14 Restaurants Designed to Feel Like Dinner Parties

Welcome drinks, passed apps and communal tables are just a few elements of these unique eateries.

Photo By: Nina Choi

Photo By: Cloth & Flame | Winona Grey

Photo By: Kimberly Park

Photo By: Susie Jetta

Photo By: Her Place

Photo By: Savannah Lauren

Photo By: Katie Califano

Photo By: David Lee

Photo By: Mosquito Supper Club

Photo By: Niche Niche

Photo By: Rosie's | Jaclyn Warren

Photo By: Cultura

Photo By: Liz Clayman

Photo By: Minnie Morklithavong

14 Restaurants Designed to Feel Like Dinner Parties

For a spell, we were relegated to small gatherings. But now, dinner parties are back, and not just in private residences. The new format is taking root in various forms across the country, from a sultry eight-course al fresco supper in Miami to a pop-up supper club in chic New York City apartments. But they all share a desire to reignite the magic of dinner parties by bringing people together around the table.

Lindens at the Arlo SoHo

New York, New York

At a monthly Harvest Dinner series, diners enjoy a peak-season four-course meal gathered around a communal table. The restaurant’s name and décor take inspiration from the Lindens trees lining New York city streets, so both the interior and exterior have lush foliage and sprinkles of greenery throughout. The menu includes an amuse bouche, shareable appetizers, a choice of entrée and family-style desserts. A recent summer menu featured warm Parker House rolls with grilled scallion butter, grilled stone fruits, heirloom tomato salad and peach creme brulée. "We hope our Harvest Dinner Series helps people emerge and remember all the magic and possibility that is intrinsic to New York City. We want people to laugh, reconnect and build memories through great food, drinks and company," says Gary Wallach, managing partner at Renwick Hospitality.

Cloth and Flame

Various locations across the U.S.

To experience a unique dinner party with 100 to 150 soon-to-be-friends, seek out one of Cloth and Flame’s ticketed events. What started as a hot air balloon company has grown into an experiential event agency. Dinners go way beyond food and florals: live music, a DJ set, stargazing, aura photography or even a silent disco set in a unique location like the middle of the dessert. Typically, a welcome hour with craft cocktails and passed appetizers is followed by a multi-course meal that matches the night’s theme. Think: a mezcal-paired Dia de Los Meurtos dinner featuring guajillo-marinated octopus with salsa macha, pickled carrot and tonnato aioli. Loads of attention is poured into the event design, overseen by design manager Tasmia Khan. "Over the course of the years, we’ve been able to source some quirky decor elements an old apothecary shelf, a vintage canoe, antique books, to name a few that have made their way into the design of our events. A curated playlist and custom lighting elements set the mood."

Daily Gather

Houston, Texas

When Daily Gather opened in January 2022, Houston diners felt so at home they lingered for hours, and that’s exactly what chef Brandi Key intended. The stylish space has clusters of lounge-like seating, creating small clusters within the larger dinner party. When you sit down, servers drop a deck of conversation cards to encourage diners to put down their phones and chat. The menu is more of a choose-your-own-adventure approach, so you can mix and match from the ample selection of shareable plates and cocktail party-esque nibbles. Think: Tabasco-spiked deviled eggs, elote cornbread topped with warm chili-lime butter and calamari fritto misto. To drink, try the aptly named cocktail Friends Having Dinner, where bourbon mingles with a duo of elderflower and blood orange liqueurs. Save room for the bananas foster bread pudding, a nostalgia-inducing throwback that features vanilla pudding layered with vanilla wafers, whipped cream and rum-caramelized bananas.

Dinner Party

Brooklyn, New York

There’s one seating a night in this cozy, chic apartment-style space filled with communal tables, a few two-tops, a gallery wall featuring works from mostly women artists and mismatched serve ware. Although Dinner Party has hosted groups of friends, date night goers and single hopefuls, chef-owner Camille Jetta describes the range of diners as "more friendship than romance. Our clientele is very femme, very queer, so it feels like a space for building community." The evening unfolds with a conversation-starting amuse bouche and a seasonal four-course menu that reflects Californian, French and Italian influences, like a catch-of-the-day paired with scapes and wild violet corn, or sourdough spaghetti with breadcrumbs, cherry tomatoes and pickled peppers. Desserts are simple but stunning, such as semolina shortcake with whipped ricotta and honey-poached dates or strawberry-olive oil cake trifle.

