Who Doesn't Love a Dinner Party...

I always have the best of intentions when it comes to blogging, but then life steps in, things get a little crazy, and the next thing I know, it's been weeks, even months, since my last post.

Last October, I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying dinner with Dinner Party Project, a roving supper club of sorts here in Orlando. You sign up to be added to the list and they draw names for seats by lottery. When your name is drawn, you get sent a couple of dates to choose from then you are in. Seven people are chosen at random for the dinner party and you sit down for a meal in a location around Orlando, prepared by a local chef (chefs rotate as well) and get to know your host and the other guests. When I attended in October, around the table were a therapist, a doctor, a computer programmer and more. It's a diverse crowd and makes for an insightful and entertaining evening as you get to know people from all over Orlando and eat some pretty delicious food.

When I arrived (early, because I was too Type-A to dare being late) I was a bit nervous. Not knowing anyone, and being directed to a random sounding place in Orlando was a bit intimidating, but signage was clear and I was greeted with a cocktail (always a good sign) and promptly introduced to the dinner party host. In the center of the room (a rentable meeting space downtown) was a lovely table set for dinner and as the other guests arrived, small talk became lively as we enjoyed Moscow Mules  (a vodka, ginger beer and lime juice cocktail, refreshing and not too potent) and tasty fried wontons filled with thai cucumber, tomatos and cheese.

From there we moved to the dinner table, took our seats and started dinner while the host facilitated conversation with topics to keep everyone engaged and encourage us to share more about ourselves than just our job titles.

Overall, the food was solid and tasty. The cost is a suggested range of $40 to $70. This isn't experimental cuisine or high dining like some supper clubs or pop-up dinners around the country, but it really isn't meant to be. The theme at Dinner Party Project is that it's about the community, strangers sitting around a table to a good meal and getting to know one another in a more intimate setting than what today's modern, technology driven lifestyle commonly allows. In that respect, it was a complete success.

My only disappointment of the evening was in the selection of wine, but I'm guessing that's more on me than DPP. They did invite us to bring along a bottle to share, but not knowing the menu, I decided against. Halfway through the first course of curry and coconut soup (delicious and not too spicy) I regretted not bringing a bottle of my own. The Moscato they offered was a decent pairing, the Cabernet, not so much, but I know for next time to just bring a bottle or two of food friendly wine and I'll be hog heaven.

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