Tag Archives: Dinner

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Hey! Dinner Party Over Here!

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This is the look of an excited dinner party hostess! In t-minus 3 days, I’ll host a wonderful dinner party for 10 and kick off a partnership with Hello Fresh! I’m not sharing just to share…I’d like you to consider coming to a dinner party in the future. Interested in attending a fun, engaging, swanky dinner party filled with great food (of course), delicious beverages and good company? Let me know by joining the guest list. We’ll let you know when a dinner party is headed to your area, so we can add you to a guest list in the future! SIGN UP HERE!

As a treat to our Scarlet supporters and readers, and because I am an avid user of Hello Fresh, you have an opportunity RIGHT NOW to try out your first Hello Fresh box at a deeply discounted rate. Hello Fresh provides weekly deliveries of farm fresh ingredients and delicious recipes to your doorstep. Visit their website and use the promotional code, Scarlet35, towards your first box. 

Happy Eating and feel free to share with a friend or two!

Until Next Time,



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Yes, YOU Can Host A Dinner Party Too! – National Etiquette Week – Day 3

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What visual comes to mind when you hear the words dinner party?  Do you think fancy schmansy? Do you visualize infused cocktails and dishes that require directions to eat? Do you envision dressing up in your finest attire?

If you answered yes OR no, you’re wrong AND you’re right!

Scarlet Says, a dinner party is a social occasion at which guests eat dinner together. There is a lot of flexibility in that definition. The bottom line is that a dinner party can be fancy or casual, at a restaurant or at your home, filled with the finest meats and vegetables prepared by a private chef or prepared by you in your own home.

If you are invited to, or plan to have a dinner party, relax – it’s really going to be just fine.

When we decided to host a couple’s dinner party last year, there were some very specific goals that we wanted to achieve. These items can apply to other kinds of dinner party’s, so let me give you the scoop:

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Food: Decide what you’ll serve and the entire serving/display plan behind it. Food is of course a very important component of a dinner party. One of the highest focal points of the party will in fact be dinner, so it’s in your best interest to get this part right. For the couple’s dinner party, we decided to hire a chef. Chef Samaya prepared a delicious 3-course meal and relieved the stress and hassle of preparing the meal myself. It’s important for you to be present at your event. When guests arrive, you#1 Dinner Party-12#1 Dinner Party-38 shouldn’t be still preparing food, cleaning up or getting yourself ready. There are ways that you can cook the meal yourself and still be in hostess mode when your guests arrive. If you go this route, you’ll just need to watch the time and ensure that you keep a to-do list to ensure that you’ll be ready to rock and roll when the first guest arrives. If you want to go the route of cooking all of the food yourself you may want to consider meal or grocery delivery that could assist with the added hassle of a trip to the grocery store. As a treat to our Scarlet supporters and readers, and because I am an avid user of Hello Fresh, you now have access to try out your first Hello Fresh box at a deeply discounted rate. Hello Fresh provides weekly deliveries of farm fresh ingredients and delicious recipes to your doorstep. Visit their website and use the promotional code, Scarlet35, towards your first box.

Beverages: Right up there with your food selection choices lies another event component that requires some intentional thought – the bar and beverage choices. Alcohol and food are usually the most expensive elements of any event, so mind these items carefully as it relates to your budget. While a completely open bar is certainly attractive, and will be very welcomed by many of your guests, if you are looking to reduce costs, consider a moist bar, where perhaps there is just beer, wine and non alcoholic beverages. We decided to have wine, a selection of liquor and non alcoholic beverages. For dinner, we served a selection of white and red wines and for desserts on the roof, we served more wine and a selection of dark liquor. Remember that there are many people who choose to not partake in the consumption of alcohol. As a hostess, its important for you to ensure that there are beverage options for everyone.

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The Guest List: The guest list was and always will be a difficult thing for us, especially as it relates to dinner party’s. It was decided to have this dinner party at our home. Our dining room table sits 10 people comfortably, so really the choice was made for us regarding the maximum amount of people. Now, we have well more than 10 friends who are in a relationships, so there still was some narrowing down that had to happen and knowing that we would have future dinner party’s in the near future helped with decision-making as well. We would have invited everyone if we could, but that size dining room table doesn’t exist yet. When deciding your guest list, think about personalities. Now, here’s the thing (that you may not want to hear, know or be aware of). All of your friends or acquaintances may not be complimentary of each other.