Her Place Supper Club

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What started as an email invitation to 50 friends turned into a following of 600 strangers who regularly showed up for multi-course dinners in Chef Amanda Shulman’s studio apartment. "It was magical and transportive—stripping cooking down to its most basic form and watching connections and relationships form right in front of my eyes," Shulman says. Now, her concept has a more permanent home: a small dinner party restaurant with two seatings per night, up to four days per week. Local acclaim and national accolades followed, but what’s most meaningful to Shulman is getting to connect with diners while she describes each dish. Shulman defines her style as "French-Italian with some Jewish spice," so sample dishes include Perrystead schmear (a local cream cheese spread) with tomato toast, roast beef with fries and green pepper mayo or "cornbrulée" for dessert. At the end of dinner, Shulman hands out warm chocolate chip cookies.


New York, New York

Every weekend, Hera pops up at a different New Yorker’s apartment for a three-night run and turns it into a reservable restaurant open to the public—each night with a different menu, playlist, wine pairing and textural floral arrangements curated by chef-owner Jay Rodriguez. The seasonal, farm-sourced, vegetable-forward tasting menus include eight courses. Rodriguez credits the cultural diversity of his team with inspiring riffs on seasonal produce, such as a "jerk" watermelon carpaccio with preserved peppers and ginger scallions. But a good meal is only as good as the company you keep. "The community this restaurant has fostered is something I’m so incredibly grateful for. We have couples celebrating anniversaries—we also just had our first proposal at a dinner we did in July!—friends catching up, friends enjoying a second Hera dinner together after meeting at a different one, solo diners, hospitality workers, artists, community members, etcetera. The stories that have come from our dinners are truly amazing."

JEM Dining Supper Club

Memphis, Tennessee

"Buy the ticket, take the ride"—that’s the motto of chef-owner Josh Mutchnick’s supper club situated inside the historic James Lee House, a renovated Victorian home. "During COVID, everything (including eating) became less and less communal. As restrictions loosened, I felt the need to bring food and conversation back," he says. Guests are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes early to enjoy a complimentary welcome cocktail set to the backdrop of a playlist that features everything from Radiohead to Jamiroquai. The four-course meal begins with an amuse bouche like a savory parsnip pot de creme topped with champagne gelee, chive oil and Osetra caviar. One of Mutchnick’s favorite dishes is an ode to his grandmother’s matzo ball soup, in which he de-bones chicken breasts, stuffs them with truffled matzo ball mix, sous vides them and plates them with jus, glazed carrots and caramelized celery. Guests are sent home with a signature cocoa nib and apricot cookie.

Dept of Culture

Brooklyn, New York

To chef Ayo Balogun, a single communal table seating twelve people makes sense for his Bed-Stuy-based restaurant, which fosters conversation over a tasting menu inspired by north-central Nigerian cooking. When you walk in for one of the two seatings of the night, you’re greeted by a large mobile designed by artist Naomi Clark and a soundtrack of Afro beats, sourced from Balogun’s extensive collection. You’ll have time to mingle before Balogun unspools a four-course tasting menu with stories about why each course is important to him. Some dishes, such as obe, a red pepper soup, are inspired by food he learned to make with his grandmother (whose photo hangs on the wall along with other family portraits). The menu changes every few weeks; Balogun works with Oko Farms in Williamsburg to grow seasonal Nigerian ingredients, such as efirin, a type of basil leaf.

Mosquito Supper Club

New Orleans, Louisiana

The name of the restaurant and the Dali Lama quote that’s printed on its menus, "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito," underscore chef-owner Melissa Martin’s ethos to effect industry change by creating a sustainable restaurant for the environment and her employees. Framing the dinner around a communal meal at long tables brings people together from all walks of life and sparks conversation around the local food community. The weekly, multi-course menu is inspired by local fisherman and farmers, the recipes Martin grew up with and the evolving story of bayou cuisine. Think: fried shrimp boulettes, marinated crab claws, shrimp and okra gumbo and fried stuffed crab. The vibes are just as touching: vintage furniture, mismatched antique silverware, handmade ceramics and a record player spinning Louisiana-leaning tunes.

