Dallas Modern Luxury

June 11, 2014

West X Southwest
Dallas tastemakers reimagine the summer soiree with a fresh infusion of left coast cool.

Reserved and never to revealing, good taste is typically discreet — but Gonzalo Bueno’s elegant backyard provides a rare excuse for overexposure. Baring his celebrated adobe’s just landscape for a springtime supper, the architect is laid-back as he prepares to welcome a bevy of fashionable friends, laughing while saying “A guest recently called our home the ‘ultimate space’ far a celebration, but even though we entertain often, our real-life routine revolves between our breakfast table and our sofa!”

Reflecting the relaxed demeanor of he and his partner, Michael McCray, the setting for the dinner party — now just moments away — eschews adornment in favor of natural beauty. Bueno collaborated with fellow caption of design Todd Fiscus to underscore the backdrop’s West Coast aesthetic with sophisticated Southern comfort.

“I didn’t want to take away from the serene view, so we let the house’s green spaces and azure pool dictate the design,” enthused Fiscus. Choosing a minimalist Lucite dining table and chairs as his foundation, and florals in shades as hot as summer in the Lone Star State, Fiscus intended the electric yellow and fuchsia arrangements as the “stars of the night.” Too bad Bueno an his guests, Dallas’ very own Gypset, soon usurped the limelight.

Forty Five Ten’s Brian Bolke and real estate man Faisal Halum, in enviable printed trousers, arrive just ahead of Capa Mooty, Marisa Howard and Monica Santos Hunt. The ladies swiftly outpace the gents, deftly maneuvering past the Nicola Bolla crystal encrusted sculpture and onto the patio to snap up pink lemonade cocktails. Sara Beltràn of Dezso and Heather Wiese-Alexander of Bell’Invito follow shortly as Lombardi Family Concepts Catering passes posh prosciutto appetizers and McCray fields compliments on his Lanvin tennis.

The first course, compressed melon salad in a white balsamic vinaigrette, hits the table as Niven Morgan, just home from New Orleans, and Shelby Wagner snag their seats. Lombardi’s next act, sweet pea and mascarpone agnolotti, earns travis from Howard; meanwhile, the chef is overheard declaring the main fare, pan-seared Maine diver scallops with hollandaise mousse line, the best of the night. Though perfectly prepared, the clean, California-inspired seafood dish couldn’t best the crowd’s clear favorite — a decadent dessert boasting strawberry-white chocolate shortcake, white-chocolate almond cake, strawberry coulis and lavender creme fruit.

Lucy Wrubel’s latest mix hums as the sunset conversation turns to the host’s upbringing in Monterrey, Mexico. “My family embraced their community, and friends knew they were eternally welcome in out home,” Bueno reminisces, explaining his open door policy and penchant for spontaneous parties.

“People pop by often, and they seem to head outside immediately,” Bueno continues. “We like a more comfortable setting, always, and we practically never use our dining room.”

A final round of sauvignon blanc and pinot noir is offered as Missy Rogers and Tim Peck chat with Jamie and Melbourne O’Banion, both women glowing in pastel frocks. Afterparty plans are discussed en masse, with the general consensus trading toward continuing the Lombardi love affair at Bistro 31. Bueno, however, bows out to spend time with visiting nieces and nephews, and one imagines he and McCray will soon be perched on the aforementioned Modani sectional.

Before retiring, Bueno offers a tip for would-be entertainers: “Fabulous food, friends who feel like family and a fun signature cocktail never hurts!” As dear acquaintances exchange warm wishes while floating out his front door, it’s obvious his personal perspective served as the recipe for an exquisite evening.