November 12, 2016 -- 185 residents participated in this year's Progressive Dinner organized by the Sea Cliff Civic Association. The diners made three stops on their jaunt through the village with the group apportioned more or less equally among four homes for appetizers, and then further separated into groups of six to ten as they moved on to the dinner course that was prepared and served by 20 different hosts. The dinner parties then combined for dessert and drinks at the Sea Cliff Yacht Club.
The annual event not only introduces participants to fine food, but also to a fine assortment of people. Managed by Tina Marchese, Civic Association members spend about three hours matching diners with each other and with hosts. Relying on spreadsheets going back to 2006, great care is taken to vary matches as much possible from one year to the next, in order to provide a unique experience for past participants by creating a fresh mix of people. "Strangers soon become friends around these hospitable dinner tables with appetizers and desserts cementing the sense of camaraderie," saiys Civic Association President Ann DiPietro.
Diners have no idea where or with whom they will be for both the appetizer and dinner rounds until the morning of the event, when they can drop by the DiPietro home to pick up their assignments.
The event could not, of course, take place without the nearly two dozen families that entertain. "The Progressive Dinner highlights the extraordinary generosity of our host families who open their homes each year providing food and drink to randomly assigned guests," said Ms. DiPietro.
As fall approaches next year, keep an eye out for hosting information from the Civic Association for this not to be missed event. Mailings go out the first week in October.