There are plenty of things to love about dining out. From the atmosphere and ambiance to the comfort and convenience of not having to wash the dishes after the meal, eating out can be considered as an opportunity to spend some quality relaxation time alone or with loved ones.
Although there is arguably nothing that can take the place of dinner at your favorite restaurant, there’s no reason why you cannot create a luxurious dining experience of your own. In fact, you can enjoy fine dining even without leaving the comforts of your home.
Not sure how? Read on to learn these eight tips for achieving an authentic and complete fine dining experience at home:
1. Create a Fine Dining Atmosphere
People pay a lot of money to enjoy an atmosphere that is worth the price. In restaurants, this is achieved by arranging the seating and layout of the place so that customers are looking at something interesting.
Fortunately, it is possible to do the same at home. Instead of eating in the usual areas, like the kitchen or the dining room, consider making changes to the place where you eat to make it more interesting.
For warm months, you can “dine out” in your balcony or a cozy area in your yard. If you have a roof deck, you can also use it as a venue for a romantic dinner for two with your beloved.
For colder seasons, you can opt to arrange a dinner setup indoors. You can set the table in your living room or in front of the fireplace. If you have creative nooks or areas with artwork hanging on the wall, you can transform those into an instant dining area with a small table and a couple of chairs.
Remember that the area doesn’t have to be big; as long as the decor or view is interesting, it should be a good enough start in creating a fine dining atmosphere.
Don’t worry if you have no other place to eat at home aside from the kitchen or dining area. You can still make them more interesting by:
- Using a smaller table, so that the dinner will feel a bit more intimate; or
- Blocking the view of the stove or kitchen sinks to make it feel more like a pleasant dinner date than a normal meal at your usual spot at home
2. Pick a Fine Meal and Have It Delivered to Your Doorstep
You can attempt to cook food and copy those served at fine dining establishments. There’s no doubt you’ll be able to pull it off if you have mastered the culinary arts, have experience in preparing great meals, or simply feel at home in the kitchen.
Even if you don’t, you can still enjoy this fine dining at home – whether alone or with your significant other — with the help of food delivery services.
Of course, you’ll probably enjoy the entire experience better if you’re not the one preparing the food. After all, part of the appeal of dining out is not having to tire yourself slicing and dicing ingredients and slaving over a hot stove.
With a fine dining food delivery service, you can get a full and authentic fine dining experience at home without going through the trouble of preparing the dishes. In fact, all you need is your phone and Internet connection, and voila! Delicious food will be on the way.
3. Choose Your Linens Wisely
Good fine-dining restaurants use good-quality tablecloths and napkins to make the dining experience feel more luxurious.
If you’re not sure what to use, stick to white linens like the ones typically used in high-end restaurants. These tablecloths and napkins offer a classic and timeless vibe to the dinner setup.
If you’re out of linen napkins, top-quality white paper napkins should do the trick.
4. Bring Out Your Good China
Another element of an authentic fine dining experience is fine china. If you have some stored in the attic or anywhere else in the house, make sure that you bring them out on occasion. What better time to use them than when you’re planning to have a fine dining experience at home?
Don’t let your best dinnerware go to waste. Use those special serving plates and bowls to serve hot food or chilled dishes in. Follow the formal table setting, complete with all the spoons, forks, knives, plates, bowls and glasses used for specific foods and beverages. Like linens, white china also works best in fine dining setups. Even better, go for square plates to achieve a cutting edge look for the food you serve.
5. Keep the Glassware and Cutlery Spotless
Glassware and cutlery have to be spotless if you are to achieve the same level of elegance that fine dining establishments are known for. You will not eat and drink off anything less than crystal clear glass and impeccably polished cutlery at a restaurant, so apply the same set of standards if you intend to enjoy fine dining at home.
Despite its name, it doesn’t necessarily mean that stainless steel cannot have any stains on it. Even if you have top-quality stainless-steel cutlery, you’re bound to see ugly brown blemishes, especially if they are only being cleaned in the dishwasher.
If you have fine silver, this is a good time to break them out. Don’t forget to polish both cutlery and glassware to a shine.
6. Splurge on Table Arrangements
Table arrangements are also common in luxurious restaurants, and for a good reason, too. Flowers and other elements placed at the center of the table contribute to the ambiance unique to fine dining.
If you choose to place flowers, make sure they match the rest of the décor, especially the tablecloth. Avoid tall arrangements when dining home, and don’t use potted plants unless it’s an orchid or anything that is equally as exotic. Make sure that it is set off to the side so it does not block your line of sight.
7. Adjust the Lights Accordingly
One thing that makes dining spaces at home different from a fine dining restaurant is the level of illumination in the area. Too often, dining rooms tend to be very bright to achieve that fine dining restaurant vibe.
This means that to achieve the perfect lighting for fine dining, you may need to switch off some of the lights and replace them with dimmer sources of illumination, like candles. You can also choose to cover lamps with fabric to soften their glow.
8. Don’t Forget the Wine and Drinks
Fine dining is never complete without wine or other drinks to pair with international fusion dishes, so you must make sure that you have at least a bottle of wine or any other drink that matches the main course of the meal. If you’re not planning to drink alcohol, sparkling water should be enough to achieve a genuine fine dining experience.
Fine Dine at Home
There are many things that people can do without ever leaving the comforts of their house. Fine dining is no exception. Consider the tips presented in this article to achieve an authentic restaurant dining experience at home.
Mohamed Farzad is the Director of Nippon Group of Companies. One of the Nippon Hospitality Division’s premium projects is Doors Freestyle Grill, a premium steakhouse and international fusion cuisine-lifestyle dining concept set across the spellbinding Al Seef heritage district in Dubai.