Antiques, fine china and gourmet food at a Dallas dinner party? Whatever happened to chuck wagon barbecue, checkered napkins and tin plates? That stereotype no longer fits the totally “with it” and highly sophisticated citizen of this fourth-largest metropolitan area in the nation.
Today you might be more likely to have Thai barbecue with Asian slaw served on antique china. The centerpiece might be tiger lilies and a driftwood sculpture. Can you picture it?
Throw Out the Rules
Dallas and Forth Worth have taken their place in the world of finance and business, art and culture, education and government, and are quickly becoming style-setters in the world of design and home decor. Fearless ingenuity and the ability to transform outdated “rules” into modern expression seem effortless here. Maybe it’s just a new interpretation of the old frontier spirit. Or, maybe it stems from the attitude that everything should be fun. Whatever the reasons, a dinner party in Dallas is likely to be an evening to remember, no matter what the occasion.
Take to heart the ideas of noted chefs in the Dallas area who are creating wonderful new dishes from familiar “steak and potatoes” basics. Other innovative chefs incorporate coastal seafood and home-grown vegetables into down-home delights that are healthy as well as delicious. And the trend toward lighter fare means more creative meal planning, as well. Visit a farmers’ market, load up on fresh produce and use the color and forms not only for your menu, but for table decorations, too.
Look Around — Gain Inspiration
If you have any doubts about how to manage the mix of formal and fun, just look at some of the ideas on Pinterest. You’ll be sure to gain inspiration for formal parties, backyard gatherings, and informal game-night potlucks in front of the fire. Another source for products and ideas is Houzz.com. You can hone your style preferences, whether you’re drawn to rustic or eclectic, farmhouse or Asian.
In the fall, outdoor parties in Dallas are popular, and the weather is usually pleasant. But even during the heat of summer, you can plan an outdoor party by the pool and set a beautiful table. Ideas from HGTV show you how to please your guests and furnish that casual outdoor space with a whimsical touch for a formal sit-down dinner party.
Collect Unusual Party Ware
The fall season is also a perfect time to gather up some unusual table decorations, and a few new serving pieces. With the holidays just around the corner, maybe you’ll volunteer to host the family dinner at your house. Even if it’s just a pizza party for the neighborhood teens, or hot chocolate after the game, it can be a special occasion. And just who was it who decreed that football game watchers must eat with their fingers?
The ability to mix old and new, to blend the fine with the “found,” to meld new flavors from familiar ingredients is an art that only takes a little practice. With a wealth of local design retailers, antique shops, trade days and flea markets — and a determination to be inventive — you will have no trouble capturing the essence of a Dallas dinner party. The best dinner parties are not “performances,” after all. They are simply gatherings of friends.
What could be more fun?
Photo Source: Flickr