photographed by kate lesueur
When we were working with Eleanor and Adam last fall to do an “Entertaining With” feature, we got an unexpected but exciting call. “We may have to put the shoot on hold,” said Adam. “We just put an offer on a house!” Fast-forward four months later and you’d never believe this cute couple have only been living in their bright and modern East Austin home since November. But for those who know the two, it should come as no surprise: Adam Rasmus is the creative director and partner at what.it.is and Eleanor Bartosh is a designer and digital strategist with PricewaterhouseCoopers. With their combined talent and ability, there isn’t much this creative power couple can’t do together on any budget or timeline. Their divide-and-conquer attitude extends to the kitchen as well, where Eleanor and Adam like to whip up casual and delicious meals for friends and family. Our slightly delayed invitation to brunch proved the old adage to be true: good things come to those who wait.
Your must-have entertaining tools:
Fresh ingredients, a great cocktail and an apron.
The one entertaining rule you never break:
Always have more than enough to drink. Always greet guests at the door with a hug and a smile.
What’s the signature drink on today’s menu?
Blood orange mimosas — they’re a little less sweet than regular mimosas! Fill glasses with champagne and top with fresh-squeezed blood orange juice.
What’s your current favorite color palette for parties?
White, wood and bright pops of color. We let a lot of the color come in with fresh flowers and the food.
Adam, what’s your standard host outfit?
Something casual, but with a nicer touch. I like the way a pair of elevated sneakers like Common Projects dress up an otherwise casual outfit. When cooking I also throw on a great apron I recently picked up at Métier Cook’s Supply.
Your signature entertaining dish:
For dinner, a nice red curry. For brunch, frittata!
Adam, tell us about your amazing fritatta recipe. That seriously looks so good we can’t handle it:
My father starting making it years ago based on a recipe from an Italian cookbook I gave to my mother. Eleanor and I have made it together often over the years we’ve been together, and have evolved it from my dad’s version to make it our own.
read the full recipe here
Eleanor, your father was a chef, too. Do you love a man who knows his way around the kitchen?
I definitely got my love of cooking from my dad, who started as a chef and now teaches culinary arts. It used to be that I could barely make grilled cheese (burned it. every time.) But, thanks to him, I’ve come a long way since then. Now I find it so enjoyable to come home from work and make a nice dinner with Adam. We usually split the duties pretty evenly, so it’s a great way for us to unwind after work and spend some quality time together.
What’s on the menu for today’s brunch?
cheese and charcuterie board
blood orange mimosas
adam + eleanor’s brunch frittata
arugula and lemon salad
Your perfect dinner party playlist:
Sam Cooke, Little Dragon, Buena Vista Social Club, Thelonious Monk
We love these red candles, are they from the St. Ceclia?
Nice. One of our favorite spots. Everything in the gift shop is perfection.
Eleanor, what’s your standard hostess outfit?
Something I feel good in but is still comfortable to move around in, like a casual dress or jeans and a silk top.
Who do you usually invite when you’re entertaining?
We’ll generally entertain another couple or close friend. We both love spending one-on-one time with close friends, especially if we haven’t seen them in a while. If it’s a larger get together, we’ll just invite everyone and hope for the best! Our friends come from different backgrounds — both professional and personal — but always seem to get along.
What is your entertaining style in five words or less?
Laid back, food-driven, intimate.
What is the taste you’re always craving?
Asian anything and Delice de Bourgogne (but not together!)
Long-time friend of the couple Meredith Ballentine enjoys a blood orange mimosa.
Always in your fridge?
Fish sauce, fresh herbs, eggs, garlic, champagne.
What/where was one the best meals of your life that you will never forget?
Lunch at Pauly Saal in Berlin.
Tell us about one of your most memorable nights of hosting guests:
We bought this house just before the holidays and on Christmas Day hosted both of our families for dinner. It was a wonderful day spent with family celebrating our new home! We made our special seafood risotto, drank (lots of) good wine and made cookies.
Who are your dream dinner party guests?
Anna Kendrick, Albert Camus and our grandmothers.
What (if anything) scares you about entertaining?
Making sure we don’t spend too much time in the kitchen and not enough time with our guests. Running out of food!
Eleanor, any rules to live by for good table conversation?
Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to laugh and get a little silly. And, personally, I try extra hard to listen and ask questions. Life moves so fast sometimes but in this moment you’re with the people you love. Slow down and enjoy it.
After brunch… hit the town or nap?
Nap. ALWAYS nap. (Or binge watch House of Cards…)
We couldn’t agree more.
Thank you Adam and Eleanor for inviting us into your colorful home.
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