Dinner Party w/ The Yellow Table

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com Untitled-1

When someone asks you if they can come over and throw a dinner party for you and your friends, you say yes. Resoundingly, yes. To be honest, I struggle with throwing dinner parties – they’re a LOT of work and at the end of each one I always say to Jack “let’s just meet friends at a restaurant next time.” My friend Anna – from The Yellow Table – however, is a pro. She’s on a mission to make this year “the year of the dinner party.” She just spent a month driving from NYC to LA throwing 8 (EIGHT!) dinner parties along the way, including a stop at our place last weekend.

Why would someone put themselves through something so crazy as a Cookbook Roadtrip? “Something magical happens when people gather around table,” she told me… “I just love that sense of connection.” Her passion for bringing people together over delicious food was the inspiration behind the cookbook that she created (and blogged about for 100 days in a row). I can tell you first hand that her recipes are beyond delicious… but here’s the thing:

We have to kickstart that cookbook! CLICK HERE, to preorder your copy of The Yellow Table Cookbook, which will fund the first round of printing. Your copy will arrive this fall, just in time to lend some inspiration to your holiday gatherings.

And now, some pics from our party!!

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com

Anna created her menu using tons of local ingredients: Heirloom cherry tomatoes garnished her creamy gazpacho. Beautiful shaved carrots got tossed into a huge lemony kale salad. Juicy peaches and blackberries became a (make-ahead!) crumble with a crispy oat topping. (All of the recipes are in the book, btw).

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com

I set the table with mismatched chairs, vintage dishes and assorted patterned napkins. (Being a food blogger, I don’t own “sets” of anything). I designed little menu cards to tie the look together. Anna plated soups just before guests arrived – icy cold gazpacho was perfect for this hot summer night.

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com

The night was filled with good friends, (and new friends!), and of course great food. The main course (not pictured b/c Jack was too busy eating it), was grilled skirt steak and fish topped with roasted red pepper chimichurri – a delicious twist on a classic.

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com

Everyone sat around the table and enjoyed wine late into the night…

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com

Special thanks to Anna for coming to our house and creating such a magical evening! And thanks to Whole Foods who provided all of the groceries and wine!

food by: Anna / photography by: Jack / tables & graphics by: yours truly

33 comments

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  1. Meg | Summerfield Delight
    06.26.2014

    Aww this is so lovely, just the kind of gathering I hope to be able to create for my friends when I have outdoor space!

    • jeanine
      06.29.2014

      You should check out Anna’s blog – she creates so many wonderful gatherings in her small NYC apartment!

  2. Leah from georgiapeachonmymind.com
    06.26.2014

    What a gorgeous setting! Looks like the perfect night. Can’t wait to check out Anna’s cookbook!

    • jeanine
      06.29.2014

      It’s gonna be a good one 🙂

  3. chelsea from thegirlwholovedtowrite.com
    06.26.2014

    What a lovely night! Everything looks so beautiful!

  4. Krys from hungryrants.com.au
    06.26.2014

    So lovely! I need some fresh inspiration when it comes to dinner parties…I think I will need to get my hands on a copy of her cookbook!

  5. I love everything about this! Looks like a magical summer evening, made all the more beautiful with so many special touches. Lovely!

  6. Oh what a wonderful treat!! Everything looks absolutely perfect! I love the idea of dinner parties and always have fun hosting them, but both me and my kitchen always look such a mess, before the main course is even served! She really has it together 😉 What a fun night!!

    • jeanine
      06.29.2014

      Ha, me too :). She totally has it together…

  7. Lauren from messykitchenhappybelly.blogspot.com
    06.27.2014

    What a beautiful party! I like the use of notecards/menus to pull everything together–good idea that doesn’t break the bank.

  8. Heidi M.
    06.27.2014

    There really is something very special about cooking for and dining with friends. Even the friends you haven’t met until that moment. Whether it is standing around a pub table, or sitting down in a formal setting, the act of breaking bread together is not performed often enough these days and is the perfect opportunity for real community.

  9. What a beautiful dinner party. They can be a lot of work but I think they’re worth it. And as you and Anna have shown, the menu doesn’t have to be really complicated to make a delicious and inspired meal. Loved that you shared this dinner party with us!

    • jeanine
      06.29.2014

      Thanks! Glad you liked it :).

  10. You can feel the great vibe through the beautiful photos! Looks enchanting! And delicious!

  11. What a boat load of fun—truly. One of my all time favorite situations is to participate in a dinner party. Albeit I would rather be a guest than a hostess. It is a lot of work. But so worth it—-a small number of people sitting down sharing the same common wonderful experience is a way to raise the vibration in general.

    • jeanine
      06.29.2014

      ha, me too – way easier to be a guest :).

  12. Sini from myblueandwhitekitchen.com
    06.29.2014

    This is truly amazing. For the love of food and sharing that love with people around you.

  13. This party looks absolutely lovely! Looking forward to an invite to the next one you all throw! 😉

  14. Alexis from vivagood.wordpress.com
    06.30.2014

    I was so excited when I found out that Anna was throwing one of her parties with you! Anna is a good friend of mine from our high school days. I was lucky enough to get to recipe test some of her recipes from the cookbook and let me tell you, everything was AMAZING!

    • jeanine
      06.30.2014

      Aww, you’re so sweet – I loved everything she made for us, I can’t wait to get my hands on her cookbook 🙂

  15. Kathy
    07.01.2014

    This past year I gave 4 dinner parties and resolve to do more in the coming year- at least 6, not counting holidays. I love putting 6-8 people from different areas of my life together, people I know would like each other and it always seems to work. I use my good china and linens to make it special – better than letting them sit in the china cabinet.
    People don’t seem to entertain anymore, so I decided to be the one to do it. Sometimes, with very good friends, it’s potluck, which is a very easy way to entertain. People ask what they can bring and I give them a couple choices..salad, appetizer, side dish or dessert. No one seems to mind bringing 1 item. These evenings are very enjoyable for both my guests and me – it’s a wonderful way to reconnect with friends after the busy years of child rearing have passed.

    • jeanine
      07.03.2014

      Wow, sounds like you’re a pro! It does become hard to connect when we’re all so busy these days – thanks for the bit of inspiration 🙂

  16. Such a creative idea to travel through the country and host dinner parties. And, with talent like that, I can see why. So nice to have talents that bring joy to other people, isn’t it? Lovely pics and the menu got me very, very hungry!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.