Shelby About Town

OTC partying, getting rich via the Internet and opera parties stir the social scene

OTC partying, getting rich via the Internet and opera parties stir the social scene

The Offshore Technology Conference kept the greenbacks rolling into the city's top restaurants this week as energy companies, their suppliers and investment bankers have been on the prowl to win friends and influence people. While the press was not invited, we've learned a few details from some of the biggies.

If you tried to dine at Tony's on Wednesday, you were out of luck. One of the oil and gas majors took over the restaurant at 10 p.m. on Tuesday to begin set-up for a drop-dead fab party for 300 that took place Wednesday night. The transformation included a stage that occupied half of the main dining room where two bands performed. There were six bars, one 10-foot-long made of ice. 

The entertainment included a single malt scotch tasting, port tasting, cigar rollers and models dressed from the prohibition era of Chicago. And, of course, Tony's rolled out a lavish menu that kept the energy folks wining and dining into the night.

On Monday, McDermott International tossed a less-opulent do at the Westin Galleria where guests grazed through fields of etouffee, gumbo, Bananas Foster and other Louisiana specialties. The Aquarium was rocking on Monday with a Canadian-sponsored fete. 

Mo's was the place to be on Tuesday for Superior Energy Services' classy party, where among guests were Morgan Stanley Smith Barney's Byron Hood, Energy XXI chairman John Schiller and former Texas A&M/Seattle Seahawks star Jacob Green. Locals and the OTC contingent from the Netherlands celebrated Queen Beatrix's birthday with a bash on Tuesday at the InterContinental Houston, where Dutch Consul General Geert Visser hosted. In that crush were Joe Nelson and Jerry ReimondoKeppel took over the second floor party space at the InterContinental for its packed OTC frolic.

Qatar hosted the World Petroleum Congress reception on Wednesday with Qatar Consul General Yousef Ali Al-Khater among those welcoming guests who included Lily and Charles Foster, Aida Araissi of the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, Najla Tanous and Todd Avery of the U.S. Commercial Service in Singapore.

Best-seller advice

Entrepreneur, speaker and first-time author Marc Ostrofsky was already on Cloud 9 with the fact that his book Get Rich Click debuted May 1 on Amazon.com's Bestsellers in Business & Investing list  and on Barnes & Noble's Top 10 Bestsellers. So the timing couldn't have been better for his book launch on Sunday at RDG. 

Sales that day from the book that advises readers on how to use the Internet to create businesses and generate a profit were earmarked for the coinciding Lemonade Day, a fact that made Lemonade Day founder Michael Holthouse a happy guy. The connection is that Lemonade Day teaches children about entrepreneurship and successfully operating a business.

Helping Ostrofsky celebrate publication of the book were Dr. Lisa Santos, Karen and Bob Aspromonte, Wendy and Andy Bernstein, Suzy and Dick Bergner, Lisa and David Aaronson, Dr. Bryan Kirshon, Rochelle and Max Levit, Nancy and Joe McDermott and loads more.

Opera news of a social nature

Andrew Gn is one of Cynthia Petrello's favorite designers. So how appropriate was it that it was an Andrew Gn trunk show that was the featured event of a little Houston Grand Opera lunch at Tootsies on Wednesday. It was at that gathering of the HGO special events committee that it was announced that Cynthia and hubby Tony Petrello will chair the 2012 Opera Ball. Mark your calendars — April 14.

Raising their glasses in a toast to the Petrellos were Pat Breen, Isabel David, Donna Bruni, Valerie Palmquist, Ashley Wehrley, Sylvia Sullivan and more.

On Tuesday, HGO notables including board chairman Glen Rosenbaum and incoming board chair Beth Madison toasted Margaret Alkek Williams at a dinner at Tony's honoring her $4 million gift to the opera company. Donna and  Robert Bruni hosted the three-course dinner during which the champagne flowed freely.

Among those taking home party favors of Debauve & Gallais chocolates (chocolatier to Marie Antoinette) were HGO COO Perryn Leech, Marianne and David Duthu, Anne and Albert Chao, Jana and Scotty Arnoldy, Guyla Pircher, HGO music director Patrick Summers, Ralph Burch and Denise Bush Bahr and Philip Bahr.

Sight 'ems

A top-drawer SRO crowd breaking in Brasserie 19 on opening night. In the mix — George Lancaster, Linda Gale and Gov. Mark White, Lance Gilliam, Tissy and Rusty Hardin, Priscilla Larson, Cindy Clifford and Sen. John Cronyn's regional director Jay Guerrero . . .

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour headhuddling with pals over lunch at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge during OTC . . .

George Foreman and several of his sons, also named George Foreman, dining at La Colombe d'Or's Cinq restaurant.

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The Offshore Technology Conference was reason enough for some fancy partying. Photo via Offshore Technology Conference/Facebook
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These furnishings were moved out of Tony's for the OTC bash that took over the entire restaurant. Photo by James Dean
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Beverle Gardner, from left, Marc Ostrofsky, Frank Billingsley and Kevin Gilliard at the book signing. Photo by Jenny Antill
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The Petrellos will chair the 2012 Houston Grand Opera Ball. Tony Petrello , Cynthia Petrello Photo by Jenny Antill