In Italy, stylish dining has long been embraced as a relaxing way to unwind after a busy day. So before you order takeout and eat in front of the television, take a cue from the Italians and make each meal a treat.
* Determine the dcor. Whether you are dining at the kitchen table or in a more formal setting, it’s easy to add some pizzazz to your surroundings. Candles cast a warm glow once the sun goes down. Strands of small lights also enhance the mood; string them around the room or even bunch them in a Mason jar for a funky tabletop display.
* Master the art of mood music. Mellow jazz will help take the edge off a long day, and classical music can help lift your mood. Consider tailoring the music around the type of cuisine you are serving. For an Italian meal, for instance, play an assortment of Italian opera.
If you’re dining with family or friends, get them involved by inviting them to bring their favorite CDs. Set your disc player to shuffle so that everyone’s music selection gets played during the meal.
* Create a stylish menu. To help you unwind, it’s best to keep your meal simple. Luckily, delicious meals are a snap to make with fresh, easy-to-prepare foods. And you can add flair to any basic dish with just a few additions.
For an Italian meal, a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad is always a crowd-pleaser. Drizzle chicken and fish with olive oil and lemon for a fresh, light flavor. And dust colorful veggies with Italian seasonings to bring out their natural flavors.
Whatever your menu, be sure to select a delicious wine to accompany the meal. Ecco Domani 2003 Pinot Grigio is a perfect wine for everyday dining because of its crisp, fresh flavor, which pairs perfectly with today’s light cuisine.
It is easy to infuse any setting with glamour by adding a few small touches. In the end, nothing says style like taking the time to make each meal special. – NU