Monday, February 1, 2021

Three Sure Fire Ways to Impress Dinner Guests

 Dinner parties for friends and family are always a popular way to entertain. Since COVID social distancing began last Spring, having guest over for dinner is one of the things I've missed most! Be sure to check specific guidelines for your city/countybut some areas currently permit small gatherings. The key is to follow all mandatory social distancing requirements...and consider serving the meal al fresco if the weather permits. The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing a trio of ideas to impress hungry diners. This article may contain affiliate links.

If you're keen to invite a few friends or family members over to enjoy a delicious meal, you know that a boring meal isn’t going to cut it. You want to impress them with excellent food, a safe/healthy environment, lively conversation, and comfy ambiance. The themes, cuisine, and vibe of your small gathering should be carefully crafted and planned to ensure your diners leave with full bellies and happy memories. Here are three proven ways to impress your diners in your home.

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The cuisine you whip up in your kitchen will make or break your gathering. Guests will arrive hungry, so make sure you have plenty of food to offer -- including an appetizer or two and beverages. Ensure you ask your diners about any dietary requirements they have. For example, if you have a vegan dining with you, offer an awesome plant based dish or two. Further, if you know someone is on a diet, be sure to offer healthy alternatives to sugar-laden dessert options. When considering what to create in the kitchen, why not go for a theme? If you want to explore Mediterranean cuisine, consider sourcing some wonderful lamb from Superior Farms. Then enjoy crafting Greek koftas, kleftiko, and moussaka. You can also take your guests on a tour of your favorite travel memories. If you’ve ventured to Japan, why not offer some Japanese gastronomic specialties? Ramen, tempura prawns, and soybean-based sweets could definitely impress diners.


When thinking of the ambiance of your dinner, think about following a theme. Taking COVID social distancing in mind, you might want to plan and informal outdoor barbecue in the garden. Dress codes and themes give guests an idea of the sort of gathering you'll be hosting. Be sure to consider any entertainment or music you want to provide. Silly, fun table games can break the ice if your guests don't already know each other. A personally curated music playlist can set a great mood for a gathering -- chilled out tunes provide a great backdrop to facilitate conversation.

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Ensure your hosting is gracious by taking care that the drinks keep flowing and providing a comfortable atmosphere for your guests. If you want to spend time with your diners, forget about labor-intensive recipes that tie you to the stove. Instead, consider serving one pot meals that require slow, long cooking. This method ensures you spend more time chatting with your guests. Be on hand if anyone needs you, and keep your home neat and tidy. Don’t be afraid to stay at the dining table if you want to keep your guests adhere to social distancing requirements...or keep them from wandering around the rest of your house. Offering pre- or after-dinner drinks outside -- perhaps in the garden -- under a heater would definitely set your gathering apart from the rest.

Follow these suggestions -- and don't forget to adhere to your local COVID-related social distancing regulations -- and your dinner will really impress your guests!

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