Throw A Progressive Dinner Party

by Brandi Savitt – June 25, 2010

Let the Course of the Evening Move You

If you love to cook and entertain, then you know that throwing a four course dinner party for 6-10 people can get quite elaborate – and quite expensive. But we found a fun Fab & Fru alternative to a formal sit down meal that is perfect for food loving friends and neighbors to do together!

I live in a four flat brownstone in Brooklyn, and my neighbors and I had been planning a building get together FOREVER, but no one seemed to want take charge of the whole event.  And then someone had a brilliant idea- “let’s have a progressive dinner party”.  It was perfect!

What the Heck is a Progressive Dinner?

No, it’s has nothing to do with politics or philosophy (but I suppose it could)…  A progressive dinner is when multiple homes host a dinner party- together.  Each house or apartment is not only responsible for preparing a dish, but all of the guests actually move to each host’s home to partake in the next course of the meal.

Keeping the party in walking distance is key- especially if there is drinking involved!  Because there is ‘inter-course’ preparation to do for each host, and to keep things easy and flowing smoothly, the idea really is perfect for people who live in the same building, on the same street, or at least within a block or two of one another.

Putting it All Together…

Decide on the Guest/Host List & Divide Duties

It’s always best to invite people that are into the idea!  Everybody’s good at something, so talk amongst yourselves and find out who wants to make & host each course.

Determine a Budget

Various dishes and courses fluctuate greatly in price.  And then there’s the alcohol…  At our party,  we decided to set a budget for the entire event.  We determined what we wanted to spend as a group, and then divided the costs equally between all of the participants.  This way, no one felt like someone had contributed significantly more than another.  We decided on a budget of $35 per person for all food, wine & cocktails.

Pick a Theme

It’s fun to choose a theme for your progressive dinner so you can explore the foods, wines and traditions of a specific place.  We picked Spain!

Our dinner party was such a success that it progressed right on through… until 2:30 am. Luckily, we were all already home! It was fabulous, frugal & fun — and it certainly won’t be the last.  Oh, and I may have forgotten to mention the most crucial ingredient – you do have some terrific neighbors — like I do.

Our Menu!


Roasted Peach & Basil Sangria

Cheese, Meat & Olive Plate

–A wedge of Manchego cheese,  slices of jamón Serrano, bread & green olives!


Spanish Tortilla

Goat Cheese & Leek Crostini

Classic Gazpacho

Main Course

Paella de Valencia


Pumpkin Flan

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5 Responses to “Throw A Progressive Dinner Party”

  1. DJHiggins says:

    I love progressive dinners. They are always great fun, and when you are making just one course, you can really make it special! How lucky you are to have great people in your building….no problem getting home!!
    These recipes look FANTASTIC!!!

  2. Tasha Oldham says:

    I love this. As an avid dinner party thrower. I love the idea of splitting up responsibilities. I threw a cocktail party last week where five of us planned it, I never want to throw a party on my own anymore. It is so much more fun when you don’t have to worry about everything. You can actually enjoy the party.

    I can’t wait to try the goat cheese & leek crostini.

    Keep up the awesome articles!

  3. forex robot says:

    nice post. thanks.

  4. [...] Winter, however, is our downfall.  If our kids had any say we would be outside whether it’s -40 degrees or 10 degrees; but, as adults we don’t quite have that whether resilience.  So we tend to become hermits in the winter time and our ability to spend time with each other is limited.  So we’ve all come up with a plan to try and resolve that.  We’re going to try a “modified” progressive dinner. [...]

  5. DJ Hire says:

    Brilliant contribution thankyou :)

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