my family recently visited my home in brooklyn on a 90 degree summer day so eating inside was not an option. chris diligently schlepped our dining room table and 9 chairs up to the roof and despite the fact that our roof is slightly slanted, our party unfolded wonderfully from there.
old linen table cloths and napkins are always the way to go. the old, antique, tough linens are the best because you can bleach the hell out of them, unlike modern day linens which fall apart with bleach. i, ridiculously, send these linens home to california to be pressed on my mother's mangle(industrial iron)--god's gift to a housewife
plenty of ice to chill the wine. if you keep your eyes peeled at flea markets, garage sales and antique stores, its easy to find silver or silver plated serving dishes, punch bowls, champagne holders etc.
i made a spinach, pea, pesto, parmesan and pine nut salad to start. Ina Garten to the rescue per usual. Balthazar bakery bread as well.
i served my dear friend Christy's recommendation- fresh moules frites & home-made fries baked in the oven and mussels from my local fish market, fish tales. 8lbs/9 people= $30. a steal and a festive, interactive meal at that!
for a refreshing desert my sister sophie made cointreau broiled peaches served with local blue marble butter pecan ice cream. simple and sweet. (just poke holes into the halved peaches with a fork and spoon over a bit of cointreau. broil for a few minutes until tender.)