We at the Sunset Marquis love this time of year: The Holidays. Yes, we know all the non-West Coasters scoff at a SoCalian expressing this sentiment. Because it’s true, the classic emblems of the changing season – vibrant fall leaves, frost-covered walkways, and children dressed like extra puffy, neon-colored Michelin men – only exist on production sets here in our city. However, it’s impossible to argue that we don’t have the other core pillars of the holiday season locked down: eating and gratitude. And in a discussion about eating and gratitude, you have to start with Thanksgiving. We’re going to start by recapping our November menu for you so that you’re begging for a Christmas dinner reservation. Shall we begin?
This year we were humbled by how many families chose to spend their Thanksgiving with us at our Cavatina Restaurant. In the eyes of Szymon Piechaczek, our new Food & Beverage Director and in-house sommelier, each year more and more guests join Cavatina for this special night simply because of the “quality menu, great ambiance, and relaxed atmosphere.” And even with new faces joining our regulars, a full house under the Cavatina roof always makes us feel like the entire family is back home together.
And it was a packed home at that, with “208 guests being served,” shared Executive Chef Luis Morales. Remember that Shopping Blog you read on our website? Well, skip the new leather pants or tight jeans, because simply reading about Chef Luis’s multi-course Thanksgiving masterpiece will have you placebo-undoing that top pants button. Look, we still feel stuffed. Just thinking about it. And we’re loving that for us.
A few reasons to love feeling stuffed: a perfectly cooked turkey with confit turkey leg hash, sweet potato puree, and brioche herb stuffing. How about, tender braised short ribs in a port wine reduction with haricot vert and pomme puree? Creamy Yukon Gold potato puree? Would you like a local burrata and persimmon salad with warm pear focaccia and pomegranate? Pumpkin cheesecake, carrot cake donuts, and mini toffee puddings? Are you drooling yet? Because we’re standing in a puddle of it.
Lounging in our food coma, we couldn’t help but reflect on how many things we have to be grateful for at the Sunset Marquis. First, we’re grateful for a healthy, safe, and full house at Cavatina Restaurant for Thanksgiving 2021. We’re thankful for our guests, who over the decades became our family. Our amazing and dedicated staff, who continually goes above and beyond to make sure the guests of the Marquis feel, well, like marquises.
But there was one event that we were ultra grateful to host this year. An event that really embodied the spirit of “giving.” The Ultra Rare Celebrity Jam. Hosted by none other than the legendary Joe Bonamassa himself, Ultra Rare Jam partners with Columbus Children’s Foundation to bring together world-renowned musicians to benefit kids with ultra-rare diseases. “It’s a way to celebrate the lives of these children and to accelerate hope for life-saving genetic medicine,” reads the Ultra Rare Jam website.
Over the course of the three-day event, jam seshes included legends: John Oates, Keb’ Mo’, Jared James Nichols, Eric Gales, Adam Chester, and Jeff Barry. For those of you who are more the “faces over names” type of people – that’s multiple Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, Songwriters Hall of Famers, multi-Grammy Award winners, Guitar World Magazine rankings, and Billboard chart-toppers. Rock ‘n’ roll classics were played, and we even got a group Happy Birthday song in there for Keb’ Mo’s birthday. Along with a delicious candle-lit cake. The moments between the music were MC-ed by one of our favorite repeat guests – not to mention critically acclaimed actor, filmmaker, and musician – Billy Bob Thornton. As with many nights at the Sunset Marquis, it was truly filled with “stars.” Underneath the stars, we held a not-so-silent silent auction, a live auction, and a presentation from the Columbus Children’s Foundation, one of the top leaders in the advancement of gene therapy clinical trials for ultra-rare genetic diseases.
Put quite simply, the Ultra Rare Celebrity Jam rocked, not only in the literal sense but also in that it reminded us how immensely critical gratitude for health is. Especially after the past couple of years. It reminded us how thankful we are for children. For life. For music. And for this great hotel that brings us all together meaningfully (and also just for fun).
As we continue through our cruelly ironic, sunny winter holiday season, we want to share our thanks and gratitude to all of you: our guests. You make events like the Ultra Rare Celebrity Jam, Thanksgiving at Cavatina, and good ol’ Monday through Sunday at our hotel, always, the best.
By Audrey Wooster – Edited by Sam Miller