More often than not, being waited on at an upscale restaurant is one of the most pleasant luxuries that we can experience, short of a spa and massage treatment. Other times, however, you just want to stay in; something about getting dressed nicely and hitting the town for a nice dinner seems comfortable and relaxing it, and sometimes comfort and relaxation are exactly what you need.
Just because you’re going to be dining in the comfort of your own home, however, doesn’t mean you have to simply boil some spaghetti or grill hot dogs–you can both eat well and eat at home, believe it or not. Here are four steps to bringing a fine dining experience–both in terms of food and atmosphere–right to your dining room table for you and your significant other (kids also optional).
Choose a recipe, and make it a good one
This should, more than likely, be the first thing you’re thinking about when bringing upscaling dining home. If you went to a restaurant like Daniel or Jean-Georges, you certainly wouldn’t order chicken fingers and french fries, so why make those an at-home staple?
Choose a recipe that both shows your creative side and utilizes ingredients you may not find in a normal dinner at home. Though most every recipe website will feature a taste of everything, using a website like FineDiningLovers will help knock your dishes up a notch and blow your taste buds out of the water.
Set the Scene
Other than the food, perhaps the thing that stands out most at upscale dining establishments is the atmosphere and service. While you may not have the luxury of being waited on at home (this could be where your children come in), you can perfect the atmosphere. Put on relaxing music (violin music is a safe bet), break out your nicest tablecloth and stick candles, and set the table (here is a good guide for the uninitiated).
Pair Your Drinks
Put away the Dr Pepper and tap water, you’re eating upscale, it’s time to drink the same way. Open a new bottle of wine (or sparkling water if you’re inclined) that best compliments your dish. Pairing is fairly simple, even if you’re not particularly adept at it. I’ve written in the past a quick guide to pairing your food and wine, so check it out and make sure your dish and wine compliment one another adequately.
Don’t Worry About the Cleanup
I know what you’re thinking already–when you’re dining at home one of the things that’s almost constantly on your mind is the inevitable after-dinner cleanup. Chances are, while you’re eating when and how the dishes will get cleaned will be coursing through your mind. I’m telling you now–forget about it. Don’t concern yourself with the post-meal until the meal is done with. The dishes will get done regardless (again, a good time for children to come into the mix), so why ruin the meal with your worry? Put it into the back of your mind and enjoy the meal!
It’s not easy to emulate the experience you get when dining out at an upscale restaurant. By following the four steps I’ve outlined above, however, you’ll be able to bring the best parts of fine dining to your dining room.