Niche Niche

New York, New York

Join one of Niche Niche’s weeknight seatings, and you’ll be handed a glass of wine before you even sit down. Owner Ariel Arce created her SoHo restaurant to highlight not only the best wines in the world, but also the people who drink them. Each night, a different wine industry expert chooses four wines wines they actually drink, like their-go to picks for celebrating or watching Game of Thrones and the kitchen designs a unique four-course menu accordingly. Snag a perch at the counter seating overlooking the open kitchen or relax in the main dining area outfitted with banquettes and plush, layered rugs, where a mix of diners mingle.

Rosie's: The Backyard

Miami, Florida

By day, Rosie’s serves elevated brunch comfort food like chicken and waffles and wild mushroom polenta. By night, chefs Jamila and Akino West host ticketed family-style dinners with an Italian- and European-inspired menu of eight- to ten-courses. Under a Bayan tree strung with twinkling party lights, diners can sip a welcome drink while listening to a soundtrack of jazz, R&B and soul. As the evening unfolds, Jamila and Akino share stories and culinary details when each course comes out. "We want to be able to tell a story to our guests. We want to teach them about who we are and where we want Rosie's to go. We want to explain why various components on the plate work together, combining Southern American cuisine and Italian food" Akino says.


Asheville, North Carolina

A dinner series on Sundays features a four- to five-course menu served family style at long communal tables. The dishes pay homage to a different chain restaurant each week. "We wanted to create a night to have fun while keeping the price accessible to attract our fellow industry workers. This series will remain half the price of the Friday and Saturday night tasting menus, allowing a more inclusive experience," says Candice Dvoran, General Manager of Cultura. There are 100 tickets available per dinner, so this is dinner party on a grander scale. But the space is cozy, outfitted with wooden foeder booths (made from reclaimed beer-aging barrels) and loads of lush greenery (including edible mushrooms and herbs). Not sure how to strike up a conversation? Between the rotating local artwork on display, the vintage glassware and silverware and the funky bathrooms, you’ll have plenty of ice breaker topics at the ready.


Brooklyn, New York

This restaurant and natural wine bar is an extension of partners Cressida Greening and Emir Dupeyron’s supper club, which they used to host at their Northern Bed-Stuy apartment. Nods to their personal style extend to the dining room’s aesthetic, complete with 70’s inspired touches like velvet upholstery and a disco ball. Sample shareable nosh from chef Kirstyn Brewer’s all-day menu like smoked fish paté or blistered sardines with Sungold tomatoes and confit shitake mushrooms. For even more of a dinner party vibe, seek out the weekly pop-ups starring a rotating roster of local chefs, winemakers and food activists. Past features have included Patikim, a Filipinx pop-up; Taqueria Ramirez, serving Mexico City-style street tacos; and Malli, a Mexican and Jewish pop-up.


Nashville, Tennessee

After hosting VEA Supper Club, Nashville’s first and longest-running series of more than 100 sold-out pop-ups, Chef Vivek Surti knows a thing or two about dinner parties. Upon arrival, you’ll be welcomed into the restaurant’s “living room” to mingle and sip a beverage, say Bourbon Fruit Tea, a spiked punch riff on Nashville’s fruit tea. Find a seat at the table, then nosh on thoughtfully laid-out snacks like popcorn with ghee and dried red chilies. You’ll notice the space has personal touches like a gorgeous crystal chandelier from Surti’s childhood home and bar cabinetry carved with traditional Gujarati rounded-top arches. Surti shares entertaining anecdotes and details as each of the eight to twelve courses are served; his cuisine draws from diverse influences including the Gujarati meals he grew up eating, American classics and his travels. The meal closes with cups of chai, fashioned after Vivek’s dad’s recipe.