While all of us here at The Kitchn love to chat about simple meals and the day-to-day realities of cooking, we also really love a good party. So this week we're launching a new monthly series, Gatherings from The Kitchn, showing you our own dinner parties, large and small. Gathering with friends can be as simple as a cozy dinner party for for four in a little apartment, or as ambitious as a backyard movie night. We'll show you our real-life parties, taking a week to walk through planning, recipes, tips, decorating tips, and the party itself.
Our first party comes from my own kitchen, where last week I threw a dinner tailored for the end of winter, one with hearty, rustic polenta and lots of red wine. Simple, right? Well, we decided to add a dramatic centerpiece for this party -- a four-foot-long polenta board! Want to see more?
The Party Idea: Polenta alla Spianatora
The Centerpiece: Polenta Board from Gray Works DesignFor this party I knew I would need an awesome board to serve the polenta. So I turned to a pair of artisans I have admired from afar for a while: Elizabeth Bryant and Andrew Gray of Gray Works Design. (We recently mentioned them and their gorgeous boards here.) They agreed to make me a custom rustic board for the polenta. I'll share more about them later this week -- look for more on them and their approach to their craft.
The Party Menu: Polenta, Braised Beef, Red Wine
- Antipasti platter with olives, peppers, and prosciutto
- Polenta with mascarpone and Parmesan
- Braised beef in red wine and tomatoes
- Braised kale
- Creamy mushroom sauce
- Fennel salad with lemon dressing
- (Store-bought) ice cream with cherries in red wine