Let’s talk about dinner parties. I adore restaurants, but there’s something so nice about a languorous meal with friends, one that’s free from the stress of scoring a reservation, the subsequent rush to make it to that reservation on time, and then the pressure to squeeze in all your catching up before being booted out of the restaurant for the next group. Of course, for the host, there may be a substantial amount of stress that eclipses the ease afforded to their guests. But, as Bettina Makalintal reported, there’s a whole host (pun intended) of services one can buy to make things a bit easier.
At Social Studies you can pay between $22 and $72 per guest to rent dinner party tablescapes with themes like “Broken Beauty” or “Provence.” Fellow dinner party facilitator Hauste sells step-by-step guides, including playlists and menus, for a variety of events, including a Bridgerton-inspired high tea and a Galentine’s brunch. And then there’s Big Night, a store in Brooklyn that bills itself as a “a shop for dinner, parties, and dinner parties.” Although you can only shop in-store for dinner party supplies — which range from Madre Linen napkins and Ichendorf Milano tumblers to Omsom starter packs and Fishwife tins — Big Night recently opened up an online shop with merch, including a scented candle “designed specifically to pair with cooking, eating, and hosting.”
Is it necessary to have coordinated dishware or the perfect mood-setting candle to throw a dinner party? No. But I do appreciate what these services say about the moment we’re in, namely that dinner parties are back in a big way. Long live dinner parties.
Acid League's Nandini Coriander Living Vinegar, Big Night's Dinner Party candle, and a platter from Sona Home.
The designs at new homegoods line Sona Home would make for quite the photogenic dinner party. (Imagine placing these chutney pots at each individual place setting.) The brand comes from Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Maneesh Goyal and is inspired by the custom dishware the two had made for their New York City restaurant Sona.
Vinegar brand Acid League partnered with Diaspora Co. on a pantry kit that pairs an Acid League coriander-spiked vinegar with three Diaspora Co. spices, including the Nandini coriander that features in the vinegar. It comes with a recipe for a dressing that makes use of all the ingredients.
The ice cream company Salt & Straw now has a line of fragrances that double as toppings for ice cream. Confused? The idea is that ice cream on its own doesn’t really smell like anything, so these scents — a Cloud of Cocoa, a Plume of Blooms, and a Swoon of Citrus — can be sprayed on or around ice cream, thus enhancing its flavor (since flavor and aroma are so connected). And you can wear them, which raises the question: Where does one store their edible perfume? In the bathroom? In the cupboard? You can make that call after signing up for the waiting list. They’ll also be available as a topping at Salt & Straw scoop shops for $.50 starting July 17.
These custom food pants are very fun. I’ve been daydreaming about the foods I’d request to have drawn on a pair of white Dickies, asking myself which ones meet in the Venn diagram of foods I really, really like and foods that look good illustrated. Mashed potatoes, for example, only fall into the former circle, but Goldfish could be cute.
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