By Lori Zelenko

Bringing together dear friends and fellow Cancerians (all those born under the sun sign of Cancer), Katlean de Monchy hosted a stellar gathering at AVENA DOWNTOWN, the Greenwich Village location formerly Da Silvano, a mecca for celebrities including Rihanna, Sean Penn, and Owen Wilson.

Owned now by Roberto and Giselle Deiaco, once regulars at Da Silvano, they split the duties of running this charming place – actually a Ristorante, Bar Room and casual Osteria – Roberto is the chef, managing the Kitchen and creating modern Italian cuisine; his lovely wife, Giselle, greets guests with memorable warmth. And guests were plentiful at this beautiful, bountiful celebration, turning out in floral dresses, a fresh and fun way to bring joy to a glorious Summer evening.

Among those wearing the latest in flowering couture were Lauren Roberts in Prabal Gurung, Lauren Laurence in Givenchy, Katlean de Monchy in Britain’s Self Portrait and Dior, Lieba Nesis in Dolce and Gabbana, Ruth Miller in Dolce and Gabbana, Maria Fishel in Valentino, Ruth Katz in Cynthia Rose, Gilda Sacasa added a faux floral corsage to her one shoulder Michael Kors and being a superb craftswoman, made her daughter Alejandra a floral headband.

All stayed to dance and devour AVENA’s superb Lobster Risotto and of course, taste the delicious Birthday Cake (decorated with buttercream blossoms) while toasting to a wonderful year of fun and friendship with Katlean de Monchy.

“I asked friends to come wearing floral dresses – or in the case of our male guests, floral ties or accessories – and they delightfully complied!

Flowers are always such a happy sign and in these unsettled times, they are truly a bouquet – buoyant, lifting spirits and bringing a mood of romanticism that I think we all cherish”,

observes Katlean de Monchy who is after all a global style influencer herself always at the forefront of trends, an alchemist, seeing, melding, sharing what’s coming next.

Nibbling between turns on the impromptu dance floor, guests enjoyed chilled fresh figs wrapped in Prosciutto, Tuna and Branzino Tartare, Mozzarella di Bufala and Fresh Pachino Tomato skewers, and melt-in-your mouth warm spinach croquettes in the rustic atmosphere of this downtown Osteria that as Giselle Deiaco says, is a showcase for the “best of Italy…It’s all about la dolce vita downtown.”

And indeed, those whose names turn up boldfaced in the tabloids do frequent AVENA; we hear Alec Baldwin is a regular and spotted as well are Salman Rushdie, former Ambassador Nikki Haley, and famed French film star, Jean Reno.

Surely many more New Yorkers and movers and shakers from all corners of the globe, come to dine incognito under the cheery yellow awning long a trademark of this favorite NYC destination now wonderfully reinvented by the Deiacos.

After all, AVENA means Grain in Italian, the staff of life so it is only natural that AVENA downtown is truly the staff of life when it comes to sustaining exceptional dining experiences in Greenwich Village.

And what better place for Katlean de Monchy to so enjoyably celebrate such a special day? Bringing together her nearest and dearest at this Birthday celebration – which will surely become an annual event – the evening at AVENA was a joyful event shared by exceptional individuals whose vision and vitality are the pulse of life in NYC and the Hamptons.

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