Our First Alfresco Dinner at Home

Take outdoor dining to the next level with chic décor and a no-fuss summer meal

As a Marshalls partner, I frequently visit my local store to create content for their channels and scope out the best #MarshallsSurprise finds to share with you! A recent shopping trip inspired an alfresco dinner that I hope to make a weekly tradition at our home.

When we made the decision to purchase a house with a pool last fall, we immediately started thinking about the many poolside happy hours and barbecues we would be hosting for our friends and family. Living in South Florida means year-round pool weather, so I had no doubt there would be countless weekends spent soaking up the sun while floating around on my inflatable Swan. Fast forward five-ish months and I’ve been in our pool a whopping one time. (I know! I know.) I have been so focused on decorating the inside of our home that I completely ignored the outside. Until now.

It started when I came across the cutest black and white striped melamine plates (by Cynthia Rowley, $3.99 each,) on my weekly Marshalls run. My patio is accented with black and white striped pillows, so there was no question that the plates were going home with me. I’ve never been a fan of plastic plates but melamine is both scratch and shatterproof, making these perfect for outdoor use. The following week I found the cutest flamingo print napkins of-all-time by Kate Spade tucked under a pile of placemats. At that moment, I realized two things: flamingo print napkins are a must-have, and I immediately needed to host a dinner so that I could use them!

Take outdoor dining to the next level with chic décor and a no-fuss summer meal

Dinner Menu

Potato Rolls
Grapefruit Rosemary Spritzer
Grapefruit & Pomegranate Salad
Fresh Florida Stone Crabs
Potato Salad
Key Lime Pie

A warm breezy evening on the patio is the perfect place to enjoy something savory and refreshing, so I decided to surprise Eric with a midweek date night featuring his favorite meal – stone crab and key lime pie. It also happens to be one of my favorites and, best of all, requires no cooking! To round out the meal I tossed together a quick green salad with the leftover fruit from our grapefruit spritzers (see both recipes below,) and served fresh rolls and potato salad as a side dish.

Dressing the table was the most work – and most fun – of the whole dinner. The simplest way to add a glam touch to a casual meal is by layering plates and linens. I brought my table to life by mixing a pink floral placemat with the striped melamine plates and flamingo napkins.

Rather than simply placing the dessert on a plate, I used a leather tray (another Marshalls find,) accented with a candle and fresh fruit to feature the key lime pie on a ceramic stand. A table is never complete without fresh flowers, (more is more!) so I used peach roses and white hydrangeas to set the scene for our first romantic alfresco meal.

Take outdoor dining to the next level with chic décor and a no-fuss summer meal

Marshalls Finds: Cynthia Rowley Melamine Plates, $3.99 each; Kate Spade Flamingo Napkins, 4 for $12.99; Shatterproof Wine Glasses, $2 each; Pink Candle Holder $9.99; Leather Tray, $14.99.

Grapefruit Rosemary Spritzer


½ cup grapefruit juice
4-6 tbsp. rosemary syrup
Crushed ice
Sparkling water

Rosemary Syrup

¼ cup honey
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 sprig of rosemary, chopped

  1. To make the syrup, combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and pass through a sieve to remove the rosemary. Cover and let cool completely.
  2. For the spritzer, pour ¼ cup grapefruit juice in each glass. Add 2-3 tbsp. of rosemary syrup to each glass. Fill the glasses with crushed ice and then top with sparkling water. Garnish with rosemary and grapefruit slices if desired.
  3. Optionally, add a shot of vodka, gin or tequila to the drink for a refreshing citrusy cocktail!
Recipe via The Last Cookie

Grapefruit & Pomegranate Salad


1 bag baby kale mix
1 medium grapefruit
1 cup pomegranate arils
1 hass avocado
Extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper
  1. Slice grapefruit and avocado into thin slices.
  2. Toss kale mix, grapefruit, and avocado together and top with pomegranate arils.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Take outdoor dining to the next level with chic décor and a no-fuss summer meal
Take outdoor dining to the next level with chic décor and a no-fuss summer meal


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