Back to school. Back to mitzvah planning. Mitzvahs or not, Shabbat dinners kicking off celebratory weekends strain the bandwidth of most people. There are so many things to consider.
Who comes? Out of towners, close relatives, sometimes even BFFs. I’ve seen it all. From just out of town guests to practically everyone who is invited to the main event.
What to consider? First and foremost, the number of people and budget are certainly my top of mind. Location and convenience are very important as well. All that said, don’t forget you have an entire weekend ahead of you. So those few things should help you make an educated decision: short, sweet, conveniently located and then the rest is all about the size and that dollar thing going on.
Easiest choice when you have a big crowd of out of town guests is to host it at the hotel. I know it seems boring, but believe you me…those friends and relatives are happy to get off the plane, get to the hotel and get settled without worrying what time the shuttle is going to leave, how long they’ll have to stay and if the shuttle will be continuous or leaving at 10 pm on the button. Oh, yeah, and you’re not paying for that extra transportation.
Another consideration? Hosting dinner at your home (or better yet, your sister’s house–then she can clean up). People can come and go, the food can be casual, you can go the caterer route or your favorite meat or dairy tray or the local Panera. It works for any budget. Only downside is if you do it at home in the DIY mode, make sure you have someone there to help refill and clean up afterwards. You have enough to do! And that handy helper is not as expensive as you think.
But, then again, maybe you want no muss, no fuss. In case you haven’t noticed, and I know you have, Cleveland is now a foodie paradise. New places and old are available no matter what size crowd. Once you know the size of the group and you’ve figured out if you want to spend $25 per person or $250 (ha ha ha), you have a plethora of destinations. The new restaurants at Pinecrest, the new Geraci’s that just opened on Chagrin with its own party room, the new café at Davis Bakery which they are happy to rent, the private room at Moxie or at Flemings for a more sophisticated meal, so on and so forth.
You could even go rogue and take everyone to Silverspot Cinema at Pinecrest where dinner is served with the movie!! Dinner AND entertainment, WOW.
Hope you had a good summer.
The Party Girl