As you reminisce about your last trip to Italy, strolling hand-in-hand down the cobblestone streets of Florence and happening into a quaint Italian restaurant, think about what made that moment so special. Was it the whimsical ambiance accentuated by candlelight, the decadence of the cuisine, the subtle hints of fresh ingredients in the air, or was it the moment where the owner took you on a personal journey through each course of your meal? There’s just something about the romantic, elegant atmosphere of Italy that creates the ultimate experience. You may be planning a small gathering and craving to feel this moment all over again, however, due to the recent pandemic, you’re opting to bring Italy to your home instead! With all the fabulous dishes, extraordinary wine and unique décor, it’s no wonder why more and more hosts are choosing to bring an Italian flair to their soiree. If you’re hosting a dinner party, there’s nothing quite like a taste of Italy with all the flavors and feelings of amore.
Let Team Crave help you recreate this moment in your home. Here are our top tips on how to host an Italian-themed dinner party.
Set the Mood
Whenever you take a trip to your favorite Italian restaurant to indulge in their other-worldly culinary creations, you’re first sat at a table with immaculate presentation. From the tiny candles nestled into the carefully-crafted centerpiece to the place settings and intricately-designed menus, no detail is left unnoticed, which is why your dinner party must start with your table. Crisp white linens, shiny flatware expertly laid out and candles to set the mood begin your night of wonder. In Italy, it’s all about conversation so be sure to seat your guests where they will be able to converse easily and naturally over their cuisine. Have everything your guests need to be able to enjoy the upcoming dishes, so that they can focus on the food and each other.
Wine & Dine
Perhaps the most important part of the evening…the food and the wine! So much of your menu will work together, so being sure to pair your food with the right wine is important. If you’re unsure about this detail, it’s recommended to hire a catering company to assist with this as they will have the right wine pairings to go along with your decadent Italian-inspired dishes. When presenting your cuisine, it’s also recommend to do so in true Italian fashion, which includes:
Aperitivo: A beverage and a small bite to stimulate the palate.
L’antipasto: A meat and cheese selection to serve as an appetizer.
Il primo: A small pasta dish to introduce the main course.
Il secondo: A meat and/or fish dish to serve as the main course.
I contorni: Sides and accompaniments to include with the main course.
Insalata: A salad dish, featuring in-season greens.
Formaggi e Frutti: Optional selection of cheeses and fruits served toward the end of the meal.
Il dolce: A dessert selection to wrap up the meal.
Having a detailed menu on the table of what you plan to serve is a nice touch to give your guests a peek at what’s to be expected from your Italian dinner night.
Enjoy the Company
So much of Italy’s history rests upon family and the feeling of togetherness, which is exactly what should be included in your Italian-inspired dinner party. Even if you can’t invite everyone you’d like, due to the recent pandemic, you’re able to include them virtually through the help of Skype, Zoom and other virtual meeting platforms. Take part in the evening of togetherness and enjoy the conversation and each other’s company as you indulge in Italian classics and a moment your guests will never forget.
The team at Crave Culinaire is ready to help make your Italian-themed dinner party a success! Call (239) 292-1529 or visit www.craveculinaire.com to learn more.