I managed to pack in more activity than usual too. I made it to the Annual Halloween Parade in town, ran to NYC with E for his acting class, and then home to get ready for the Bat Mitzvah, which was called for 4:45pm at Portobello in Oakland. No one can accuse me of being lazy. At least on that day!
I've been to Portobello for lunch before but never for dinner. And never for catering. I'd only been in the restaurant area, which is a separate building from the catering hall. The lunch was always really good so I figured the catering would be good too.
I'd never even heard of a Bat Mitzvah ceremony in any place but a synagogue. Apparently, you can do it anywhere, like with a Jewish wedding. Jordan had a tutor for everything one would get going to a Hebrew school class. Hebrew, holidays, songs, prayers, history- you name it. She got it all. But since it wasn't affiliated with her local synagogue, she did the service in the place where the reception was to be held. The service was an hour long and had all the necessary components to become a Bat Mitzvah.
The room they did the service in was to double as the cocktail hour room for the adults. After the ceremony, the kids all went to the party room upstairs and the adults hung out at the bar until they changed the room up. The staff quickly rearranged the room and the cocktail hour began. I assume this is how it would work if you had a wedding ceremony in there.
I wish I could tell you more about the food but I was so busy running up and down dealing with E that I didn't really get a chance to eat. I shoved a few things in like coconut shrimp, fresh mozzarella & tomato, and fried calamari, but that was about it. Everything I had was good. E wanted to be upstairs, and downstairs, and at five years old, I have to keep a closer eye on him than just letting him run amok at an affair.
The room is a good room for an "entrance" too. There is a tall staircase where a person or a couple could come out and down to have their special moment. E and Jordan's cousins had a great time running up and down that staircase all night.
Portobello Banquets: http://www.portobellonj.com/webpage.php?info_id=36
We went up to the party room and the music and dancing had already been going. That's where the kids had their cocktail hour. There was a DJ, an emcee, and a dancer from In The Mix. The emcee was really great. Omari Brown is his name. He got the kids and adults moving and grooving. The DJ also played an awesome mix of oldies and new stuff. Music from every era and not too loud. Too loud is usually the problem. We were able to actually have conversations without screaming. Or having to try to read lips. Omari also teaches dance at Extreme Dance in Totowa (I did some internet sleuthing).
In The Mix: https://www.facebook.com/ITMLiveEvents
Extreme Dance: http://www.extremedancenj.com/extremedance/Staff.html
All the vendors were terrific. They had Mardi Gras mask cookie favors (I'm not sure who did those) and photography by Jodi Crandell (http://www.jodicrandellphotography.com/) also. Jordan's mom Liz and Liz's friends also did a kick-ass job on all the DIY décor stuff too.
It was a great night. It looked like everyone had a great time. We came, we danced, we ate, and we mingled. Jordan looked beautiful as did the rest of the Carr/Kramer women. Mazel Tov Jordan! Thanks for having us!