When Ric Orlando throws a Halloween Ball at his restaurant in Saugerties, it gets properly thrown. This Friday, October 28, this award-winning, TV-starring, book-authoring master chef will invent an appropriately ghoulish menu, with plenty of squid ink to blacken pasta, skewers of locally produced beef heart, something made with pumpkin, perhaps a blackened fish or two. Dinner guests will be served in the back dining room from 5 to 10 p.m., and anyone staying on for the “Villains, Bad Guys and Scoundrels” bash will not be levied the $10 cover charge. The regular menu will be available as well as Orlando’s inventive holiday food.
Serious fun ensues as partygoers take on the annual challenge to dress to the designated theme and outdo each other in raucous competition for a not-too-shabby grand prize of $300 for Best Overall Costume. Orlando says that the staff has already signed up to come as such infamous characters as Al Capone, Bluto, Charles Manson, Dr. Evil and Elvira, so guests should take the cue along those imaginative lines. Other prizes for Best Drag Costume, Best Group or Couple or even a yet-to-be-determined category based on someone’s totally original idea will be awarded gift certificates from the restaurant and other local businesses.
The Dance Party (for age 21 and older) begins at 10 p.m., when deejay Dave Leonard ushers in the grand parade of costumed characters. Orlando says, “It is intense. The place gets packed. The staff is really enthusiastic about dressing up – in past years the theme has been ‘superheroes,’ ‘dead politicians’ – and we have a great lineup of judges.” At 11 p.m. the darkened back dining room is reopened for more music and dancing in a spookier atmosphere. “It’s more fun every year. The older I get, the more fun I have,” says Orlando.
By spooky coincidence, October 28 is his birthday, and his wife Liz’s as well. And the day before is the birthday of both their sons – which by most people’s standards makes for way too many Scorpios in one household, but turns All Hallows’ Eve into an all-purpose weekend-long celebration.
New World is located at 1411 Route 212 outside the village of Saugerties. Visit www.ricorlando.com or call (845) 246-0900 for more information.