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Article: Tapas and a Toast

Tapas and a Toast

Tapas and a Toast

Join me as I host my Tapas and a Toast gathering with my family to celebrate a summer Friday night and savor small bites, a light charcuterie spread, and a refreshing seasonal cocktail. 

One of my favorite gatherings to host is a tapas-inspired happy hour. Although I may venture off from the traditional style of tapas cuisine, I find that serving an array of small bites is a great way to include a variety of dishes that everyone is sure to enjoy. 

The Gathering 

For this occasion, we had the family over for a random Friday night and I let my mom off the hook for hosting. Each time we get together as a family it is always inevitable that we end up chatting over drinks in the kitchen. So instead of setting the table, I opted for a more casual approach of having the full spread displayed on the kitchen island.  

This was the perfect setting for my spread of charcuterie and small bites as the larger-scale table allowed for ample room for all the yummy appetizers. 


The Inspiration 

As I was designing the overall setting and theme for my gathering, I first crafted a mood board to really bring my vision to life and plan the perfect gathering.  

Although this was not a traditional tapas spread with Spanish cuisine, I was inspired by the style of serving savory small bites. I then branched off further to include a variation of charcuterie favorites and Italian touches from one of our favorite brands, Bella Cucina

This style of serving was perfect for a quick preparation of delicious appetizers to kick off the weekend with a few family members that arrived into town early. I also love to include this spread when serving friends for a little girls’ night at home before heading out to dinner. 


The Table 

In contrast to most hosted events, this gathering is casual, and therefore no set table is needed. I recommend having the entire spread plated on serving platters alongside the necessary serving tools so everyone can prepare their plate without having to wait to be served. 

For our gathering, the white marble kitchen island created the ultimate place setting to complement the natural wood textures and neutral white serveware. 


The Menu 

When I decided to host this gathering with my family, I immediately thought of serving an array of small bites with a few charcuterie spreads worked in. Since this was not a sit-down dinner or full meal, I knew a heavy appetizer spread to accompany the cocktails would leave everyone feeling satisfied and still well-fed.


A Few Stand-Out Ingredients:   

  • Triple Cream Brie: Try pairing alongside an apricot jam for a flavorful combination.  

  • Unexpected Cheddar: It’s all in the name – so unexpectedly delicious!  

  • Prosciutto  

  • Bella Cucina Fresh Basil Pesto: Full of the most delicious hearty herbs. 

  • Brioche Toast Crackers  

  • Spanakopita: I used a pre-made find from Trader Joe’s! 

  • Heirloom Tomatoes 


Plan and Prepare your Tapas and a Toast Gathering 

The beauty of this tapas spread is that you can easily pull everything together quickly with the ingredients you have on hand! 

  1. First things first, craft your menu and gather your ingredients. Don’t feel intimidated by all the options for small bites. Select a few of your go-to favorites and throw in a few complementary pairings and you’re set! 

  2. Then, pull out all the serving pieces, boards, and utensils that you want to use and lay them out across your serving station. Make sure each piece is functional for the foods you are serving and the flavor vignettes you’re creating. 

  3. Layer in your bowls and smaller serveware pieces to add a bit of texture and dimension to the spread. 

  4. Add your charcuterie ingredients along with the tapas and accoutrements!      

  5. Place your craft cocktail ingredients or a prepped batch on your bar so guests can help themselves and keep you from playing bartender the whole night. 

  6. Turn up the tunes and get set to start greeting your guests with your gorgeous display! 


Celebrate with Tapas and a Toast and host your own festive gathering full of delicious artisanal small bites and a craft cocktail that will become your new favorite.  

Mary Parker 

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