Considering throwing a home dinner party? Throwing a dinner party is an excellent way to show off your cooking skills and spending time with family and loved ones in an intimate setting, without the added hassle and cost of a high-end restaurant. If you are trying to replicate a fine dining feel at home, there are three things to consider: the decor, the menu planning, and the table settings.
Planning ahead is crucial to pull of an elegant dinner party, but with the right preparation you’ll find that it is well within your ability to stage a formal get-together that rivals the service, atmosphere, and menu of fine dining restaurants. There are several different ways to approach dinner parties, but you are seeking to hold a formal and elegant affair, there are two directions to consider that are accessible for both beginning and experienced hosts.
French cuisine, the original form of fine dining, is a excellent choice to wow your guests with sophisticated and delicious dishes. When serving French food, the natural design is a Parisian theme. A French- inspired menu, while appearing intimidating, is relatively simple to prepare with several components easily prepared in advance. One such menu is cheese board with figs, olives, orange marmalade and baguette to begin, moving to the main course of duck confit, asparagus with aioli, and pommes puree, or mashed potatoes with Gruyere cheese. To finish, a simple apple galette will delight guests. Such a menu is a useful template to play around with different French provincial dishes. A cheese board spread with organic and locally sourced cheese and accompaniments can easily be prepared the day before. Minimizing your time in the kitchen before guests arrive allows you to concentrate fully on the decor.
A Parisian theme dinner party suggests delicate outdoor lights, in silver or twine. Cream fine bone china paired with cream lace napkins gives the table a traditional and romantic touch. Flowers are a must. If you can find cherry blossoms from your local florists, place them in bowls across the table. If cherry blossoms are unavailable, sets of tulips in pastels are a good substitute. Setting the scene outside in a garden or outdoor space will make the gathering seem like guests are sitting outside on a Parisian sidewalk.
Unsure if a French menu and Parsian theme are right for your gathering?
A Tuscan theme is also perfect for a classic evening gathering. Simply switch twine or silver lights for small floating candles placed in small, ceramic bowls of water. You can easily keep cream, fine bone china and add heavy, rustic red napkins to evoke the simplicity of Tuscany. An Italian Tuscan menu will surely impress guests and allow you to capitalize on your present knowledge of Italian cooking techniques. To start, prepare a simple flatbread with chucks of buffalo mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and ripped basil drizzled with a heavy dose of high-end olive oil. As the entree, shrimp scampi; wrapping each jumbo shrimp in prosciutto. A great tip is to buy fresh pasta to elevate the dish. Accompany the dish with a light and peppery arugula salad sprinkled with walnuts and farmers market tomatoes. You can easily whip up a homemade balsamic vinaigrette days before. Finish with roasted plums and peaches drizzled with honey and mascarpone cheese.
These dinner party themes are simple ways to get started party planning, and each theme can be adjusted to your preference and the event’s occasion. When seeking to hold an elegant gathering always remember that the menu is equally as important as the decor: candles, fine table cloths, and the correct playlist can easily transform a simple dinner with friends to a formal and memorable evening.
For more ideas, take a look here. You’ll find simple but elegant. You’ll find a variety of settings that will inspire you and your guests!