Hello Summer!

The library/dining room.
"Everyday is all there is" is a quote I learned from my mentor and and former boss Suzanne Rheinstein, explained the New York designer Eliza Dyson while I was interviewing her. Eliza and her husband are known for their impromptu dinner parties which they love to give. She finds it much more fun and comfortable to entertain at home, which was recently featured in the December issue of House Beautiful. The airy Park Avenue apartment features a large dining room that doubles as a library, "we love books and love to share them, my husband is always sending guests home with them," she said. I was lucky enough to catch up with her and glean some entertaining tips before the family decamps to their upstate country house for the summer.

Eliza Dyson
Tell me about the meal you made.
The beginning of each summer we host a Welcome Summer Dinner for friends. We serve crispy fried chicken, a refreshing feta and tomato salad with mint and basil, corn pudding and the easiest dessert in the world, a buttermilk pie, our friends love it.

Peonies from her mothers garden in her home town of Millbrook, NY. 
Do you have a signature dish you make?
Now that we have kids we like easy to prepare foods. In winter we make Osso Bucco often and we love pasta. Our favorite pasta cookbook is Pasta Fresca by Viana La Place and Evan Kleinman. We use is all the time, the recipes are easy and quick to prepare.

Tip: When setting the table mix good with everyday. The contrast makes for an interesting table.

The antique Nuremberg china, an assortment of hotel sliver, William Yeoward glasses, vintage salad plates from Etsy and monogram linen napkins all from Eliza's extensive collection of tableware.

Who most influenced your entertaining style?
My mom. She is an amazing cook and loves to entertain. When she has a large group she likes to use luncheon sized placemats on the table because they are smaller than normal ones and she can seat more people at the table. Her tables are always beautiful and fun, for example at Christmas she literally covers the table with chocolate soldiers, it's so fun!

Tip: Always hire a teenager if you can or somebody to do the dishes during the meal. It makes it so much easier and you get to enjoy the evening more if you don't have to think about cleaning up after the guests leave.
The Welcome Summer Dinner features a delicious main course of fried chicken and tomato feta salad. 
What experience has set your entertaining style?
When my husband and I were first married we moved to LA. It was there that we developed our style. We had a garden that was filled with beautiful citrus and avocado trees, it felt like we were living in Italy. We had friends over for dinner all the time. Before the kids, we did elaborate meals and complex dishes now everything is much simpler.

Tip: When I need a great simple dessert I use Fresh Direct. They have these amazing frozen chocolate souffles that come in beautiful ramekins that only need to be baked. It couldn't be easier.

Buttermilk pie with local blueberries is Eliza's go to easy dessert recipe.

Do you have a favorite tabletop item you collect?
Like my mom, I love anything to do with the table. I have a large collection of china and glassware. I also like unusual serving implements, like small silver shovels for salt cellars or bottle sleeves for jars of hot sauce.
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