My Best Party: Tara's Mafia-Themed Oscar Bash

It was 2007. The Departed was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. That was a bit of a big deal for Beantown. And, it also happened to be the year of my best party, a mob-themed Oscar bash, truly an invite you couldn't refuse.

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Massachusetts had just started offering a film industry tax credit in 2006, so we were starting to see some stars shooting around town. In my book, the stars don't get bigger than Leonardo DiCaprio, so of course we had to celebrate the Oscars with style. My best friend Jason has been throwing fabulous Oscar parties since college, and our OScarface party was our best collaboration.

We encouraged guests to dress in their mafia finest, from fedoras to gaudy gold jewelry. As young professionals on a budget, we decorated simply with lots of candles, black and gold accents, framed photos of our favorite movie mob bosses, and memorable lines from mobster films written on the tablecloths.

To me, a party is all about the food, and our menu was my favorite part. Each item fit the theme, from Say Hello to my Little Cuban Sandwiches, to our glorious Red Velvet Hit Cake, which you see is stabbed in the back and dripping strawberry "blood."

The Departed won 4 Oscars that night, including Best Director and Best Picture. We certainly celebrated. It may not have been a lavish party, but it was filled with good friends, good fun, and good food. And if you have all of those things, it's a success in my book.

Images: Tara Bellucci