Turn your patio, deck, or any outdoor space into a private restaurant escape with a little atmosphere and an easy menu. Here’s a few tips to help you create your own perfect patio restaurant at home.
Set a Theme
Are you planning to make pasta? Go for an Italian bistro with a simple white tablecloth, bread and olive oil on the table, and plenty of candlelight.
Feeling like barbecue? Gather around the patio picnic table, lay down some newspapers, and put out plenty of sauces for sampling. Give everyone a kitschy bib to wear and, if you have a fire pit, get a fire going to create a smokehouse vibe.
Add a Handmade Menu
You don’t need to make anything fancy. You could even turn the menu design into an art project for the kids. It’s a nice touch that gets everyone a bit more involved at the table. And your menu becomes a little memento of your special restaurant dinner at home together.
What sets restaurant dining apart from most weekday meals, aside from not having to do the dishes, is the purposeful mood they create. Luckily, this is easy to do on a budget. String up patio lights, light a few candles, put out a vase of flowers, set the table in advance—another great job for the kiddos—and have water glasses on the table with a pitcher for refills.
Make a Playlist
Think about your theme and plan your music accordingly. Or ask everyone in the family to add a song or two to the restaurant playlist.
Make a "Reservation" in Advance
Rather than everyone grabbing a seat as soon as the food is ready, set a time in advance for everyone to be seated, even if the meal isn’t quite finished. This might be harder for families, especially with young kids, than for couples, but having a fixed “reservation” makes your meal feel more like an event. Arriving early to the table also gives everyone a chance to enjoy each other’s company before eating.
Love these ideas, great tips.
I’m going to try this one day this week,if the weather permits
Time to get back to planning and executing a social experience instead of doing meals on the fly! Lot’s of great ideas here!
Planning this for Saturday with crabs as the featured item, but lots of fillers because, really, who can get full on just crabs…let the feast begin!
Love love love these ideas..
Those are nice ideas. Especially getting all involved
What an awesome idea!
enjoyed reading this!
What a fun enjoyable idea, love it.
I’m working on doing my patio area using white lights and draping off a section for more privacy from neighbors. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. Thanks for your suggestions!
Love the idea of sitting down early, for a few minutes, while dinner finishes. Also having something special to drink
adds specialness, without the hefty price.
Thanka for sending this. Great ideas
Louise is always giving us great ideas through all the seasons! Plus weddings, bridal & baby showers. We love pampered chef & the ideas she gives with new products!
Good idea i would have my firepit going and have a bottle of wine with Shiscobob on the fire
Nice! I love the thoughtful and festive ideas. Everyone appreciates a little extra effort!
Loved these ideas
Got me thinking specials!!
Good ideas I will keep He’s in mine thank you
Great tips. Thanks
Those were awesome ideas. I will be trying a few of those in the next few weeks. Thank you for the tips.
This looks like so much fun
Love this!! Thank you😊
Cute. Love these ideas. Perfect with grown children too. Great way to catch up.
Sounds like a lot of fun!
Oh my goodness!! Perfect for the summer around the patio!!!
Fun, doable ideas!!
I am going to try these out as soon as my backyard is finished. You’re invited!!!
Thank you for the email suggestions, I’m definitely going to try one of these very soon and will definitely send pictures.
This was very good! I loved the suggestions!
Thank you kindly for sharing your Beautiful Thoughts to make things Simple and Easy
Fantastic fun! I especially love the Italian bistro. Mexican taco night with chips and salsa already at the table would be fun. An Asian restaurant. Oh the ideas!
I want that pizza recipe!
Hey, and what about zooming dinner together with the neighbors?
Great idea for celebrating your family and meal times. I love the idea of the playlist and personalized menus.
Great ideas! Very attractive looking environment. Great for outdoor fun.
Amazing. Such great ideas
A fun way for family and friends to share a meal outside when the weather is nice.
What fun ideas, thank you!
This is a great idea!
I love all of these creative ideas!
What all is on that pizza?? It looks DELICIOUS!!
Bottle of wine on ice for the Italian Bistro. Salute!
Such fun ideas@
Together Again-Remembering favorite memories and foods with strawberry lemonade in the quick mix pitcher.
I love charcuterie boards! I find them so mesmerizing and beautiful! It’s amazing how a simple design can turn a deli meat sandwich into a beautiful plate on the table for a buffet. Personally I prefer the classic crusty bread meats cheeses olives and dipping sauces grapes and other fruits or veggies as decor to the board.