According to All Recipes, the first step in writing a party menu is to consider the guests and their particular food concerns, such as allergies, vegan and ethnic preferences. The party menu should include only dishes that the chef has previously tested and mastered. Creating a menu well before the party date allows the chef to make sure all the ingredients are available and on-hand.
The first item to consider when planning a dinner party is the main dish, explains All Recipes. This is the focal point around which the rest of the menu revolves. There should be two or three appetizers. If the main dish is heavy or rich, choose appetizers that are lighter or less filling. Side dishes should complement the main course. For example, a bland or cool dish should be served as a side with a spicy or heated entr?e. Dessert may be elaborate or simple, depending on the complexity of the meal and tastes of the guests. Provide a couple of signature cocktails suited to the tastes of the guests.
It is fashionable to print or hand-write a menu card for each place setting. A variety of templates are available, ranging from rustic to lace-edged wedding menus.