Everyone has favorite restaurants they haven’t seen in a long time since the pandemic led to lockdowns and social distancing until the new normal became the norm. Of course, eating at home has its perks; it’s cheaper, convenient, healthier, and you have complete control of your meal options. But the ambiance and the atmosphere of being in a restaurant is something that you naturally miss during all this time spent at home.
If you think about it, though, you can make your home feel like a night out in your favorite restaurant with the simplest steps. You don’t have to leave your house and get stuck in traffic, but still, get that fine dining experience you miss.
Tips for a Faux Restaurant Dine-in at Home
1. Plan your dinner
If you’re hosting a dinner with other people, it would be helpful to be aware of everyone’s diets. Some of them could be vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, and meat-eaters. The more types of diets, the more exciting it can get to plan your meals because there would be variations.
In case you want to be extra, you can even create and print a menu where all the available meals will be listed. There should be sections for the appetizers, main dish, drinks, desserts, and wine. Surely, you’ll give off a restaurant-like vibe with a menu.
2. Prepare the meals
Once you know everyone’s diets, you should buy the ingredients that are needed. Some meals might also take time to prepare, like when you need to marinate some meat, so prepare them in advance. Then, you can start cooking them. If you’re preparing a meal for a big group, it would be a fun activity to have some of them come over to help with the meal preparations.
3. Set the table
Don’t be limited to having your dinner in your dining room. When you have a porch or a patio, use them to create a more atmospheric vibe. You can use your best linens, the finest plates, and utensils to give off a fine-dining vibe. If you have candles, lamps, and string lights, consider hanging them around your chosen dining area, and it should give a romantic feel. Some fresh flowers could also add to the ambiance.
4. Curate a playlist
Music does wonders for creating an atmosphere that calms and relaxes people whenever they dine in restaurants. So, choose a ready-made playlist with some down-tempo tunes, or if you have the time, you can also create your own playlist to make the dinner more special. There are also restaurant-themed audios available online that you can play along with your curated playlist. T
These recordings have the sounds you would usually hear in restaurants like the clanking of silverware on the plates, cooking noises, waiters getting orders and serving guests, people talking to each other and laughing, and more.
5. Dress up
You probably miss wearing your favorite clothes and shoes that you would typically wear in a restaurant dinner setting. So, now that you have the chance go all out and wear them and style your hair. You could even accessorize with your favorite jewelry and put on your best perfume.
6. Welcome your guests
Someone who is already in your house could play different roles of restaurant staff who would welcome your guests when they arrive. Of course, remind them to wash their hands after getting their coats. Then they could help them to their seats and hand them the menus. Don’t forget the appetizers and wine while they wait for their order.
7. Serve the food
Once everyone has arrived and has given their orders, you can now serve their food. If you have a stainless steel utility cart, you should use it to bring the meals to the tables. It should give them nostalgia for their distant dining experiences.
8. Dine in
By now, everything is in order. Everyone should be starving and ready to eat, so dine in. But, don’t forget to make a toast for a special evening and to thank those who came and joined you for a special night.
9. Dessert time
Of course, a restaurant dinner wouldn’t be complete without a dessert and some post-dinner chit chats and hangouts. Surely, you all have something to talk about in these uncertain but fascinating times.
Copying your favorite restaurant’s vibe may be hard work and could take many preparations, but it should give everyone a sense of faux normalcy, which everyone needs. They would appreciate it, and it would be an enjoyable evening for everyone.