Our progressive dinner party + how to plan one of your own!

progressive dinner party / a thousand threadsprogressive dinner party / a thousand threads
Progressive dinner parties are one of the most brilliant little ideas I’ve come across in a long time – have you heard of them? The idea is that rather than have just one party in one place, you gather a few of your favorite people and have each course at a different home. That way the party moves around, and everyone has a chance to do a little bit of hosting!

Thanks to The Neighborhood (who hosted this awesome contest at Alt NYC) — and my super amazing neighbors — Mark and I had the chance to throw our own little progressive dinner party to ring in the fall.

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We’re lucky to have neighbors we love, so we were able to walk between homes. We started off with appetizers with our friends Kenny and Erin, who served avocado and prosciutto, stuffed brussels sprouts and tomatoes, black garlic and crudites. We enjoyed the gorgeous evening light as the sun set on all of our homes, sipped wine and stuffed our faces — loving every single thing that they made.

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Then we moved on to Mark’s and my entree. Freshly baked bread, an arugula, grape, and almond salad, pasta with pancetta, sage, and mushrooms, and fresh fruit and cheese.

Mark’s bread is the best, and you can never go wrong with a little bit of seasonal fruit and melt-in-your-mouth triple cream cheese… but thankfully the recipes we tried also turned out really well, and I think we’ll be adding them both to our regular rotation of favorites.

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Last, we traveled all the way across the street to our friend Brooke’s delicious tiramisu, with coffee and limoncello on the side.

Everyone truly outdid themselves to the point that even writing our menu here now I can hardly believe how well we all ate!

We’re already planning to do it again, and I can’t wait — I’d take our little newly-formed supper club over dinner out anytime.

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How to plan a progressive dinner party of your own…

1 // Choose three or four hosts.

Each course will take some time (plan around an hour to an hour and a half) so while it might sound fun to plan a seven-course meal at seven different homes, you’ll need to keep your timing in mind. Folks might start to feel a little rushed if you’re trying to move them along – and you might feel rushed in getting your own course on the table. It’s better to keep it to three or four so you can all take your time.

2 // If you can’t walk from home to home, have a travel plan.

If you don’t live next door, don’t think you’re out of luck. You’ll need to account for a little extra time to get from house to house, and you’ll need to designate a driver (or two) or take cabs, but it can definitely be done. Try starting at the house that’s farthest away, that way the longest travel time comes earlier in the night.

3 // Think of recipes that can be made ahead (at least partially).

You don’t have to go for a casserole, but do try to think of something that can be partially made ahead. For our entrée, we planned on a pasta, a salad, bread, and a fall fruit and cheese plate. The fruit and cheese plate could be thrown together in five minutes and the bread, salad dressing, and pasta sauce were made ahead. That way our prep was limited to around 20-30 minutes, leaving plenty of time for everyone to sip a little more wine.

progressive dinner party / a thousand threadsprogressive dinner party / a thousand threadsprogressive dinner party / a thousand threads

7 Comments

  1. Posted September 24, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of progressive dinner parties – what a fun idea! The food sounds AMAZING, and I’m loving the beautiful tablescape!

  2. Posted September 24, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    What an interesting idea for a dinner party! I wish my neighbors were as cool as yours! This looks like it was so much fun – and so delicious! Might I add what a BEAUTIFUL table decor you had going there?!

  3. Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    sounds totally hip and cool, as with everything you do! and this little glimpse into your home tells me you are so neat and organized! i’m thinking there’s a home tour in the future and i can’t wait!

  4. Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    No I had never heard of this what a brilliant idea. Great blog. Following via Bloglovin.

    Ali of Dressing Ken

  5. Posted September 24, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful bread and beautiful table settings! I’d love to snack on that salad too.

  6. Posted September 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I love this! My family and neighbors did this all the time around the holidays when I was growing up. Glad to hear that other people enjoy progressive dinners too:)

  7. Posted September 25, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    What fun–and such a gorgeous night!

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  • […] as a sidewalk) in Newark. Well, my parents and a flock of pushy pigeons… 3 // The best little progressive dinner party ever, with some of my favorite friends. 4 // Hearing that two of my favorite people in the whole […]

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