Dear ladies and gentlemen, spring is in the air! People step out and get together more often. If you are planning to host a formal western dinner but wondering how to prepare the menu, then these tips can definitely help you impress your guests.


If it is a French style dinner or your guests have the habit to have a small drink before eating, the menu can start with alcoholic beverages.
You can choose from common Apéritifs like Vermouth, Campari, Dubonet and Sherry. Sparkling wine and cocktails can also be good.

Apéritif should be dry in order to stimulate the appetite, try to avoid drinks which taste too sweet.


If there is no Apéritif, you can start the menu with appetizers. This first course of the meal usually consists of a small amount of food.

Seafood like smoked salmon and shrimps are often seen in appetizers. Oysters are also a good choice if it is the right season. Seafood is better served with lighter white wine such as Chablis or Sauvignon Blanc.

Foie gras or red meat appetizers can be served with red wines like merlot or chardonnay.


Soup can vary. Normally seen are roasted onion soup, cream of mushroom soup and borsch. Hot bisque or chili soup can quickly warm up your guests. 

You can also try Curry soup or Tom Yum soup to add some exotic flavors, just make sure that your guests can accept that and that the taste is harmonious with the rest of the courses.

Main Course

Main course is the most anticipated part of a meal. It is usually a well-cooked meat course. Beef, Lamb, Pork and poultry are often prepared in different ways as main course. On the side are a small amount of vegetables and staple food. 

If the main course is rather heavy, crunchy vegetables like asparagus broccoli can reduce the greasiness. Seasoned or creamed side dishes will bring more tastes if the meat is lighter.

You can also make fish as the main course or prepare a fish dish before a meat dish. Again please prepare right kind of table wine to go with the dish. A simple rule is that red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat.

Sometimes food like pasta or risotto can also be offered as main course, you can check with your guests what do they want and prepare accordingly.


There are also many options for dessert, ice cream or cakes can be served if you have no better idea.
If time permits, prepare a dessert of the same style as the main course. If it is French, a Crème brûlée will be on point; if it is Italian, maybe a panna cotta or a tiramisu will do good.


At the end of the meal, offer some nice drinks. Coffee and tea are a safe option. Prepare espresso, black coffee and some black tea, provide some milk and sugar too.
In case your guests would like to have some digestif, you can offer them some brandy, whisky or liqueur.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, now you know about what makes the menu of a western style dinner. If you are curious about the cutleries or the table manner, please check our previous articles or just leave us a comment!