A well-crafted appetizer is the perfect way to make sure your guests won’t go hungry so you can focus on fully-filled wine glasses and good conversation. Our restaurants collected their tried-and-true entertaining bites to make your life a little easier.

*Indicates recipe below

 

Perfect for Dipping

Spinach and artichoke fondue dip with toasted bread

It’s a classic for a reason. The Kale and Artichoke Fondue from Wildfire is the perfect bowl of melty cheese for your guests to gather around. Click here for the Kale and Artichoke Fondue recipe.

Three Dots and a Dash Coconut Shrimp with a wine wedge in a coconut bowl

Every party needs a little crunch. In walks the Coco’s Coconut Shrimp from Three Dots and a Dash. Dip in Orange Sweet & Sour Sauce for an optimal flavor boost. Click here for the Coco’s Coconut Shrimp recipe.*

Wildfire Chicken Skewers on a plate with dipping sauce

Anything that fits on a skewer is the perfect pre-dinner snack for guests that are too busy gabbing to grab a plate. Wildfire‘s Moroccan Chicken Skewers work best dipped into an ancho mayonnaise or your favorite aioli. Click here for the Moroccan Chicken Skewers recipe.*

 

Fun Toast Toppings

Cafe Ba Ba Reeba Pinxto a goat cheese crostini

Because goat cheese is always a good idea, our friends at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba have created the Cana de Cabra Pintxo. This simple crostini is the perfect bite to hold your guests over until dinner. Click here for the Cana de Cabra Pintxo recipe.

 

Unique Bites

Osteria Via Stato_'Nduja Stuffed Dates

Careful you don’t eat all of these bacon-wrapped Medjool dates stuffed with savory Calabrian sausage before your guests arrive. N’ duja Stuffed Dates from Osteria Via Stato make the perfect sweet and savory holiday bite. Click here for the N’duja Stuffed Dates recipe.

Trucker Snacks with sausage, pimento cheese and pickles on a saltine cracker. All the ingredients including sausage, bowl of cheese and pickles surrounding the dish

Sometimes the best appetizer is the one that’s easiest to whip together. With pimento cheese, hot links, and saltines, the Trucker Snacks from Bub City are the perfect candidate. Click here for the Trucker Snacks recipe.

RPM Steak Octopus

A perfect appetizer for your holiday feast, the potatoes and jalapeño crema make the Mediterranean Octopus from RPM Steak highly addictive. Click here for the Mediterranean Octopus recipe.*

Beatrix Passed Kennebec Fries

The hand-cut Kennebec Fries from Beatrix with crispy lemons, spicy red chilis, and shishito peppers are just as delicious as they are beautiful. Click here to make a reservation at Beatrix.

Beatrix Kung Pao Brussels

This healthy Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts appetizer from Beatrix is sure to hit the spot with its pickled Fresno chilies, Kung Pao sauce, ginger and garlic. Click here for the Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts recipe.*

 

Coco’s Coconut Shrimp

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

For the shrimp

  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • Orange Sweet & Sour Sauce (see recipe below)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup ice water
  • ½ cup dry shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 6 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish

For the orange sweet & sour sauce

  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tbsp. white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • ½ tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tbsp. horseradish
  • ½ tbsp. passion fruit puree

METHOD

  1. In a large shallow pot, pour in enough oil to reach a depth of 2-3 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 375°F.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the Orange Sweet & Sour Sauce; reserve.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Whisk in the beaten egg and ice water until a batter forms (it should be the consistency of heavy whipping cream).
  4. In another small bowl, combine the shredded coconut and panko breadcrumbs.
  5. Dip each shrimp into the batter, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl. Carefully toss each shrimp in the coconut-panko mixture until evenly coated.
  6. Carefully place each shrimp into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels; sprinkle with fine sea salt.
  7. Place shrimp in a festive dish, garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with Orange Sweet & Sour Sauce.

 

Moroccan Chicken Skewer

Serves: 24 skewers

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lb s. chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. Moroccan spice rub
  • 2 tsp. garlic, pureed into paste
  • 24 bamboo skewers

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, add chicken cubes, olive oil, Moroccan spice rub, and garlic paste and mix together well. Refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours to marinate.
  2. Soak 6″ bamboo skewers in cold water for 5 – 10 minutes. Skewer 4 cubes of chicken on each skewer and set aside.
  3. Heat a grill or grill pan on high heat and grill chicken for 8-10 minutes, rotating throughout.

 

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon chopped ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon pickled fresno chiles – thin sliced
  • 1 ounce (ladle) kung pao sauce
  • 1½ cups roasted brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped blanch almonds
  • cilantro sprig – 1 each

METHOD

  1. Place Brussels sprouts in hot oven to heat for 2 to 2 ½ minutes.
  2. In a small skillet, add oil, ginger garlic and pickled fresnos; heat to sizzling.
  3. Add Kung Pao Sauce & warmed brussels sprouts and toss to coat with sauce.
  4. Place in a bowl and add chopped almonds on top.
  5. Garnish with cilantro sprig.

 

Mediterranean Octopus

Serves: 1-2

INGREDIENTS

For the Mediterranean Octopus

  • 3 oz. Braised Octopus (see recipe below)
  • 2 tsp. garlic oil
  • ½ cup Fingerling Potato Salad (see recipe below)
  • 1 tbsp. celery, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp. Jalapeno Crema (see recipe below)

For the Braised Octopus

  • One 1.5-lb. Spanish octopus, head removed, legs left intact in one piece
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch crushed red chile flakes
  • ½ tsp. harissa powder

For the Fingerling Potato Salad

  • 1 cup fingerling potatoes, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

For the Jalapeno Crema

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, stemmed
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, stemmed
  • ¼cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup full-fat sour cream
  • ¼ cup full-fat mayonnaise, such as Hellmann’s

METHOD

For the Mediterranean Octopus

  1. Preheat oven broiler. On a small sheet tray or other oven-proof dish, toss octopus with garlic oil. Broil for 4-5 minutes until lightly caramelized.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, lightly toss together the Fingerling Potato Salad and celery. Spoon onto the middle of a plate or platter; place octopus on top.
  3. Sprinkle octopus with fresh chives and Fresno chiles. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over top; spoon on Jalapeno Crema. Serve immediately.

For the Braised Octopus

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. In a shallow roasting pan, place the octopus tentacle-sides up.
  2. Add olive oil, vinegar, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaf and chile flakes; cover pan with aluminum foil.
  3. Braise octopus until tender, about 45 minutes.
  4. Let octopus come to room temperature. Slice legs into 1-inch pieces; reserve.

For the Fingerling Potato Salad

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and roast until golden brown and tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and olive oil; set lemon vinaigrette aside.
  3. Let potatoes cool slightly, then cut into 1/2″ rounds.
  4. Gently toss the warm potatoes with the lemon vinaigrette and sprinkle with salt to taste.
  5. Reserve.

For the Jalapeno Crema

  1. In a blender, add the olive oil, jalapeno, garlic, parsley, cilantro, vinegar and salt. Blend until smooth; reserve.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sour cream and mayonnaise. Whisk in the reserved jalapeno mixture until fully incorporated.
  3. Reserve enough crema for octopus; chill and reserve the remaining crema for another use.

 

Executive Chef Vincent Poussel of Mon Ami Gabi – Las Vegas has created tips for the perfect party menu! Click here to explore Chef Vincent Poussel’s appetizer recipes.