By Shani Silver

Published on July 20, 2016

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

Jenny and Dave Kaplan are the brother and sister team you hope invites you to their next party. Jenny, life stylist and Owner & Founder of styling service An Aesthetic Pursuit, recently welcomed us to her Williamsburg terrace for a fun fête and plenty of decor inspiration. Her brother Dave, restaurant creative developer, delighted us with food and drink recipes we can’t wait to try at home. Read on for Jenny and Dave’s tips on entertaining outdoors in any small space.   

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1. WHAT INSPIRED THE DECOR ON YOUR TERRACE? WAS THERE A PARTICULAR MOOD YOU WERE HOPING TO SET?

I really built out the terrace to act functionally as an actual outdoor room. My boyfriend Chris, who I live with, built out the chaise lounge, table, and flower boxes. The terrace is a place of reprieve from the hustle of living in the city and I really wanted to make sure it was a comfortable place to unwind. When we replanted our flowers this summer I really wanted to go for a burst of color. The mood was inspired by a modern English garden.



For this party in particular, my brother and I wanted to share how we collaborate by cooking, styling and

entertaining together. We curated a menu that was full of bright flavors and colors. This played off of the décor of the terrace.

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2. WHAT IS ONE MUST-FOLLOW RULE FOR

ENTERTAINING IN SMALL OUTDOOR SPACES?

Organization is key! Keep your menus simple and select dishes that can be easily prepared in advance. The most important thing to remember is that the host of the party should always have fun- anything you can plan in advance rather than shooting from the hip will make life easier!  Plan out how you want your tablescape to be configured.  For example, every time we host a party I coordinate each dish I want to use in advance and label which items to serve in each one.

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3. WHAT ARE YOU FAVORITE KINDS 

OF OUTDOOR EVENTS TO HOST?

A casual Sunday BBQ with our family and friends. It’s a nice way to close out the weekend and catch up with everyone.



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4. WHAT’S THE BEST HOSTING 

ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

Have cocktails and cold beers ready to serve to your guests when they walk in. It instantly sets the mood for fun vibes.

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5. WHAT IS THE IDEAL PARTY SIZE 

FOR A TERRACE OF THIS SIZE?

As many as we can fit! Sometimes it’s just a few of us having dinner on the terrace but we have had as many as ten or more people fill up the space.

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6. ANY SPACE-SAVING HACKS FOR SMALL

SPACE EVENTS YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?

Set up a designated space for a bar area like we did for the margarita stand. Its very functional, looks cute, and allows guests to be interactive in making their own drinks. Think of creative solutions for serving your menu. In this case the terrace did not allow for everyone to have a proper place setting. I used to always set the table to eat but in the end everyone wanted to congregate around the food. Eventually I gave up on this and put more energy into styling out all of the dishes in a fun way

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7. WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE NIGHT (OR

DAY) YOU’VE HAD ON YOUR TERRACE?

Last Memorial Day we kicked the summer off by hosting a whole hog BBQ and served it bo ssam style. Seeing everyone’s faces when we uncovered a 40-pound smoked pig was priceless, and also set the bar pretty high for future cookouts.

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8.  WHAT ARE SOME SMART DECOR ITEMS OUR

READERS SHOULD USE FOR A SMALL TERRACE

THEY’D LIKE TO BE ABLE TO USE FOR ENTERTAINING?

A functional and cute cooler for storing beverages. Bright, outdoor pillows to add color and comfort to your space. Think outside of the box of traditional tableware. In this case we used the banana leaves to add a natural element to the décor and diy napkin holders made from hydrangea flowers. We use our table as a place to eat breakfast in the morning but it also served as a bar area for this bbq. Natural walls were created with high grasses and flowers to add privacy.

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GRILLED 

STREET CORN

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

6 EARS OF CORN, HUSKS REMOVEDM

1 TABLESPOON VEGETABLE OIL

½ CUP MAYONNAISE

1 LIME, JUICED

1 CUP COCONUT FLAKES

1 TABLESPOON ALEPPO PEPPER

Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush corn with oil to

prevent from sticking on grill.

Char corn on the grill, turning occasionally for approximately 8-10 minutes.

While corn is cooking, mix together mayonnaise, lime

juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Next, in a shallow baking dish, mix the coconut and

aleppo pepper and set aside.

When corn appears browned and nicely caramelized

on all sides, remove from grill. While still

Warm, brush corn with an even coating of the

mayonnaise mixture and roll in the spiced coconut.

Serve warm or at room temp.

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SALMON POKE TOSTA

MAKES 6-8 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

½ CUP VIDALIA ONION, THINLY SLICED

1 TABLESPOON GRATED GINGER

1 LIME, JUICED

¼ CUP SOY SAUCE

½ TABLESPOON TOASTED SESAME OIL

1 TABLESPOON RICE WINE VINEGAR

1 TABLESPOON TOASTED SESAME SEEDS

1 TABLESPOON BLACK SESAME SEEDS

1 TEASPOON SUGAR

1 TEASPOON ALEPPO PEPPER

1 POUND SALMON, CUT INTO ¼ INCH DICE

½ CUP MAYONNAISE

2 TABLESPOONS SRIRACHA

6-8 TOSTADA SHELLS

1 JALAPEÑO, THINLY SLICED

In a bowl, whisk together the first 10 ingredients. Prior to serving, combine dressing

with salmon and let sit for 15-30 minutes. While salmon poke marinates, mix together

the mayonnaise and Sriracha in a separate bowl. Set aide.



To serve, brush each tostada shell with the spicy mayonnaise mixture, top with salmon

poke, and garnish with a jalapeño slice.

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GRILLED HANGER STEAKS WITH MISO

BUTTER

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

2 POUNDS HANGER STEAKS, TRIMMED

1 STICK UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED

¼ CUP WHITE MISO PASTE

1 TABLESPOON SOY SAUCE

2 TABLESPOONS KOSHER SALT

2 TABLESPOONS COARSE CRACKED BLACK PEPPER

Preheat grill to medium-high. While grill is heating

up, let the steaks come to room temperature.

While grill is heating and steaks are cooling, mix the

softened butter with miso paste and soy sauce. Set

aside.

When grill is ready, dry steaks with paper towel and

season liberally with salt and pepper. Place steaks on

hot grill and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn steaks, and

baste the charred side with the

Compound butter mixture. Cook for another 5-6

minutes for medium rare. Remove steaks, baste

again with compound butter, and let sit for 10

minutes.

Slice steak on a bias and against the grain. Serve

with the extra miso butter.

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CHARRED PINEAPPLE MARGARITA

MAKES 1 COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS:

1 FRESH PINEAPPLE, PEALED, CORED 

AND CUT UP INTO RINGS

2-3 PINEAPPLE LEAVES

1 OZ OF FRESH SQUEEZED LIME JUICE

½ OZ OF AGAVE NECTAR

2 OZ OF TEQUILA BLANCO

1 OZ OF COINTREAU

Preheat grill to high. Brush pineapple rings with

vegetable oil to prevent from sticking on grill.

Char pineapple on the grill, turning occasionally for

about 5-10 minutes. When pineapple has nice grill

marks and is caramelized, remove from grill. Cut

grilled rings into 1 inch pieces and set aside to cool.

To make cocktail, put 4-6 pieces of pineapple in a

cocktail shaker. Add the agave nectar and muddle

ingredients to loosen up and release juices.

Add lime juice, tequila and cointreau to muddled

ingredients. Fill shaker with ice. Shake well and

strain over fresh ice into prepared glass.

Garnish with additional grilled pineapple pieces and

pineapple leaves.