Selecting Your Menu:

As you brainstorm your menu, remember: there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. After all, most people are drawn to classic comfort foods for a reason…there is something pleasurable in the ordinary. But, if you’re like me, it always feels nice to take a few of those seasonal staples and tip them over the edge. You can leave your “Top Chef” apron in the closet, because all you need is a few small tweaks to impress any guest!

Want to take your steak game to new peaks? Try topping SRF’s Bone-In NY Strip with our wild mushroom cream sauce. Instead of traditional mashed potatoes, whip in our garlic miso butter for an umami crowd pleaser. Bored of doing oven roasted brussels sprouts? Mix together our refreshingly simple Brussel Sprout Apple Salad for a bright & fruity touch.

Selecting Your Menu

Whatever route you decide to go, here are a few tips for creating an enjoyable evening for your guests:

Raisin the Roof Cocktail

Welcome Everyone with a Drink:

When visiting someone’s home, it’s always nice to be welcomed with a glass in hand. It helps cut the edge and immediately sets a celebratory tone. Whether a pre-made cocktail or glass of wine, keeping the first drink simple allows you to greet guests without feeling the pressure to bartend the first hour. A favorite cocktail of mine during the winter season is this apple brandy, raisin mouth-feel cocktail (Raisin The Roof Cocktail).

Mix and Match: Tableware

I’m a firm believer you don’t need a special set of tableware to pull out once or twice a year for events. Eclectic can feel beautiful too. Whatever pieces you decide to use, incorporating some seasonal florals, candles, and freshly pressed table linens can easily set the tone for a special meal. Personally, I love mixing Richard Brendon’s glassware & tableware alongside Atelier Saucier’s table linens and Floral Society’s tapered candles.

Mix and Match: Tableware
Mix and Match: Tableware

Playlists Are Your Friend:

One of the things that can easily make or break a mood with guests is the choice of music. Looking for good conversation? Try staying away from Nickelback. Want a relaxing mood? No need to slip in Skrillex. Whatever vibe you're hoping to achieve, just make sure you have a playlist selected beforehand. No one enjoys a host that’s always slipping away to their phone to manage the jukebox. 

Post Dinner Dessert / Drinks:

Fact: After a big meal, I have roughly 10 minutes to get caffeine into my bloodstream or I’ll be stealing your blanket and napping on your couch. It’s not a pretty sight. So, I like to be prepared when hosting for others. Some fresh brew alongside dessert goes a long way. It keeps your guests energized and conversation flowing.

Clean As You Go:

This might be the “neat freak” side of me, but the biggest game changer I’ve found along the way is tidying up as you go. It’s much easier to throw a few dishes in the dishwasher to keep the room feeling decorated and lite versus picking up a mountain of leftovers and dirty plates at the end.