How To Host A Dinner Party

I’m pretty sure the best part of being a grown up is the dinner parties. Whether you’re hosting or attending, they are hard to top. It’s all good food, fancy plates and wine, paired with your favorite people. At least the good ones are, and my friends have the best dinner parties.

So I put together a step-by-step guide to throwing a perfect dinner party, based on my most recent evening at my friend Margie’s house. A huge thank you to her husband who cooked and served us girls a five-star meal.

1. Set the Table
I know that no one really knows what silverware goes where, but it’s really impressive to come into a dining room that is set like a fancy restaurant! So be sure to run a quick Google search if you’re not sure where the spoon goes, because it will definitely score you points. placesetting

2. Create a Menu
This was such a perfect detail! Coming into a perfectly set table with a copy of the menu was just adorable. Be sure to keep in mind, when planning the menu, to take into account your annoying vegetarian friend and your other friend who gave up meat for lent (or any other dietary preferences). I must say, he really nailed the vegetarian menu! IMG_5175

3. Commence with a Flavorful Starter
Nothing starts off a meal quite like a brightly colored salad with homemade red pepper vinaigrette. You need something that is flavorful enough to make your guests want to scarf it all up, but light enough to not punish them by filling them up.

4. Add a Bonus Handmade Touch
When you’re making a full dinner, it’s so easy to just buy a baguette for a side. But make bread from scratch and serve it with parmesan and olive oil? That, my friends, means you mean business and your friends will be definitely be coming back.IMG_5178

5. Make People Love Something They Already Like
I have had Cream of Broccoli soup before and it was nice, but I typically consider myself more of a French Onion gal. But when this was set in front of me, my taste buds did a complete 180. I practically inhaled it. It was so amazing! It was everything you could want in a soup. And that garnish?! How cute! Mission accomplished.

6. Wine – Have Plenty of It
This is on your guests. If you are hosting, ask your guests to each bring a bottle. They will be delighted to contribute.IMG_5180

7. Don’t forget: Presentation is Everything
Get creative! Use a variety of colors and textures. Presentation isn’t really my strong suite, but our chef for the evening did an awesome job.

8. Seal the Deal with An Unforgettable Dessert
Dessert is my thing. I love it. More than just about anything. I always save room for it, but not everyone does. So after a full dinner, you need a dessert that is so good that people will have no choice but to make room for it.

9. Set the Mood
A little Etta James and a record player and you’re in business! Or the Dinner at Windom Place or Nora Jones Pandora station would do the trick, too.

10. And the Most Important Step: HAVE FUN!

Bon appetit!

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