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All Gabby can say, my sweet little dearies, is thank goodness there were doctors all over the ballroom at Bayhealth’s Black and White gala at Dover Downs, because Gabby was in stitches all night long.

Blame it fairly and squarely on the groovemaster himself, the Dancing with the Delaware Stars’ first annual winner, Mike Harrington, president of Harrington ERA. Not only did the funnyman regale lucky table No. 13 with story after uproarious story of how he wooed his beautiful wife, Donna, many moons ago—much to Donna’s amusement, of course—he put on a clinic on the dance floor. “I’m old-school,” he told Gabby. “But we still know how to have fun.” Fun, indeed: Gabby doesn’t think Mike stopped talking—or dancing—until he and Donna donned their his-and-her fur coats at night’s end and waited in line for a valet.

Gabby spied Joseph and Tonda Parks, co-chairs of the Southern Delaware Heart Gala for the past 25 years, looking so dapper it sure made Gabby’s heart happy. Joe was the only man at the gala who braved a white dinner jacket, to stunning effect, and Tonda looked smashing in a black floor-length gown. “The invite said ‘black and white,’” Joe stressed. “I can’t believe I’m the only one. I know there’s a group of us who own white jackets.” Very proud of their upcoming gala on March 19, the Parkses were thrilled to gab about it with friends Ed and Ann Dulin, who are sure to make an appearance.

Ed, president and publisher of Independent Newspapers, owner of papers in Delaware, Maryland and Arizona, was enjoying the evening with his glowing wife. Could that blush have something to do with her daughter’s upcoming marriage to a Secret Service agent at Venus on the Half Shell in Dewey Beach? Naturally, darlings. The lovely Ann, who added a fantastic arm cuff to her sleek cocktail dress, gushed to Gabby. “Her dress is just gorgeous, very fitted and beautiful. I couldn’t be happier about this wedding.”

Gabby had to drag two presidents—Lois Chamberlain of the Auxiliary of Milford Memorial Hospital and Paul Lakeman of Bayhealth Foundation—off the dance floor to get their thoughts on the night’s festivities. Lois, making a daring statement with a dazzling rhinestoned neckline, said the gala is the premier event for many. “Oh, we hear about it all the time, how much people can’t wait to come,” she said. “It’s just absolutely fabulous.” Lakeman could only agree. “It really gets better every year,” he said, “with money raised and what we’re able to do.” The pair more than approved of the job Dover Downs did for the gala this year. “It’s just the perfect place,” Lois said before dashing back out on the dance floor as soon as local band The Funsters returned to the stage.

Lucky lady Judy Grier, Bayhealth Foundation committee member, got to walk around all night with a stunner, and Gabby doesn’t mean a man, baby. No, no. Even better: a ring—a deliciously decadent 14-carat, cushion-cut citrine quartz ensconced by 40 brilliant-cut diamonds. Donated by Sayers Jewelers and Gemologists in Smyrna, the ring was so beautiful, Gabby had to sit on her hands during the live auction for the piece, which made it difficult to reach for her martini.

The night ended on a high note, with a lucky nurse in attendance winning the $500 raffle. Gabby can think of no more deserving winner. Those who missed out on the Black and White gala this year would do well to be there next year. It was simply glamorous, darlings, and there’s nothin’ gray about that.
 

Page 2: Noshing in Newark

 

Noshing in Newark

Gabby and a few gal pals bid adieu to their ever-passé New Years diets to hit Main Street in Newark for the opening night of Restaurant Week. From The Stone Balloon Winehouse to Buffalo Wild Wings to Pat’s MVP’s, restaurateurs cooked extra special menus for the week. Iron Hill won out for Gabby because a vintage dish from menus past popped back up on the radar: the divine tomato-basil soup. On a night when the temperature dipped lower than Gabby’s neckline (all in the name of good fun, lovelies) it was just what the doctor ordered.

It was almost Boys Only in the Iron Hill dining room. Loads of fraternal bonding was going on over many an Iron Hill beer sampler. Gabby’s well-trained eavesdropping ear was wholly disappointed to hear what these men were talking about: sports, social networking and the weather, for crying out loud. Nary a mention of anything even remotely scandalous. How boring.

Disappointed, Gabby focused on other things, like her fabulous barbecue salmon and aïoli sandwich and, of course, a pint of delicious Iron Hill light lager, the only brew dear Gabby will drink—and loads of, in the right mood. An after-dinner nightcap was in order, and quickly, so Gabby and Co. legged it to The Stone Balloon Winehouse, where we were more than thrilled to slip in through a lush red-velvet curtain, giving guests a little something extra to look forward to.

The Winehouse was an absolute gas. Every bar seat was occupied with well-outfitted people bonding over wine and conversation, and the dining room was abuzz with compliments on the night’s guest of honor: the truffled cauliflower soup and slow-roasted pork shoulder over bacon, egg and tomato risotto.

With a round of Riesling and an out-of-this-world chef’s choice of artisan cheeses, nuts, dried fruit and fresh, home-baked bread, Gabby forgot all about the bitter cold winter trying ever-so-gallantly to push his way through the velvet drapes, the poor darling. Till next time, stay fabulous.

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