Tasting Table's Dinner Parties

Click the links below to explore the recipes in this menu:

Zucchini Cornbread with Olive Oil-Whipped Ricotta
Spicy Kale with Fried Grapes and Frizzled Red Onions
Pan-Fried Pork Cutlets with Minty Eggplant Relish
Seasonal Cheese Plate with Pickled Bell Peppers

Much as we love apple cider and crisp autumn days, we’re sad to see the summer go. And so you’ll detect a bit of wistfulness in this month’s Dinner Party playlist, both in music and in words. Frank Ocean sings about getting lost, Wild Belle says it’s too late, Mayer Hawthorne tells a lover to get gone and Bessie Smith croons ‘bout those empty bed blues.

But it’s all done to the tune of toe-tapping beats, of course, ideal for a night of good food, good conversation and perhaps a little shimmying in celebration of a the season to come.

Click the image to the left to open the full playlist on Spotify or click here to download the full playlist on iTunes.

There are gulpable red wines that are perfect to drink when the mercury is high, whites that, despite their chill, ideally complement winter cooking. But wine’s third way, rosé, is relegated almost exclusively to summer, the towers of shimmering pink bottles arriving and departing from wine-store shelves in unison with white pants and sandals on the street. So for a last-gasp summer meal, you should take advantage of rosé like you would late-season tomatoes: Drink them before they are gone. An idiosyncratic rosado from Spain’s Bierzo region has a spicy edge that plays well with pork; a sparkling pink pétillant naturel is almost candylike, in the best of ways; and the ancient Provencal grape Tibouren shows how rich, elegant and sophisticated a rosé can be. If you do want to drink red, pick something light and fresh, like Broc Cellars' 2011 Valdiguié.


Bourbon and orange are often partners-in-crime. The drink for this menu, When Figs Fly, gets a hint of honeyed sweetness, courtesy of a spoonful of fig jam; if fresh figs are still available where you live, you can muddle the fruit with sugar in place of the preserves. Serve the cocktail over ice in an Old-Fashioned glass.

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