Host a Dinner Party Like a Pro

The resurgence of dinner parties is a testament to our innate desire for connection, community, and meaningful experiences. In an increasingly fast-paced world, gathering around the table with loved ones offers a refuge—a place where we can nourish not only our bodies but also our souls. So let’s embrace the art of hospitality, cultivate meaningful relationships, and celebrate the joy of coming together over a shared evening. After all, there’s nothing quite like the magic of a dinner party.


Join me on a particular evening in February for a fool-proof outline to hosting a memorable dinner party not just cooking and eating, but for all aspects of entertaining.

The Menu

One of my favorite things to come out of last year’s kitchen renovation is this custom chalkbaord, and it has quickly become one of my favorite features. Each day, I update the board, detailing the date and crafting a menu—the so-called itinerary for the evening’s culinary adventure.


Not only does this ritual offer practicality in planning and preparation, but it also serves as a delightful tease for guests, igniting anticipation and excitement for the delights that await. As they catch glimpses of the carefully curated offerings, a buzz of enthusiasm fills the air, setting the stage for an unforgettable evening.

Hors D' Ouevres

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Setting the mood for the evening starts the moment our guests step through the door. As they enter, carefully curated music and the warm glow of candles let them know they’ve come to the right place. With hors d’oeuvres prepared and ready to be enjoyed, the atmosphere is already buzzing with anticipation. Glasses of Dom Ruinart Rosé perfectly complementing the delicate flavors of salmon cheesecake, crostinis and the richness of the escargot-stuffed mushrooms. These bold flavors packed in elegant bites serve as a prelude to the culinary journey ahead and set the tone for an unforgettable evening of camaraderie and indulgence.


The table is set well in advance, ensuring a seamless transition from the living room to the intimate the dining room. I have been leaning into “restaurant whites” lately by creating a crisp, clean tablescape with white linens, crystal glassware and touches of greenery.  As guests take their seats, the lighting is lowered, and the flicker of candles casts an inviting glow over the table. Each place setting is complete with three glasses—a water glass, a vessel for white wine, and another for red. To encourage mingling and lively conversation, familiar faces are intentionally mixed, creating dynamic interactions. 


Throughout the evening, my husband Dennis, ever attentive, ensures that everyone’s wine glass remains filled. The culinary journey begins with a delicate white wine paired perfectly with the sumptuous lobster, its rich broth poured table side. Next, a robust red wine, the Austin Hope Cabernet from Paso Robles, accompanies the succulent lamb shank, seared to perfection and braised until tender, served atop a bed of creamy mashed rutabaga and vibrant mixed vegetables.


With each dish expertly curated and every detail attended to, the dining experience unfolds as a symphony of flavors, conversation, and conviviality.

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The meal culminates with the indulgent finale of sticky toffee pudding paired with espresso martinis. Encouraging participation, I asked Alley ahead of time to make her specialty martinis.


Eventually, as the evening draws to a close, the separate circles of men and women converge, uniting in a blend of laughter and stories.


Together, we all toast to the memorable moments of the evening, cherishing the bonds and the experiences shared, marking the conclusion of a truly unforgettable dinner party.

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Cooking for loved ones can stir up a mix of excitement and anxiety. However, with this outline at hand, I hope to alleviate some of that pressure and provide a roadmap for creating memorable dining experiences in your home.


Each dish is carefully curated to evoke comfort and satisfaction. From the table setting to the thoughtful selection of wines, every detail is designed to ensure that guests feel welcomed and cherished.


I find solace in the content smiles and satisfied bellies of those gathered around the table. For when guests depart full and happy, the host can proudly proclaim themself as a fabulous entertainer, knowing that you have not only nourished their bodies but also their souls with warmth, love, and delicious food.

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We have smaller teams working in the kitchen so that everyone is adequately spaced 6 feet apart per WHO guidelines. We have also implemented temperature scanning upon arrival to our kitchen and encourage our staff to stay home and use company-paid sick hours if they are not feeling well.

Our team wears gloves and masks while on the premises. They wash hands hourly at minimum and sanitize the kitchen frequently throughout each day using EPA-approved disinfectant for the fight against COVID-19.  

Our food has always been prepared on-site daily to ensure freshness and upmost safety standards. Ordering and payment are done through our website so that our guests can enjoy contactless curbside pick-up. 

Our new packaging includes meal seals to ensure the food and drink items have not been opened or tampered with during the pick-up or delivery process. 

If you have any other questions regarding our health and safety measures, please don’t hesitate to call or email us. We look forward to serving you.