Pacing is an important part of the dining experience, both in a restaurant and when you have guests over. We’ve all been to meals where they bring all of the courses at once, and others where the chef only starts to grow the wheat when you ask for bread.
At Feastly, we encourage you to take your time (but not too much time, of course) with your meal. Meals are best when you have time to digest, chat and sip your beverage before each course arrives. Let us offer you some tips for just-right pacing in your own home.
When guests arrive, make sure they have something to drink and a little something-something to nosh on – maybe some cheese, bacon wrapped everything, or chopped liver in the shape of your favorite Cold War figure (May we suggest Henry Kissinger?). Within 15-30 minutes of all of the guests arriving, encourage them to make their way to the table and begin serving the appetizer. Waiting too long to serve dinner may lead to guests filling up on finger foods or ordering in Thai food.
After the last guest has finished the appetizer, pick up the plates and bring the main course within 10 minutes. Make sure that plates are kept full, and offer seconds and unsolicited, “You’re too skinny!” comments to those who relent. As the entire table finishes eating, as denoted by grouping silverware and placing them to the right of their plate or when guests start to unbuckle their belts to give their stomachs room to expand.
Don’t forget to also pace the alcohol, as well. Make sure everyone has enough liquid in his or her cup. In terms of pacing, think classy Parisienne boozy dinner party and not Theta Chi fraternity party.
If everyone is commenting on how full they are, it is best not to burst through the dining room like the Kool Aid man with a five layer chocolate cake, insisting they try a piece.Instead, mingle and bust out some of the fascinating conversation starters.
Let your guests work up a little bit of an appetite and consider a change of location for dessert and coffee. Regardless of whether you actually do have a parlor, consider using the phrase, “Ladies and gentlemen, may I suggest we adjourn to the parlor?” A change of scenery and walking a few steps helps to re-stimulate the old appetite.
With Feastly’s help you should become an East African marathon runner of dinner pacing. Your guests will undoubtedly appreciate your skills, and repay you with ample compliments, and wait with great (but just the right amount of) anticipation for your next Feastly meal.