So, this means that you’ll need to give some honest and careful thought to your guest list. You may be thinking, “but they’re all my friends and I’m the connecting link, so why wouldn’t things all go smoothly”. Look, bottom line is, there a ton of different personalities just within your immediate friend group alone. The way that some people approach, respond or react to things may not be something that you want to have to deal with at dinner. Now, odds are your event will very likely (and hopefully)  be a smooth, harmonious and pleasant event, but giving a few moments of thought to who’s personalities mesh together  (and whose does not) could be the difference between a success or a disaster.

#1 Dinner Party-124The Environment: One of the most enjoyable elements of the event was having desserts on the roof. The formal party of a dinner party, which usually involves sitting down in front of nice dishes, a well set table and being served is all well and good, but if there is an opportunity to break up the formalities, change environments and continue with the fun – do it.

Get Your Guests Involved: If there is a wine aficionado in the group who insist#1 Dinner Party-43s on opening and pouring the wine, let them. If your best girlfriend wants to come early to help you put the final touches on things, let her. I personally take my hosting duties seriously and do 95% of the work myself – but it’s because I enjoy it. But, if you’re going to be run down and tired, and not fully able to enjoy your event because you’ve tried to do everything yourself, consider commissioning assistance or  at a minimum, accept  the offer when someone wants to help.

Scarlet Says… dinner party’s come in all different shapes and sizes. The next time that you remotely consider having one or maybe just inviting people over, allow your mind to wander a bit into creative and non-traditional possibilities. The most important thing is to plan. Make to-do lists and give yourself enough time to comfortably plan for the event so that when dinner is served, you can sit back and enjoy the occasion just as much as your guests. #1 Dinner Party-24

Until Next Time, 


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Wait On Me!: How Are You Treating Your Server?

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20140304-160352.jpgI love going out to restaurants! I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m a “foodie”, but going to a restaurant is just awesome. It’s all about the experience! From the moment I step to the host stand to the second I’m escorted to my table, to the selection of cocktails and appetizers, to the selection of the main course and desserts, and other accompaniments, I am excited! It’s not just the food and the environment that I’m smitten by, but also the people. Now while some good ole fashioned people watching is always a treat, that’s not the people who I’m referring to. I’m referring to the restaurant staff, especially the waiter or waitress, who we’ll refer to as our server for this blog entry.

Your servers and the interaction that you have with them can be the ultimate deciding factor between a fantastic dining experience and a bad one. But, should we as the customer be held in any way accountable for our dining experience. Well, of course we are! Every one of our actions and interactions have an impact on the outcome of that situation. While we heavily rely on our servers to positively impact our dining experience, there are certain expectations that we should have of ourselves when eating out. Scarlet challenges you to embrace these tips during your next dining experience:

  • Address your server properly: While our servers are there to enhance our dining experience, they are not our slaves. “Aye”, “Yo”, “You”, “Baby”, “Sweetie Pie”, “Shawty”, “Handsome”, “Good Lookin'”, are not proper greetings. You can call them by the name on their name tag or “sir” or “ma’am” are also alternative options.
  • Pay attention: We understand that you may not be ready to order immediately when your server first approaches your table, but do acknowledge them when they stop by. We briefly polled servers to find out what their etiquette pet peeve is while serving and the highest reported area was being ignored.
  • Tell them when they’re great: We often hear the stories of when someone gets bad service at a restaurant, but what about when someone gives great service! If your server is awesome and makes your dining experience a night to remember, tell them or leave them a note. (like the one pictured above.

While the food is often the main attraction at a dining outing, the people are what truly make it special! Enjoy your next dining experience and remember to treat your server with respect and dignity.

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BMW — Living the classy life

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There is no denying that when a dinner table is properly and fully set, it can get crowded and sometimes confusing. Well, here is an easy way to keep you on track and ensure that you won’t use your neighbors dinnerware.

Locate your BMW when you get to your place setting. When you look down, from your left to your right should be your B-Bread, M-Meal and your W-Wine.

While there are of course many other plates and glasses, this will at least get you headed in the right direction.

…until next time…



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