I have this recurring dream where DineGirl is hosting an amazing and fabulous formal dinner party, and everything is perfectly seamless and effortless. Hosting, cooking, serving, laughing…. and getting respectably tipsy underneath a sparkling New York starry night in my high rise Upper East Side apartment. Clacking about in my equally sky high heels to the applause of our guests for yet another triumphant night! And the evening may even yield some mild flirtation with a new romantic prospect on the terrace (er, balcony).
“oh darrrrling how ARRRRREEEEE you??” I say as I greet my fahhh-bulous guests.
“oh FAHHH—-BBuuulous darling, just FAAAAhhhhh-Bulous. Love your new Louboutins”. kiss kiss
We all toast with endless bottles of vintage Krug as I dab the corners of my dainty, curse-free, non truck driver mouth with a perfectly pressed French linen napkin. Conversation flows, the food is incredible and guests leave feeling elevated and ecstatic…thanks to DineGirl.
We recently challenged ourselves to see if this dream could be translated into reality. Even though we’ve hosted numerous dinner parties over the years, there’s always room for improvement! For our practice ‘Posh Sunday Lunch’ and invited two guinea pigs who were more than happy to partake. The lunch was a fun test to see how we would fare as hostess + chef + bus boy + server, and above all fabulous guests!
The key to being a successful hostess + chef + busboy etc… = proper planning! We decided on a menu where the majority of dishes could be prepped ahead of time, with each course assembled and plated right before serving.
Another key to being a successful hostess + chef + busboy etc… is to have a clone, (or twin), and divide up the plating duties. This ensures that you can enjoy your wine and lively conversation for precisely half of the meal. (In lieu of such option, we recommend enlisting a significant other, although depending on their kitchen skills, you might want to limit their duties to ‘bus-boy’ and ‘server’.)
Our Fabulous Posh Sunday Lunch Menu:
Pear and Endive salad with toasted walnuts and St. Agur
Seared Scallops with parsnip purée and prosciutto crumbs
and… the pièce de résistance: Koulibiac. A decadently fabulous Russian fish pie with an equally rich and indulgent cream sauce. Bellissimo ! (side note, we used the Balthazar Cookbook recipe)
For after lunch (which stretched well into dinner time), we set out some cheeses and macarons in our “salon” (er, living room) where our guinea pigs, (sorry, guests) lounged and continued their imbibing on vintage Port and more wine. Meanwhile, we finished prepping and baking our fabulously decedent sweet ending to the meal: a spiced pumpkin soufflé with bourbon maple caramel sauce.
Despite the horns honking on Second Avenue (to remind us of reality), there was twinkle and magic in the air. Just like in the dream, the evening was a resounding triumphant success! No pressure + pre-planning + close friends + good food and lots of wine = effortless hostess and a fabulous afternoon. Cheers to that!