Thursday, 19 April 2012


“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

Every now and then we like to indulge ourselves and have a very special dinner, just like a dinner party but only for two. We have a beautifully decorated table, the best china and the cut crystal, sparkling silverware and some delightful classical music playing. There is chilled champagne, and for the comestibles: Hors d’oeuvres, an elaborate main course with all the trimmings, with dessert of course following the meal and afterwards coffee and a praline. It’s nice to do this periodically (usually at weekends) and enjoy a leisurely, civilised dinner where good food, good wine, pleasant conversation make of eating a cultural and social event, even though only two partake of this intimate tête-a-tête.

It is important to realise that quality is more important than quantity in these meals, and as Socrates said, “Worthy people eat to live, worthless ones live to eat.” This is especially true at a dinner party for two, when one can be tempted to over-provide with an excess of delicacies. A variety of food, each served in small delicate portions is preferable to the quantity of food that one eats on a winter’s evening where a single large course will have to satisfy one’s hunger.

One of the hors d’ oeuvres we frequently enjoy at our dinner parties (not only those for two but also for more guests) is Caviar Canapés à l’ Harlequin. These are simple to prepare and look quite wonderful on the serving platter. They are also very tasty.

Caviar Canapés à l’ Harlequin

50 g of red caviar
50 g of black caviar
1 lemon, peeled, thinly sliced and each slice quartered
Melba toast squares
Softened, good quality butter for spreading (French unsalted butter is nice)
Lemon peel and herb sprigs for decoration

Spread each small Melba toast square liberally with the softened butter.
Lay a quarter of the lemon slice on one corner of each buttered toast square.
Spread a liberal amount of caviar on the rest of the toast square, not getting any of the caviar on the lemon.
Use red caviar for half the squares and black caviar for the other half.
Serve with chilled champagne.

Bon Appétit!
This post is part of the Food Friday meme,
and also part of the Food Trip Friday meme.


  1. Looks delightful. My mouth is watering.

    But even more the tradition you have established is wonderful. I have a mental picture of the kitchen as each of you prepare your dish for the meal.

    And in this rushed world taking the time to set our the best and do the full course menu is fantastic.

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  3. What an appealing plate of canapes and beautifully presented and photographed to boot. As always, your thoughtful words of wisdom about the topic at hand are sensitively crafted and apt.

  4. Welcome and Thanks for joining us. I'm so impressed with your food presentation, it looks like an artwork rather than a food. :)

  5. Going out (or staying in) with your own partner - what a brilliant idea. Good music, good food and wine, nicely set table... nothing nicer!

    If I suggested that to my spouse, he would say "Alright, as long as I can watch Top Gear first".

  6. a dinner party for two is a wonderful idea. and this plate of caviar canapes looks sublime!

  7. Oh man, these canapes look great!

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  9. very lovely! food both for the eyes and the stomach! ;)

    thank you so much for sharing over at Food Friday! much appreciated :)

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  11. this looks delish and so colorful, never try this but it is worth checking out :-) Dropping by from last weeks FTF