Contributed by: NAPSA
(NAPSA) - In Italy, mealtime is a chance to relax and unwind with casual elegance. But here at home, the growing popularity of convenience food and take-out options have made the experience of unrushed, stylish dining a rarity. After all, how chic is it to eat out of take-out containers with plastic utensils?
Mood for Your Food
Take a few moments to set the mood for the food you'll be enjoying this evening. Put an Italian opera CD into the stereo. Break out some ornate candleholders and dim the lights. And don't underestimate the power of fabulous flowers: A single calla lily in a sleek vase makes a statement on any dining table. Fashion your setting just as you would an outfit and the experience will go from "drab" to "fab" in a matter of minutes.
Like the transformative power of the perfect handbag, you can dress up any take-out dinner with a stylish bottle of wine. Whip out a bottle of authentic Italian wine like Ecco Domani 2004 Pinot Grigio. It's a superb wine to dress up any pie from the local pizzeria and pairs well with everything from chicken to antipasti. At approximately $10 a bottle, it's an excellent wine to have on hand for everyday dining.
Add Pizzazz to Your Plate
Just because you're enjoying convenience food, you don't have to dine on disposable dishes. First, add some elegance to your meal by using your best china and finest wineglasses-even if all you're eating is fried rice. Use fashionable, crisp white linen tablecloths, just as you would have if you were out at a restaurant. You can also dress up your meal with accents like fresh basil and oregano or shaved cheese. And don't settle for a fistful of chocolate chip cookies for dessert; jazz up your dessert with a few crunchy pieces of Italian biscotti, and add some fresh berries to give a dish of ice cream a makeover.
Off the Clock
Fast food doesn't have to be eaten quickly. It is considered in poor taste to eat too fast, so slow down and enjoy your meal. Savor each sip of wine; pause, and put down your fork between bites. You'll be amazed at how much more relaxed you'll feel. Time is a luxury, after all, and at the end of the day, don't you deserve some pampering?
With these simple tips and tricks from Ecco Domani, you can instantly transform the most mundane take-out meal into a glamorous occasion every day.
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