How-To: Make-Your-Own Gourmet Pizza & Prosecco Dinner Party

As I mentioned Monday, this past weekend was a complete whirlwind! After spending 14 hours down in Florida, I flew back to DC to host a Make-Your-Own Gourmet Pizza & Prosecco Dinner Party with a dozen of my girl friends and fabulous co-hostess, Sarah of Two Girls Two Cities.  It had been a few months since I hosted a dinner party (see my End of Summer Shrimp Boil recap here) and it was so nice to collaborate with Sarah on this fun, no-fuss evening!

If you’re the type of person that loves attending dinner parties or have always wanted to host your own, but don’t have quite the skills in the kitchen, this is the perfect party for you to host. Yes, it takes some creativity but no major chef qualities are required.

{Now before I write any further, I must give a gracious h/t to my friend, Dan, who was the original inspiration behind this “Pizza & Prosecco” theme. He hosted a party last year with pizza and prosecco and this year with Chick-fil-A and champagne so thanks, Dan!}

The Menu:

Prosecco. Salad. Pizza. Mini-Mousse. More Prosecco. 

Every guest’s place setting was complete with a personalized pizza (fresh dough that we rolled out + flour on parchment paper – the paper is KEY for transporting) and the table was set with toppings for various preferences.

Each topping station had a theme: “Cheese Please”, “Eat Your Veggies”, “Tis the Season” & “Carnivores” – we tried to accommodate everyone from the cheese-only pizza lovers to the sophisticated goat cheese lovers and meat lovers alike.

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The best part about the evening was how fun it was. Seriously. Whose pizza looked the best/worst/more like a calzone was a contest. Everyone moved around the table from each topping board creating their very own “masterpiece”.

Dinner was also accompanied with a homemade salad and dressing by Sarah. For dessert, I made mini milk chocolate mousse in small pear glasses with berries and chocolate sprinkles for garnishes. Quick, can be prepared ahead of time and light. More room for bubbles, right? The girls appreciated this one.

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A note about the bubbles: normally a good rule of thumb for purchasing wine or bubbly is allotting a half of bottle for each guest. This rule is better applied at large events or receptions and I am pretty keen on following it. However, with my friends and for the more memorable evenings, I throw that rule completely out the window and purchase for a village since prosecco seems to go down like water when you gather a dozen girls together on a cold Saturday night.

The Details:

When Sarah and I started planning, we wanted to make this dinner party casual but with elements of a more fancy affair (i.e. pairing pizza with prosecco). The contrast between a casual menu item like pizza and a more celebrated libation like prosecco remains one of my favorite themes no matter what type of event I am planning or hosting myself.

With that being said, we opted for a white dinner table cloth, shatterproof Go Vino flutes for the bubbles, red and white gingham napkins and mason chairs filled with moss, flowers and lights. I picked up a fresh assortment of flowers for the table and made name cards with gift tags and rosemary, which we tied to knives. The cutting boards or topping stations served as part of the center piece in between vases of fresh flowers and so did the mason jars filled with pizza cutters.

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We also made personalized “pizza flags” with everyone’s initials so we could decipher whose pizza was whose once they were in/out of the oven  (be sure to take the flags OFF before baking/put back ON once they’re out- thankful for my two ovens this evening!). Overall, our idea was to keep the tablescape simple and draw more focus to the hands-on experience of making your own pizza than on the usual ribbons and bows.

 We added a few bottles of sparkling water with limes & a fresh bread basket for good measure and there you have it!

Hopefully this inspires you to host your own pizza night or just make one for yourself (I won’t judge).

Special thank you again to Sarah! She was the best co-hostess and while we were setting up, I told her how much I love entertaining but often spend the whole time running around so I never get to enjoy the evening quite as much as everyone else. She gave me amazing advice which I will take with me in all my future hosting adventures… “It’s better to be present over perfect.”

I couldn’t agree more.

9 Responses to How-To: Make-Your-Own Gourmet Pizza & Prosecco Dinner Party

  1. Hill says:

    This is such an absolutely fabulous idea! I love the mixture of casual and fancy for a simple get together with friends.

  2. This looks amazing! Completely borrowing the idea. Question, though: did the wax paper give you any trouble in the oven? I once baked with it and had an odd burning smell, so I’ve been reluctant to try again. Same with the little flags– did that end up ok? Looks like you girls had so much fun :)

    • BAC says:

      Monica, thanks lady! Two answer your questions – yes, it does smell a tiny bit but mostly like pizza and not a huge annoyance at all! Thank YOU for mentioning the flags, I updated the post and put a note about that – I did take them on/off when transporting and just used the toothpick part to check if the pizzas were done!

  3. Ok perfect, thanks for clarifying! Can’t wait to try!

  4. Jamee Blink says:

    BAC, this looks like such a wonderful gathering! I’m channeling this idea for my next “cousin’s dinner”. Do you mind sharing your recipe for the pizza dough?

    • BAC says:

      Jamee- thanks! so glad you are going to try it! We actually bought the dough fresh from a local place. But if you find a good recipe – please let me know! Given the time constraints of my schedule that weekend – this ended up being the best option for us! #semihomemade

  5. Shimoni says:

    Hi Bac,
    I just came across this post and I’m so glad I did! I was planning to host a pizza party this weekend since I wanted to make my friends try my homemade pizza (my mother in law’s insanely yummy recipe). I LOVE your ideas and am totally going to use them :) Thank you!

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