The Working Mom: Dinner Party with The Communal Table

This working momma was ready to host a dinner party!

She just needed a little help...

We are excited to partner with The Communal Table for this post.

Even though the experience was provided free of charge, all opinions are our own.

I love to entertain, but my hosting days have certainly slowed down since having my daughter. I work full time and it’s hard enough to cook for my own family, let alone for my friends. But thanks to The Communal Table, I recently hosted one of my most successful soirées to date!

From my first conversation with Tavish, I knew this was going to be a good time. Over just a few phone calls and emails, Tavish planned a four course menu for my crew. He was sensitive to dietary restrictions, allergies, and food preferences!

(I know I’m in a minority, but I hate goat cheese!)

I invited a group of 10 for dinner, wine, and kid-free conversation. They obliged, asking which pizza shop I would be calling for delivery. Boy, were they surprised!

I got home from work at 6pm and Tavish arrived only minutes later. He was polite, professional, and perhaps most importantly- his food was delicious! He brought in only a large cooler, which somehow contained all four courses for all ten guests! He made the most of my tiny apartment kitchen and got right to work on chopping, prepping, and heating. He required the bare minimum from me: only a few pots and a baking tray.

Upon my friends’ arrival, we started with wine (of course!) and an apple salad. Following the salad was a delicious butternut squash soup that had my friends begging for the recipe. Next up, was roasted carrots, and then short ribs and mashed potatoes. No words can do the food justice. Suffice it to say, there were minimal leftovers.

The best part about this dinner party (aside from the food itself) was the fact that I was able to actually enjoy it. I was able to talk to my friends and listen to what they were saying rather than silently worrying about if I was burning something in the oven. I was able to look forward to it all week rather than stress over the grocery list, the menu, or when I would find time to do all of the cooking. I used disposable “china,” so my responsibilities were even further limited: no cleaning required. And Tavish left my kitchen immaculate at the end of the night.

The next morning, one of my friends summarized it best by asking, "Why don’t we do that more often!?"

I’m thinking we should start.

Tavish started The Communal Table almost two years ago as a supper club among his close friends. His monthly gathering started small, but word quickly spread and his friends started inviting friends who invited other friends. The supper club has no formal ticketing process, but invitations go out in the beginning of the month, and he asks for an RSVP so he has a headcount in advance. The supper club is BYOB, and Tavish simply asks attendees to cover the cost of food (which is typically $25-$40 per person). It’s a new spin on the social scene, and a great way to meet people in town!

Tavish recently expanded The Communal Table and now brings his supper club into others' homes. He has kept his pricing the same, so he can provide the supper, you just have to provide the club.

To plan your own party, or to be included on Tavish’s monthly invite list, follow @TheCommunalTable on Facebook and Instagram, or send him an email at


Ashley Vallillo Manzi lives in Hoboken with her husband and one year old daughter. She is a family law attorney with Ruvolo Law Group in Hackensack, NJ. With focus on prenuptial agreements, divorce, alimony & child custody, Ashley sees her role as "helping someone arrive at a new beginning." On the weekends, Greg, Brielle, and Ashley love to go out for brunch, playing in Church Square Park, or chasing the birds along Sinatra Drive. With lots of friends and family (her siblings live here too!) this family is always on the go.