The leaves are just starting to turn. The air is a bit nippier once the sun sets. The satiny peaches and sweet berries so plentiful only a few weeks ago at the farmers market have ceded space to tart apples and nutty squash. Indeed, the colors, flavors and scents distinctive to autumn and its transitional personality – you can still keep the windows open but don’t be surprised to hear the hum of the furnace – are reason enough to play host to family and friends.
Design Detroit likes a good party, and our entertaining pros offer some tips to guarantee yours will be the talk of the town.
1. Plan for outdoors, prepare for indoors.
We had every intention of throwing our Design Detroit party outside – there’s nothing like a fall sunset – but an early evening cloudburst but a damper on those plans.
2. Prepare a menu where the flavors of fall take center stage.
Monica Bisignano Zamler, owner of Primi Piatti Market in Birmingham , prepared two beautiful pasta dishes for our main course: Beat Shell Pasta with Roasted Peppers, Beets and Gorgonzola and Buccatini with Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella. And don’t forget the breadsticks.
Design Detroit tip: Always offer a vegetarian option. Monica recommends using fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables to inspire the vegetarian option like the Beet Pasta or Buccatini she prepared for Design Detroit.
3. Let your glassware and entertaining accessories be expressive.
Sally Crosthwaite from Tootie and Tallulah’s advises her customers to ”have fun mixing things up like glassware and dishes for a casual, comfortable feel. Combine vintage with new items. Use and buy what you love and what you will use.” The look is expressive and interesting, as seen below when we like mixed old favorites, like this wrought iron mirrored bird tray, with vimtage pieces like our elegant Fostoria glassware.
4. Offer appetizers that won’t compete with your main course.
The perfect appetizer, such as these flavorful cheeses, Reggiano Parmesan and Pecorino al Tartufo with dipping sauces presented on a beautiful tray offer something light to merely whet the appetite for supper .
Design Detroit tip: Don’t keep your guests guessing. Write the name of each cheese and sauce on a card inserted into a pear. After dinner, poach the pears with cinnamon and serve with vanilla ice cream.
5. With the change of seasons comes a change in centerpieces. Fresh cut flowers reign supreme in spring and summer. Cooler months, though, call for something a little heartier, so to speak. Fragrant basil and hot pepper plants displayed in a spicket planter are an aromatic accompaniment.
6.Remember your manners.
Hostess/host gifts: A bottle of wine is fine. But at Design Detroit, we like to think outside of the bottle … Er, box. Ask your hosts about the party or the menu and bring something that all the guests can enjoy such as assorted olive oils and dipping sauces from Primi Piatti Market, or a lightly scented candle from Tootie and Tallulah.
Thank you notes: Take a few minutes and put pen to richly textured paper. There is absolutely no “thank you” like the one delivered by the postman. Your hosts will agree. And such a nice touch almost ensures another invitation.
Enjoy the season Detroit, both inside and out.