Have you ever wondered about the key ingredients for a successful New York Dinner party?
Throwing a great dinner party is an art form. Throwing a dinner party that’s great fun for your guests and stress-free for you — well, that’s the stuff dreams are made of.
The good news is that it can actually be done, but the key is in the planning. For your dinner party to run smoothly, you’ll need to plan ahead to create the perfect guest list, find a memorable venue, choose a mouth-watering menu, and master everything from mood lighting to music.
But with these five simple ingredients promising a recipe for success, your next New York dinner party will be the talk of the town.
Ingredient #1: A simple plan
Food, wine, and conversation — that’s the basic blueprint for any dinner party. But if you want your guests to enjoy a memorable evening, the first thing you need to do is to take this a step further.
Take some time to think about the experience you want to create. Is this dinner celebrating a milestone, such as a birthday or anniversary, or is it just a good excuse to get together with a few friends and have a great time? Do you want the atmosphere to be stylish and sophisticated, or will the evening be more of a casual affair?
Think about why you’re throwing the dinner party and how it’ll stand out from all the other wine-and-dine events on your social calendar. Once you have a clear picture of your perfect evening, you’ve got your first ingredient.
Ingredient #2: A great guest list
Working out who to invite and who to leave off the guest list is a perpetual challenge for any party planner. But if you get the mix just right, you’ll go a long way towards ensuring a special night.
This is where your observational skills come to the fore. You should already have a good idea of who gets along well, which potential guests don’t have a whole lot in common, and who needs to be seated as far away from one another as possible.
It can also be a good idea to throw a couple of wildcards into the mix — people you know will keep the conversation flowing, or who have plenty of interesting stories to tell. Sparkling conversation is a vital element of any successful New York dinner party, so don’t rush this step.
Ingredient #3: A unique venue
The next ingredient for the ultimate New York dinner party is a unique venue. The size of your guest list will play a part in choosing your party setting, but the most important thing to consider is the ambiance you want to create.
Happily, there are New York dinner party spaces to suit any occasion or theme. Here are three unique venues well worth a closer look.
Intimate and charming, the private dining room of this popular Italian eatery will put a smile on anyone’s face. Set in an old wine cellar, this candlelit dining space can accommodate up to 32 people.
Head to the Tribeca venue of this sophisticated steakhouse to check out The Black Room. With its round table and dark decor, it’s perfect for when you’re celebrating something special.
Raise the roof at your next dinner party in this gorgeous rooftop space. Located in an iconic Little Italy building, this venue offers breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. There’s a dining table, a built-in bar, and lounge seating, while a Bose Keynote sound system will help you create your ideal atmosphere.
Ingredient #4: A magnificent menu
You might be surprised to see food so far down the list of dinner party ingredients, but there’s much to work out before you even think about your taste buds.
The easiest and most stress-free option is to find a venue that can take care of all the food and drinks, or bring in your own caterers. If you love cooking for your friends and want to DIY, just make sure to keep the menu simple and choose dishes that can be prepared ahead of time. Think of your guests’ comfort, too — your triple chocolate fudge pie may be delicious, but it might be a bit too much to stomach after a night of eating and drinking.
Finally, don’t forget that the drinks are just as important as the food. Whether you’re matching wines to the cuisine or offering a full bar setup, be sure to cater for all tastes.
Ingredient #5: A little bit of magic
Every great dinner party needs a little bit of magic. But that something special which takes your dinner from good to spectacular could be one of many things — it all depends on the type of evening you’re planning.
It could be the way the setting sun lights up the room just so. It could be the forgotten favorites from your collection of old vinyl records that create a nostalgic atmosphere. It could even be something as simple as a centerpiece of fresh flowers adding vibrant color to the space.
Creating the ideal atmosphere is much easier said than done. But when you find that magic ingredient, you’ll know it straight away.
Putting it all together
Start with a plan, add a pinch of a great guest list and a dash of unique venue, then focus on getting the menu and atmosphere just right. Mix all these ingredients together and you’ll create a New York dinner party that you and your guests will remember forever.
Just don’t set the bar too high — when you’ve created dinner party perfection once, your friends will expect you to do it again and again!