This is where things come full circle.
Back in the winter, we decided to form a dinner club, where once a month, a couple hosts a big dinner for the rest. And like most events with this group, if there is any sort of organization to it, it will be done completely over-the-top, with preset menus sent out ahead of time, explicitly detailing the appetizers, main course, dessert, and beverage selection. This one was no different.
While Kenny and I did not host the inaugural dinner, the first one we did host (which was technically the second) was the one where we shared the news of our pregnancy. It occurred right around Christmas time, and then post Christmas was when we went full on extreme home makeover. Upon completion, we knew we wanted show off the new digs and squeeze in one more little party BB (before baby), therefore we hosted the June dinner.
I am ninety percent sure that Kenny put out in May that we would host in June and then thought about the menu every other night since then. The man is serious. And while he grew preoccupied with the menu, I spend my mental energies on the aesthetic of the party.
The new dining room has really been the crux of the renovation investment. This is what drove the motivation to open up the extra room we had in the front of our house by knocking down the majority of a wall that used to separate the two. (If you are trying to visualize, understand that directly behind me is the sitting room. Now both rooms make up one wide-open space in the front of our house).
I had this room visualized almost immediately and it all centered around a hardwood dining room table. And can I now tell you this? Home decor is not my most favorite thing. I often stressed myself out because while I could picture specifically what I wanted, I either would not know where to look, would not ultimately find it, or I would find it and it would be outrageously expensive. I decided that redecorating is only sweet if your savings account has a lot of commas in it.
But, what ultimately made this whole process not only not stressful, but totally perfect, was the fact that my dad was able to make my table dreams come to life. He is the handiest man, I swear, and it is all a total hobby. I just showed him some pictures and and he was like sure. Next thing I know, I have a customized table and bench to boot. Amazing. (Side note…everyone who inquires about the table and finds out my dad just made it, follows with will he make me one? I told him I’ll start working on his e-commerce site…)
But back to dinner club. This was the first party where we could offer table seating to more than just four people, so I was excited to set something up. These Frontgate Riviera table settings brought a fun pop of color inside, while also setting the stage for the taco fiesta that would ensue.
Now what taco dinner is complete without a quatro of dips. When we started talking specifics, I was like, ooh how about guacamole?! Kenny was like, how about guacamole, queso, salsa, and homemade verde salsa? I nodded my head and went back to Pinterest, officially leaving the menu deets to the man.
The first was a braised Korean pork taco, with Asian slaw on a double white corn tortilla. This was definitely a fan favorite around the table.
The second was a slow-cooked, Chicago-style Italian beef taco, with peppers and onions, topped with fresh shredded provolone cheese on a flour tortilla. This was a personal fan favorite of mine.
The third was a marinated grilled chicken taco, with black bean puree, avocado lime corn salsa and queso fresco, on a flour tortilla. The marinade, which Kenny is keeping close, is what ultimately made this taco. There was something almost sweet about it, which really upped the ante for what could have been your average chicken taco (which I’m sure you realize, Kenny never would have let happen).
The maiden voyages of the table, dining room, place settings, and menu made for one amazing little dinner club meting. Again, Kenny’s efforts and expertise were spent on the creation of a killer menu, and I was super excited to create and show off a dining room fit for a party. Putting it all together and having it get some use makes the process of bringing it all together completely worth it.
Frontgate Riviera Outdoor Melamine Dinnerware Collection c/o (check out more from Frontgate here, as well as the West Chester outlet)
Kaustby Ikea chairs (trio)
Dandelion Parsons chairs (captains)
handmade table and bench courtesy of Dale Klein, with purchased hairpin legs