I’m having a sit-down dinner party later this month and I’m struggling to plan the menu. Is it impolite to serve meat - as well as vegetables - when you have a vegetarian over? Should I just go totally vegetarian for this guest or should I serve what I want (meat) and make a separate veggie dish.
Dear Carnivore Charlie,
Repeat after me: sides are your best friend. There’s no need to make a separate vegetarian-friendly dish if you don’t want to. Dinner parties are already a lot of work so don’t stress yourself out over that one. But obviously, part of being a good host is making sure every guest will get enough to eat so you do need to make sure that the dishes you decide to serve to accompany the meat-based main course are both veggie-friendly and hearty enough to suffice. Think pasta, potatoes and plenty of vegetables (which it sounds like you were already planning to include). Vegetarians — polite ones — know that a host can’t always accommodate their lifestyle choice and sometimes they’ll need to just make do. When accepting a dinner invite, they’ll often (and should!) mention that they won’t be sampling the meat. Not because they’re passively-aggressively requesting a special meal, but just so the host doesn’t buy and cook food unnecessarily. It’s a numbers game.