Sometimes you want to entertain friends without attributing the reason to the latest holiday or social event. Whether it's a promotion, a reunion or even a regular old Friday night, one of my favorite ways to host an everyday celebration is with a dinner party.
To be even more specific, I celebrate with a themed dinner party that's inspired by a specific type of food like Italian, French, or Chinese. Most of the time, I'll create a dinner party around a guest-of-honor's favorite food, but for years I've been wanting to host a Greek themed dinner with all the flavors of the Mediterranean incorporated into my menu - like olives, cheese, hummus, honey, etc. After hosting many a dinner party where someone else chose the menu, I finally got my chance to go Greek! Here is my menu with recipes, plus a table setting to linger at and enjoy all these yummy foods around.
Set the table of your Greek dinner party by taking inspiration from the beauty of Greece itself. Turquoise blue water and white stucco walls are what come to mind when thinking of Greece. To mimic this vision, I set the table with white and turquoise, adding whimsy with classical Greek lettering.
For place cards I printed names in classical Greek style lettering and used a Greek key border for color. Greek column risers from the cake baking aisle are used to lean the cards against.
Each place setting gets a menu card made by attaching the printed card onto card stock with a decorative brad. There's nothing complicated about the setting - it's effortlessly chic and perfectly captures the feel of Greece.
While the overall decor and tablescape details lend an important hand in creating a fun, themed dinner party atmosphere, it's understood that the most important part for any dinner party is the menu. For this Greek dinner party, we went with a classic line up of favorites and gave them a little twist.
Spinach and feta is a classic Greek ingredient combo. While traditional spanikopita takes more time and effort to make it, these stuffed filo dough cups turn the complicated appetizer into a much more approachable hors d'ouevre.
Once everyone sat down at the table, I served a fresh beet salad with goat cheese. The ingredients in this salad recipe paired well together - from the textures, like the crisp bite of the lettuce, the creaminess of the cheese and crunch of the walnuts, to the flavors, like the earthiness of the beets and sweetness of the dressing - it all blended together simply and successfully!
While the salad was lighter, for the main entree we turned the traditional lamb gyro into a more chef-friendly burger stuffed into a pita. Complete with a cucumber sauce on top, it was an easy way to work in a classic Greek food into our menu.
Alongside that we spooned heaping piles of Greek-style couscous onto plates for guests to enjoy. Mixed with feta cheese, tomatoes, olives and other Greek ingredients, it's the perfect compliment to our burgers and an overall winner with any dinner party crowd.
Finally, for dessert I chose to serve bite-sized Baklava. Baklava is a traditional Greek dessert that's both sweet and savory thanks to the combination of honey and nuts.
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