In these days of international financial uncertainty — and occasional panic — it’s good to see the International Monetary Fund folks still know how to party. Really party.
The Saturday night annual holiday blowout for some 7,000 employees and guests features seven different “serving stations” for various cuisines and unlimited booze at the IMF headquarters.
We start with 90 minutes of “passed Hors d’oeuvres,” featuring the usual stuff: caviar creme fraiche and “local Choptank sweet oyster shooters with tomato jalapeno broth,” “smoked salmon mousse in an edible cone” and, of course, “warm truffle braised short rib tartlets.”
The “Peppermint Patty” and “Poinsettia” passed cocktails help wash it all down and get you in the proper party mood.
But go easy on this lest you fill up and miss out on the stunning dinner fare at the food stations throughout the lower floors of the headquarters, featuring Indian, Thai/Vietnamese, Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern, Spanish, Mexican and even American food.
The booze stations feature “specialty drinks” such as the “Partridge in a Pear Breeze,” the “Mr. Grinch”and the “Nutty Jester” in addition to the more traditional margarita.
Again, careful with the pace, lest you get completely blotto and embarrass yourself on the dance floor, featuring a fine band.
If you work up a big appetite, not to worry. “Fruit and cheese display with assorted crackers and French baguette slices will be put out at each station at 10:30 pm,” our invite says. The bash ends at 1:00 a.m.
(Unclear if there’s a designated driver program or they’re thinking diplomatic immunity might work — though former IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn didn’t find it so useful.)
About 13,000 bank staff, retirees and others are eligible to attend, an IMF official told us, but the actual number who’ve RSVPd this year is about 7,000.
And while we were told by a source that the cost would be well more than $500,000 for this gala — black-tie optional — an IMF official said the price tag is expected to be about $350,000.
That might seem like a lot, but look at it this way: Greece is expected to cough up $899 million in interest payments to the IMF next year.
That’s a lot of shooters.