At the Table

saturday, june 8

Last night was a night of abundance. On a private rooftop at 86th and Columbus with a gorgeous view of Manhattan, a long table was set with pink plates, fresh flowers, cloth napkins, and wine glasses that would be refilled so many times we’d lose count. The group was a random smattering of strangers, acquaintances, and friends—single people, an engaged couple, a married couple, a father and daughter.

We gathered because two friends, Rachel and Amber, envisioned people in all stages of life converging around a table to be abundantly served. They dreamed of a lavish multi-course meal, wine pairings, a dining room table on a rooftop, and meaningful conversation. The vision was bountiful but humble, extravagance from a spirit of generosity. The hosts faded into the background as guests were honored and relationships formed. The whole evening overflowed with joy and celebration, savoring and feasting, a pouring out for the sake of others. This was Rachel and Amber’s vision come true—a night of handpicked wine and food and hospitality for anyone who claimed a seat at the table.

As soon as we arrived, Rachel greeted us with a bottle of Muscadet, putting wine glasses into our hands and ushering us up the stairs to the rooftop. The meal was four courses, each with its own wine pairing and conversation starter. First came a giant charcuterie board with figs, stonefruit, basil, and burrata alongside baskets full of crostini that were passed around and around until only crumbs were left. Then came the green salad like nothing I’ve ever seen before: spring peas, pickled shallots, lemon, pancetta, and pure magic. Around this time, the entire sky turned a deep orange and pink that made heaven seem close and Manhattan seem small. The sunset exploded with brilliance—a work of art by the God who taught us abundance in the beginning. It felt like a movie set, this curated table with burrata topped fruit under a cotton candy sky.

As the sun went down, we talked about abundance and what it’s looked like in this season of our lives. Stories were shared of patience and the kind of love that’s a little humiliating because you don’t deserve it. I talked about Anne and Carl and how their hospitality provided a way for me to live in New York. We all agreed that generosity inspires generosity.

It was almost dark when the main course came: salmon with fennel two ways on top of lemon farro, blood oranges, and dill, paired with a creamy, strong wine that I can’t remember the name of (my fact checker has since informed me it was Sake). We heaped spoonfuls of salmon and grain onto our plates, and memories start to get a little foggy after that. Dessert was a homemade flaky pastry with strawberries, rhubarb, mint, and vanilla ice cream. We ate until there were no pastries left, some of us having seconds, some of us having thirds, most of us passing around the ice cream until we were scraping the bottom with a spoon.

We stayed until every bottle of wine was empty, and the buzz mellowed into a pleasant sleepiness. Sated with food and wine and each other, I walked the five blocks back to my apartment, thankful that nights like tonight are real, that people like Rachel and Amber do what it takes to make a vision of abundance come true.

I love when people have a unique idea and just go for it, even if it’s never been done before. The world is a more abundant place when we go all out for what for what we were made for. When the vision simultaneously serves others and brings joy to the giver, that’s the jackpot. That’s where we need to be spending our time and energy. That’s heaven on earth.

Elizabeth Moore