Memorial Day kicks off the summer entertaining season. Here's how to make your dinner party a standout:
Be responsible with your guest list: Limit your dinner party to friends, family or clients. Mixing social groups will make hosting more difficult. You wouldn't want to coax your shy aunt into mingling with your boss. That's no fun for anyone.
Find a perfect table, preferably outdoors: Circular tables that seat no more than 14 people are always more conducive to conversation. If you have the flexibility of a terrace, balcony or backyard, you should have your party outdoors. It's summer, after all, and you have the rest of the year to eat in your dining room.
If your outdoor furniture has seen better days or you're using a plywood tabletop on a makeshift base, skip the floral-print linens. Instead, dress it up with a simple, white
tablecloth from Williams-Sonoma
If you're short on time, buy side dishes from a local deli and serve them in your own bowls. Don't go to Whole Foods Market
Try to do as much preparation as possible ahead of time, so you'll be free to spend time with guests before dinner. Reheat and arrange your dishes 10 minutes before serving.