Elegant Dinner Party Menu Ideas

Elegant Dinner Party Menu Ideas

Elegant entertaining can’t just happen on a whim. A formal dinner is more sophisticated than your typical evening party, requiring classier elements such as your fine cutlery, special plates, lovely napkins, and linens. It’s time to ditch the paper napkins, bring out the wine glasses and place the additional flatware correctly. But beyond the chic table settings and asking your guests to arrive in style, a divine dinner menu should be just as carefully planned.

You can aim for extravagance as the royals do by serving 21 courses. Or choose simple elegance with a five-course meal as you’ll find in most 3-star Michelin restaurants. We’ve got some excellent, elegant dinner party menu ideas for your next formal dinner party that will inspire you from “soup to nuts.”

Elegant Dinner Party Menu Ideas: Welcome Drinks and Hors D’oeuvres

Serve your guests drinks and hors-d’oeuvres before sitting down to dinner to set the tone for the rest of the evening. It’s an opportunity for your guests to make small talk and for you to ensure everything in the kitchen is in order.

Offer your guests a glass of champagne or wine after you’ve greeted them. But if you have a well-stocked bar and someone dedicated to mixing drinks for your dinner party, delight them with one of these cocktails:

Berry Bellini

New York Sour Cocktail

Pomegranate Royale

White Wine Mojito

Classic Champagne Cocktail

Hors-d’oeuvres are a small one or two-bite tidbit that accompany a cocktail beautifully. Here are some excellent ideas for upscale hors-d’oeuvres:

Caviar and Crème Fraîche Tartlets

Marinated Mozzarella

Smoked Salmon Crisps

Gorgonzola-Thyme-Stuffed Olives

Lobster Toasts with Avocado and Espelette Pepper

Elegant Dinner Party Menu Ideas: Soups

When choosing soup for your elegant dinner, think of sophisticated gourmet flavors. Here are some divine soup ideas that aren’t your everyday cream of mushroom or split pea soups.

Vegan Broccoli Soup with Miso and Mushrooms

Chicken Consommé

Cauliflower Soup with Chive Oil and Rye Crostini

Chilled Avocado Soup with Chipotle Cream

Gratinée des Halles

Elegant Dinner Party Menu Ideas: Appetizers

You serve appetizers as part of the full-course meal, while you offer hors d’oeuvres outside the meal, typically at a separate table or passed around on a tray by a server. Because appetizers set the tone for the meal, exquisite starters are a must.

Seared Scallops and Parsnip Cream on Appetizer Spoons

Spanish Tuna-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Prosciutto Rolls

Diver Scallop Carpaccio

Gravlax with Caraway, Coriander, and Mustard-Dill Sauce

Elegant Dinner Party Menu Ideas: Salads

Find elegance in simplicity. You don’t need to over-think your salad. Know what fruits and vegetables are in season. Choose a salad recipe you can serve using the freshest ingredients.

Pear and Pomegranate Salad

Roasted Delicata Squash, Pomegranate and Arugula Salad

Spinach, Apple and Pecan Salad

Harvest Salad

Roasted Beet, Peach and Goat Cheese Salad

Elegant Dinner Party Menu Ideas: Main Course

The main course determines the flavor profile for the meal in its entirety. When planning for your dinner menu, decide your main course first and choose starters, sides, and salads that compliment the flavors of your main dish.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin with Roasted Apples

Lamb Chops with Blackberry-Pear Chutney

Seared Scallops with Brown Butter and Lemon Pan Sauce

Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Fennel, Citrus, and Chiles

Elegant Dinner Party Menu Ideas: Dessert

Delight your guests with desserts with beautiful presentations. Here are ideas to end the meal with sweet sophistication:

Vanilla Panna Cotta

Lemon, Poppy and Chevre Cheesecakes with Rhubarb

Nectarine Pavlovas

Quick Poached Pears with Rub-Red Raspberry Sauce

Cappuccino Souffle

To cap off a wonderful evening and wind things down, offer your guests more drinks, coffee, and nuts. After bidding your guests farewell, congratulate yourself for a successful evening.


Now you can host everything from an elegant dinner party to a casual dinner and game night and get paid for it. DinDin Party brings hosts who love to entertain, chefs who love to cook, and guests who love to eat and socialize together for special dinner parties in a host’s home or other pop-up locations. 

Do you love to entertain? Meet new people? Want to show off your hosting or culinary skills?  Then apply to become a DinDin Party Host or Chef, at https://www.dindinparty.com/become-host

Are you a foodie? Do you love to meet new people? Experience other cultures? Or want a more memorable date night? Then register as a Dindin Party Guest, at https://www.dindinparty.com/user/register