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Dinner Party Menus Based on Literary Tastes

Any meal is immediately improved by a stylistic theme — and, no, we don’t just mean of the murder mystery variety. After hearing about Vinegar Hill House’s American Psycho inspired New Year Eve’s menu, we got to thinking about other books that would make for great dinner party premises. You can choose from the following fantasy menus based on literary taste, and remember to have guests complete the bookish tone by appropriately dressing up as their favorite character.

The Supernatural-Inclined Fantasy Lover: Dracula
Tone: To suit the twin aristocratic and sanguine tastes of Count Dracula, you’ll need a menu that is both sophisticated and bloody. Keeping things in the red color scheme will set an obvious tone, but it’s just as important to make sure the food choices progress compatibly from one course to the next.
Menu:
Creamy tomato soup
Beet salad with goat cheese
Grilled lamb t-bone with red wine reduction sauce
Blood orange sorbet

The High-Brow Literary Aesthete: Freedom
Tone: Chock full of suburban ennui and alienation, Jonathan Franzen’s ubiquitous 2010 novel is a tribute to the ravages of shut-in domesticity. To capture the Berglunds quintessential middle class American qualities, this meal needs to hit all the homemade classics.
Menu:
Herbed peas and carrots
Creamy garlic mashed potatoes
Pepper steak
Apple pie

The Imaginative Adventurer: A Confederacy of Dunces
Tone: Southern cuisine promises pure comfort, but few regional recipes are as widespread and beloved as classic New Orleans cooking. Get a taste of Ignatius Jaques Reilly’s French Quarter wanderings with this culinary tribute to the Big Easy.
Menu:
Buttermilk corn bread
New Orleans-style red beans and rice
Jambalaya
Beignets

The Nostalgic Child At Heart: The Chocolate Wars
Tone: For a nostalgic evening, be sure to couple this YA-themed bash with foods that suit both the story and the age at which you enjoyed it.
Menu:
Ants on a log
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Mac ‘n cheese
Chocolate milk

The Classics-Minded Traditionalist: Mrs. Dalloway
Tone: Amid the chaos and thoughtful distractions of a day spent readying for her grand party, Virginia Woolf’s titular heroine still finds time to pause over the sensory details of her meal to be. A fixation on fresh ingredients and careful preparation are crucial to this anglo-centric dinner.
Menu:
Cucumber sandwiches
Potato and leek soup
Jellied chicken aspic
Plum pudding

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