A Simple Sunday Dinner Party: The Party Plan and Menu

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

One of the things I love most about my apartment is the open layout between the living room and dining room. It gets a lot of natural light and it’s perfect for entertaining. But as much as I love sharing meals with friends and having dinner parties, I’ve only taken advantage of this space to do so a few times.

The recent arrival of spring, and its sunnier days, inspired me to change that. And, I took it one step further, because the one thing better than hosting a dinner party solo is hosting a dinner party with a friend! So, Ariel and I teamed up to host a simple Sunday dinner party with a few friends, with new recipes from The Kitchn Cookbook.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

The Party Plan: A Simple Sunday Dinner Party from The Kitchn Cookbook

Our plan was to keep both dinner and decor easy, simple, and casual. And, our go-to resource was The Kitchn Cookbook, which isn’t just about recipes. It has tips for simple gatherings with friends, and lends itself to make-ahead, fun meals with little stress.

→ Get a copy for yourself: The Kitchn Cookbook

While it’s a little less traditional, we opted for an early Sunday evening dinner party. Ariel and I thought it would be a nice way to close out the weekend and settle in before diving back into the work week. Plus, as an added bonus, the earlier dinner time let us enjoy the late-day sunshine as we sat around the table.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

The Party Look: Bright, Fresh, and Casual

With pale beige walls, a dark wood dining table, and mostly neutral accessories, we really wanted to incorporate a few bright colored accents to liven up the room and make it feel springy. For the most part we stuck with items we already had — two table runners (one patterned and one blue), bright yellow cloth napkins, votive candles, vibrant serving bowls, and fresh flowers that were purchased. I love the way the flowers pop at the center of the table.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)
(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

The Dinner Menu: Mediterranean-Inspired, Make-Ahead Recipes from The Kitchn Cookbook

The heart and soul of our meal came from The Kitchn Cookbook. Narrowing down our recipes was easy, but also really hard — there were so many good recipes to choose from. Our focus was a meal that was easy to prepare (no hard-to-find ingredients, nothing elaborate) with recipes that could fully or partially be prepared ahead of time, didn’t require a long cook time, and were ideal for a small group.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

A Simple Sunday Dinner Party: The Menu

This menu serves six people. The best thing about this menu is that many of the items, or at the very least their components, can be made ahead of time.

Main Course

Side Dishes



(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

What’s Coming up This Week

From recipes to tips on throwing a simple dinner party, there’s a lot more to come this week! Here’s what you’ll see this week:

  • Tips for managing an after-work dinner party: Even though our dinner party was on a Sunday, it made us realize how feasible this would be to do on a weeknight. We have the tips on how to make it happen.
  • Our dinner party from The Kitchn Cookbook: Keep an eye out for the full party post on Wednesday.
  • Recipes: Throughout the week we’ll be sharing our cocktail recipe, as well as three recipes straight from The Kitchn Cookbook!
  • Gathering tips from The Kitchn Cookbook: Later this week there will be more tips from The Kitchn Cookbook to help you host your own gathering.
  • Dinner party etiquette: What do you do when some of your guests are late? Hold up dinner to wait for them or proceed without them? We’ll tell you the best way to handle this sticky situation.

Photographed by: Alexis Buryk
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