How to Create a Great Dinner Party Menu

So you want to host a dinner party for your friends and wow them with a delicious meal but you’re not sure how to put together the perfect menu. Never fear, Lake Geneva Country Meats has you covered with 7 straightforward tips on how you can put together an awesome dinner party menu:

  1. Ask your guests about their dietary preferences.

You could make a 3 Michelin Star quality meal, but if your guests can’t eat your meal due to a food allergy, it won’t matter at all. Before you start planning, be sure to contact your guests and ask if they have food allergies, sensitivities or special diets. It’s a quick step that can save you a lot of embarrassment later.

  1. Cook a dish you know how to make.

We all like to experiment in the kitchen, but a dinner party isn’t the right time. If you’re planning on making something new, try it before the big night at least once. Most recipes take at least one cooking to figure out their nuances and secrets. Do everyone a favor, and don’t use your dinner party as test run!

  1. Pick a meal that is simple to prepare, but made with high quality ingredients.

You can certainly make the fanciest dish possible, but that’ll take away time that you could spend with your guests. Maximize the time you can spend with your guests by picking out dishes that are simple to make but made with high quality ingredients. This will ensure that the dishes all taste amazing but aren’t too hard to make. Your guests will remember the delicious flavor and your outstanding company!

  1. Have a theme that ties together all the courses…

If you’re serving multiple courses, tie them together with a common theme, otherwise the meal can feel disjointed. Try making multiple courses from one style of cuisine (think Italian night) or use an ingredient across all three courses (like lemon). You don’t have to advertise the theme, but providing similar foods across all courses will bring the entire meal together nicely.

  1. …but make sure there is variation between each course.

Just because you chose to make an Italian appetizer, salad, entrée, and dessert doesn’t mean that you can just make the same dish for all three portions of the meal! When you plan your menu, make sure that there is variation in color, temperature and flavor between the courses. If you serve a hot appetizer, for instance, try serving a cool salad to provide variation and balance between courses.

  1. Prepare ahead of the big night.

Do as much preparation ahead of the big night as possible. Chop ingredients, make sauces, and do your shopping ahead of time. The ideal dishes can all be prepped and ready to go in short order on the night. Remember – mise en place, have everything in its place and ready to go!

  1. Pair great beverages with the meal.

Last, but not least, be sure to have beverage pairings to go with the meal. In our book, drinks, food, and friends all make each other better. Think about the meal you’re serving and what type of beverage would be great with the food. Would a craft cocktail be a delicious digestif? Would a bottle of sparkling wine get the evening started right? Think about how you can serve appropriate beverages with your meal and have them ready for your guests.

There you have our 7 tips on how to create a great dinner party menu. Once you have your dinner party planned stop at Lake Geneva Country Meats for the best meat, produce, beverages and more. We’ll provide you delicious, fresh ingredients and advice on how to cook them to perfection. We’re sure your party will turn out perfectly.

There are plenty more tips, and we’d love for you to share your tips and suggestions for dinner parties in the comments below. Do you have a fool proof menu or time saving tip? Did you throw a fun theme party that all your guests loved? Share your tips in the comments below so everyone can benefit from your wisdom!