Entertaining | A Standing Dinner Party Menu Made for Mingling


how to host a standing dinner party,

from William Hereford for Tasting Table


credit: DP Oscar Hudson, via vimeo


A spiced punch that can be served warm with cinnamon sticks or chilled and topped with sparkling wine helps get guests mingling at the outset of a dinner party.

An array of lights, from small votive candles to hanging globe lanterns, casts a warm glow over a room.  Saffron-infused honey drizzled over membrillo and blue cheese-stuffed endive spears captures the light.

A feast of finger foods makes it easy for guests to mix and gather with small plates in hand.  Pears wrapped with prosciutto and roasted with maple syrup and black pepper are a stunningly simple bite.

Smoky chicken-phyllo croustillants with spiced coriander, cumin and paprika are a favorite savory addition to the menu.

Plating small portions means more variety, with chances to taste a slow-spiced short ribs.

Scallops have never looked so stunning as when served in their shells with a dusting of savory seasoned seaweed.

A long table laden with bottles of bubbly and small tasting portions is a gorgeous centerpiece to a standing dinner party.

The deconstructed croquembouche features delicate pastry puffs filled with dulce de leche cream.  Finish this showstopper of a dessert with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Choose a dessert that friends can easily take from couch to table and back again, and make it a memorably sweet finish.

Don’t underestimate the power of a carefully curated playlist to give a party buzz and energy.

Unwind with a last glass of bubbly after drinks, dancing and a stupendous spread of dishes to celebrate your friendship.


credits: photography by William Hereford, props by Hilary Robertson, food styling by Rebekah Peppler, concept by Tasting Table‘s CEO Geoff Bartakovics and recipes from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen.



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