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In addition to the champagne, the Floridas served limoncello; they developed a taste for it during their honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast. For a digestif, Rana offered anise-flavoured Arak, dubbed the “milk of lions” in the Middle East due to the chalky colour it turns when water is added.
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Mario Batali’s white bean bruschetta
(See this recipe).The Manhattan-based chef is an old friend of Richard’s; they met at Rutgers university, where Batali studied.
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The Barefoot Contessa’s Middle Eastern vegetable salad
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Salmon and halibut kebabs
Rana used the same marinade on the salmon and halibut kebabs as she did for the lamb, save for a few extra flourishes: basil, parsley and lemon oregano. Served with yogurt dip.
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Rana’s mother, Ruth Kozouz, brings the couple an extra-large tray of baklava from a Middle Eastern bakery in Michigan when she comes to visit. They keep well frozen.
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The blossom-topped chocolate cupcakes from Eat My Words are “the yummiest in the world,” says Rana. Proceeds from their sale benefit the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
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Rana spotted these Jonathan Adler candle holders in a store window on the way to dinner in Miami’s design district and made Richard pull over so she could run in to get them.She picked up these posies from Passion Flowers, next to Summerhill Market, and tinted the water to match the blooms. The setting was inspired by a dinner table Rana saw on a trip to Amsterdam, where the Floridas dined with the mayor at the Rijksmuseum.The Riedel stemless and stemmed glasses are the only thing the couple put on their wedding registry five years ago.
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The Fornasetti plates are from Studio Pazo on Queen West. Rana, joking about Richard’s gift of the gab, gave him the one with the outstretched tongue.
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Salt and pepper shakers
The Mr. and Mrs. Muse salt and pepper shakers are by Jonathan Adler.
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Rana borrowed an easy recipe for the lamb chops from her Greek brother-in-law, Dean Alexander. She marinated them in olive oil, lemon, sea salt and black pepper, then grilled them for no more than two minutes a side and served them drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil mixed with fresh mint and lemon.
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Rana and Richard
As CEO of the family consultancy, Rana toggles between tending to clients and managing the couple’s work schedule. New Jersey–born urban studies expert Richard is internationally known for his theory that the greater the concentration of creative people in a city, the more prosperous that city will become.
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Mark Hartley Landscape Architects designed the pool, cantilevered off the far end to look as if the water is falling into the ravine.
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The napkins are by Lovegrove and Repucci, purchased from Allmodern.com (as were placemats by Chilewich). Rana does most of her shopping online: “Who has time to shop?”
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Rana began writing this cookbook, a compilation of classic Jordanian recipes, on a flight to Korea last year. It took her and her sister Ruba Alexander months to track down the recipes, since their mom and aunts never wrote anything down. Rana published the book on blurb.com so that family members could buy copies.
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The neon art piece in the background, behind guest Darren Zakreski, references philosophical greats. The artists, Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins, are based in Toronto.
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Clockwise from left: Rana Florida, Darren Zakreski, Frank Toskan, Victoria Jackman, Richard Florida, Victoria Webster (obscured) and Jonas Prince