Inside a Very Parisian Breakfast-for-Dinner Party

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A weeklong series on the art of entertaining, for women who are too busy for Pinterest.

When all the chairs were filled at the row of tables lined up against the northern wall of Café Henrie, the scene evoked the Last Supper: The Parisian artist, club owner, and, very recently, café proprietor André Saraiva held court in the center, huddled up against the artist Tom Sachs. In fact, it was Café Henrie’s first supper, a trial run before the several-months-old Lower East Side space extends its hours to accommodate dinner guests in January. Saraiva’s friends — about 20 in all — ate a kind of breakfast-for-dinner meal (croque monsieurs, doughnuts) by chef Marquis Hayes. “I open restaurants and bars as an extension of my artwork,” explained Saraiva. “This place, itself, is social artwork. And artists, more than anyone, need places to eat food and be together.”

Tonight, in addition to Sachs and Saraiva, the guest list included filmmaker Spike Jonze and Glenn O’Brien, the new editor of Maxim. They sat on Prouvé benches pulled for the café from Saraiva’s apartment. Between the first and second courses, DJ-slash-adman Paul Sevigny showed up with his extremely pregnant wife, Sophie Aschauer, his iPhone held up to his ear, music blaring out of its tinny speakers. He promptly made his way behind the counter to plug in to the house system, then turned up the volume all the way. The voices rose in proportion to the new tunes. Later, after the tables were cleared, and while confused passersby on Forsyth Street peeked through the windows, there was an impromptu dance party. “Nights like this are why I rarely eat by myself,” Saraiva said. 

*This article appears in the November 30, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.

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