June 26, 2017

Simple. Classic (with a twist). And confident. Abby Capalbo's entertaining style matches ours to perfection. We love her breezy attitude—as well as her expert tips!

This is probably the hardest tip for me to stick to, but it's so important to keep things simple so you can actually enjoy the beautiful event you put together. And it applies to everything - from the décor to the menu.

I like to keep things looking effortlessly elegant by decorating the table with flowers from my garden, and then I layer in linens that I don't mind getting messy. It's also so important that my menu doesn't require me to be in the kitchen while my guests are there. Lobster is actually one of my favorite things to serve in the summer, because they are rather easy to cook (or have your local fish market steam them for you!), and you can make all the sides in advance!

Welcoming your guests with a signature cocktail for the evening is always a fun touch, but then I love creating drink stations so guests can serve themselves for the remainder of the night. I make sure to stock it with their favorites, and I always make sure there is plenty of water!

Make your guests feel extra taken care of by remembering the little things they didn't think to bring. It's not glamorous, but make sure you have bug spray out for any event during the evening hours and sunscreen out for those daytime parties. It sounds silly, but bugs and sunburns can ruin even the most perfectly planned summer soiree!

I love to make these little nibbles if we have any leftover lobster meat (which is rare!) or just to make any dinner party feel a bit more special.

  • 4 lobsters
  • 1 scallion
  • 2 tablespoons of tarragon
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1. Remove lobster meat from claws, joints and tails. Cut meat into large chunks.
  • 2. Combine lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl and let stand at room temperature.
  • 3. Whisk mayonnaise, tarragon, scallion and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper into above mixture. Add lobster meat and toss gently to coat.
  • 4. Serve on a tortilla or a phyllo cup.

A classic summertime sip, with a little fizz added for good measure.

5 oz Pink Grapefruit Juice
Splash of Soda Water
1 Slice Grapefruit

Fill your glass with ice cubes. Add all ingredients, then stir before making it pretty with the grapefruit garnish.

Photos courtesy of Erin McGinn (@erinmcginn).