Too tired to go out? Don’t have enough money to go out? But nonetheless still really want to go out and experience the luxury of a fancy dinner? I totally feel you. Who says you can’t hack home cooked meals to feel fancy AF?
Now you don’t have to go out to get that fancy dinner you so crave. With this list of tricks handy, eating in your own home will feel like eating in a restaurant and damn it, you deserve it.
Maybe this is an obvious tip, but having a completely set table is the best first step to having a fancy dinner. Make sure you have all your utensils out, a folded napkin, a centerpiece, some drinking glasses (with the drinks that are to be poured into them nearby), and maybe even a candle or two, if you’re really looking to get fancy.
2. Don’t overdress your salad.
You want it to be covered in dressing, not drowning in it. If there’s too much dressing, the vegetables will get soggy and no one wants that. The little things are what make a meal feel extra elegant.
3. Make sure your water glasses are always filled.
Having filled water glasses always makes at home meals feel more like restaurant meals, so be fancy and stay hydrated—especially if you’re drinking wine. I suggest having a pitcher of water so it’s easy to refill when you need at a moment’s notice.
The end game of each round on Chopped is to present to the judges something beautiful and delicious, which is ultimately what you’re trying to do, too, just without the challenges the Chopped competitors have to deal with. Make sure your dish looks snazzy before you serve it because people really do tend to eat with their eyes first.
5. Always have a garnish.
If you’re putting effort into a fancy meal, you can take two more minutes to make a garnish that will boost your dish to a whole other level.