It’s really hard. You can’t even dine in your fave resto nowadays. Indeed, if there’s one experience that many Americans have missed during the pandemic, the top of that list is dining outside. Just a year ago, St Patrick’s Day was met with bans on bar and restaurant openings. Though this year, with the vaccine already set in place, things are a little more optimistic these days. But it’s a tough act with over a million Americans infected by the virus.
Some states indicate their willingness to get the restaurant business back on its feet. But it doesn’t apply to every state. And there’s the rub.
But never fear. You need not be in a restaurant to get the restaurant dining experience. Yes, you heard that right. As radical as it may seem, you can always bring the wonder of eating at your fave resto right at home. And what a timely thing to do it would be. With stay-at-home orders still in place in many states, giving the family dining experience a twist would be most welcome.
Select Your Theme
Right from the get-go, remember that not all restaurants are created equal. There are just so many you can choose from. Just a quick look back at all the best food places you’ve visited should tell you that.
So to start, choose your theme. What do you want to recreate? Is it the diner experience? Are you longing for that breakfast for dinner experience? Or would you like a steakhouse experience. Know that if you choose to have the steakhouse, you’d have to get the right tools factored in. We’re talking about heavy-duty steak knives.
If you’re having a little trouble finalizing your theme, do a little soul-searching. Think of a fave restaurant that you’d like to recreate. And proceed from there.
Liven Up Your Space
But of course, you need to set the scene. Restaurants are not just about chairs and tables. It’s a whole new world altogether. You’re like entering a castle. Somebody greets you at the door and signals “right this way please”. You need not go over-the-top to arrive at a restaurant-feel environment.
The first thing to focus your attention on is lighting. Take note that lighting creates a certain aura. So take time to perfect it. And yes, a candle-lit dinner should top it all. If you’re inviting friends or relatives over, then make sure you have everything ready before they arrive.
On a side note, nobody is stopping you if you want to give your dining room a makeover. For instance, you might want to embrace the open-concept design to entertain the masses. You’ll have to break down walls to make it happen.
Additionally, you can also choose to expand your dining. In which case, you can go either up or go wide. When you go up, it’s a bit of a tall order as you’ll have to ensure the foundations of the house stays intact when you expand.
If the job is too technical, getting the expertise of a licensed general contractor should bid you well. Not only will they help you in executing your plan, but they also ensure your plan is safe and sound from the onset.
Spice Up the Menu
This is a big one. Cooking for a regular meal is one thing; cooking a menu that’s worthy of a restaurant audience is another thing. Indeed, it can be daunting. Well, the phone can help you here. If you’re not really 100% sure you can deliver the menu by cooking yourself, call your fave resto and have your choice foods delivered.
Then again, why not take the adventure of it all and cook the menu yourself. Just make sure you meet the deadline in one piece. Nobody wants to be at a dinner table when the host is all-spent in cooking and too tired to talk. It’s best you cook well ahead of time. And get some help if you can. In retrospect, don’t sweat it too much. Nobody is expecting you to do Michelin-star quality cooking as Gordon Ramsay would want you.
Create the Ambiance
Now, get that restaurant-dining feel by copying what restaurants do. Create that ambiance. Up your presentation skills in the process. You need to bring out those fine chinaware and shining cutlery. This is not your ordinary dining experience so nix those shabby plates and let the best come out.
For starters, have some flowers on the table. You can also improve the looks of your food. For instance, garnish poultry meals with those fresh herbs. And don’t forget, put in a lemon wedge along with your fish entrees or seafood.
The important thing is to set the scenery. Thus, the table should be dressed so it becomes extraordinary. And those silverwares should be rolled up in table napkins. It’s pretty simple actually. Just emulate your fave resto experience. That means the TV should be off (it’s a distraction) while ambient music flows with the conversation.
Be a Gracious Host
Last but not the least, be a gracious host. Prep yourself. You should be full of energy in entertaining your guests. The last thing you need is to be cranky. Lighten up and enjoy the evening.
Things are bound not to be perfect. But, all the positive vibe you have inside is bound to help your guests get in the mood to call the night wonderful.