine.

Elizabeth and Barbara.

Nick, Rick (owner, B Books in Three Oaks) and Barbara.

Food and wine blogger Jill  Sites. Check out her blog Eat It. Drink it.

Rick, Barbara and Elizabeth’s husband, Jack Raynaud.

Richard, Brandon and Everett.

Lisa, Ed and Jill.

Brandon and Ed. (Not a couple).

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6 Responses to “Guest Post: Jill Sites on dinner at Elizabeth Coyne’s gallery”

  1. I declare, it has been a very nice read!

  2. Great post – really captured the evening. Love the pictures Tate! That shot of Rick, Barbara and Jack is wonderful! It’s an amazing space and anyone who doesn’t know Liz’s work needs to check it out, she’s super talented and we have a favorite artist in common…Eva Hesse.

  3. What a night and what a post. Fantastic images and words tell the story of a memorable night. Liz’s work is amazing and all of the guests were as well. Thanks for painting the picture.

  4. Eat it Drink it 17. Jul, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Tate thanks so much for allowing me to guest post! I think the mix of my words and your pictures describes the night PERFECTLY! We will have to do it again soon!