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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hot Time: Summer in the City

When temperatures start to rise, there is a mass exodus out of New York City. Whether to Montauk or St. Tropez, we do whatever we can to bring the party to the beach.

But, there are always a few weekends when you just can't get away.

My advice on how to beat the heat? Gather some friends and host a summertime dinner of chilled crab claws and lobster rolls.

For starters, order Red King Crab Lollipops from Seabear, an online retailer famous for their smoked wild salmon. These big meaty claws served on ice in a glass bowl will make a grand statement as an appetizer. Two pounds of fully cooked claws ($85.99) will be shipped to you via Fed Ex Day Air Express.

Mary's Fish Camp (64 Charles Street, 646-486-2185) has arguably the best lobster roll in town and they allow take-out for parties greater than 6 if you order 24 hours in advance. If you don't live in the West Village or in Park Slope (their sister restaurant is Brooklyn Fish Camp, 162 Fifth Avenue, 718-783-3264), Dean and Deluca online is the next best option. They will ship two 12 oz tubs of lobster salad with 8 split-top rolls ($135.00) direct from their supplier for next day delivery.

For something a little sweet and decadent, serve coconut cupcakes from Crumbs Bakeshop ($2.95 each) with a glass of champagne for dessert. There are locations all over the city so if you don't have time, have one of your guests pick them up on the way.

To get the party started but to keep things cool, I like to offer guests a chilled shooter of ice cold Absolut Citron rimmed with Stirrings Lemon Drop sugar. Crate and Barrel has a great set of vodka shooters that comes with a bowl for easy presentation. During dinner, serve something light and refreshing like a spritzer made with dry white wine with a splash of club soda and a twist of lemon.

Keep tabletop décor at a minimum. All white china on crisp white linens, a few tapered white candles and bowls filled with fragrant lemons gives a fresh look. For lazy summer nights, I still love the Garden State soundtrack. It's a great mix of chill yet sultry tunes from Coldplay, Zero 7, Frou Frou and Thievery Corporation that will help transport you out of the hot, sticky city.

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