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Like any heroine in a spy novel

20th May, 2011, Mary Therese Biebel mbiebel@timesleader.com


Like any heroine in a spy novel, Pat Finan-Castellano knows how to be discreet. Earlier this week she was determined not to disclose the details designed to create an atmosphere worthy of Ian Fleming’s most famous character on Saturday evening at the Westmoreland Club


“It’s a well-kept secret,” she said of the 007 James Bond Gala, which will benefit the Osterhout Library. “The committee wanted to surprise everyone. They haven’t even talked about the decorations.”

Hmm. So we won’t know if 007 himself might parachute onto the lawn or moor a yacht at the Millennium Circle or simply stroll in with a glamorous double agent on his arm. We won’t know if golden guns or gold fingers are anywhere on the premises.

What we do know is last year’s gala – that one had a Great Gatsby theme – raised $51,000 for the library, and acting director Chris Kelly hopes this year’s fund-raiser will surpass that.

We also know the cost of admission this year covers one raffle ticket that gives the bearer a chance to win a trip to London and that Group du Jour will provide music for dancing.

Martinis, as you might suspect, will figure into the evening’s bill of fare, appearing as both The Vesper Martini, inspired by “Casino Royale” and containing gin vodka and Lillet with a lemon twist and the Vodka Martini of dry vermouth, which will be “shaken, not stirred.”

As for the rest of the menu, Finan-Castellano, who is president of the Osterhout’s board of directors, was mum.

“I know it sounds very suspicious,” she said, “but I can’t tell you that either.”

Hmm. Would Le Chiffre or Dr. No or any other Bond villain settle for that? No, they’d have ways of making someone talk, making someone describe the grilled marinated lamb chops, the brown-sugar pepper bacon crisps, the snow peas stuffed with boursin cheese and all the other hors d’oeuvres.

They’d keep up the pressure until they found out about salads of Boston Bibb, baby spinach, feta and grape tomatoes with a white French vinaigrette dressing.

They even might resort to torture to hear about the bundles of heirloom baby carrots, asparagus and green beans with a beurre fondue.

Then, just before the villains wrested the information about the entre and dessert, the informant would probably be rescued – perhaps by Bond himself sailing in on a zipline cable, no doubt appearing unruffled and well-tailored.

Speaking of clothes, Finan-Castellano did say she believes many guests will dress a la Bond in fancy evening wear.

“A lot of people told me white jackets and tuxedos,” she said.

The cocktail hour will begin at the library, and dinner will be served next door at the Westmoreland Club.

Proceeds will benefit library programs and the purchasing of new books, said Kelly, who noted Ian Fleming’s “Casino Royale,” the novel that introduced James Bond, is on his own reading list.

Source:  http://www.timesleader.com/entertainment/Like_any_heroine_in_a_spy_novel__Pat_Fin_05-19-2011.html