Donatella Arpaia, co-owner of Anthos, Mia Dona, and the newly reopened Kefi, has been crowned the “Hostess with the Mostest” by Zagat. With the holidays in full swing, many of us are attempting this “hosting” thing with probably far less grace than the rapidly risen restauranteur, but no worries. Arpaia shared some holiday entertaining tips with us, so you too can be the host or hostess with the most(est). Tips after the jump.
“Hostess with the Mostest” Holiday Tips
1) Instead of stocking your apartment with a full bar, create a single
signature cocktail for the evening ahead of time and place the mix in a
festive pitcher. This way, you can feel good about using a less premium
brand of liquor because no one will see the bottles! You can set the
bar up ahead of time with glasses that are adorned with a pretty
garnish. Guests can serve themselves, and you are free to mingle.
2) Instead of champagne look to less expensive alternatives from emerging regions like cava.
3) Parting gifts are an easy way to make your guests feel pampered. An
inexpensive but thoughtful gift is home-baked scones, muffins or
cookies wrapped in cellophane baggies with a pretty ribbon for them to
enjoy for breakfast the next morning.
4) Resist the urge to buy prepared foods such as cheese platters and
shrimp rings as they are much more expensive than the raw product and
often lower quality. Instead, buy the shrimp fresh, blanch quickly and
refrigerate until guests arrive or design your own cheese plate from
inexpensive domestic cheeses.
5) For home-made centerpieces, invest in a few cylinders and fill them
with low cost organic items that mirror the season. For the holidays,
fill with pinecones, leaves, or twigs