An elegant seafood menu served with Disney magic under the sea
I could not be more excited to share this party with you! For my twenty-first Disney Dinner, I am proud to present The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid has by far been the most requested theme since I started my Disney Dinners series in January 2018. It took me a long time to decide how I wanted to design this party and I’m so glad I waited because this just might be my favorite Disney Dinner to date! It really has it all: gorgeous decor, a delicious and easy menu that’s perfectly on theme, and a killer cocktail. Plus, I had an absolutely magical evening with my friends. Here’s how I hosted my Little Mermaid dinner party, recipes and all!
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Last but definitely not least, I projected a water effect on the ceiling to really make it feel like we were in the ocean dreaming about being Part of Your World. Could you not look at this all day? I think I received more messages on Instagram about this effect than every other Disney Dinners effect combined and, trust me, I get it. When I first plugged in this projector, I stood in my dining room for twenty minutes just staring at the ceiling. It’s mesmerizing, particularly with the darker ocean floor lights.
I really cannot say enough good things about this projector! It’s inexpensive, it looks gorgeous, and it has a bunch of awesome settings and light modes. You will definitely be seeing it again on The Rose Table!
I styled the table with a teal tablecloth the color of Ariel’s tail. If you look close, it has a fabulous wave detail that’s perfect for this party. For the flowers, I chose purple alstroemeria and red roses, the roses of course paying an homage to Ariel’s hair. I styled the center of the table with coral candles and sea shells.
Shop the tablecloth:
The Place Setting
To really get that vibrant, busy look from the Under the Sea musical number, each place setting had a different ocean creature plate, a different sea creature napkin ring, and different colored blue, teal, and purple water glasses and martini glasses. I don’t think I’ve ever had mismatched plates, glasses, OR napkin rings at a Disney Dinner but it felt so right for this particular Disney dinner party.
I used my purple satin napkins last seen at my Midsummer Night’s Dream party as a nod to Ariel’s signature shell top. I also had culinary shells on the plates to use for the first course.
I have to give a special shoutout to my sister-in-law Heather for gifting me most – yes most – of the decor seen at this party. Not to mention my ring light and microphone. You can thank her for making The Rose Table much more professional!
I wore a teal maxi dress, sheer purple shawl (which my friend Rebecca described as “floaty, like it’s underwater”), and my favorite red hair flower from Thai’s Flowers, since Ariel has a flower in her red hair for part of the movie.
My friends looked so marvelous! Caitlin even channeled Ursula after she goes after Prince Eric. I wish I had gotten a closer pic of her necklace – it’s a seashell with music notes!
The Drink: Mermaid Martini
This is one of the best cocktails I’ve ever come up with for a Disney Dinner. If you’re looking for the perfect drink to serve at your Little Mermaid party, this is it. My Mermaid Martini got rave reviews from my friends. I made multiple pitchers and there wasn’t a drop left by the end of the night. Don’t let the (fabulous!) color turn you off; the teal color might be crazy but the taste is fantastic. The color comes from a combination of Midori (Japanese melon liquor) and Blue Curacao (an orange liquor from the Caribbean). This Mermaid cocktail is basically a fruity lemon drop that tastes a bit like kiwi, dragonfruit, or sour grapes. Get the recipe here.
I am extremely proud of this menu because it’s so perfectly on theme but it’s also an entertainer’s dream because much of it is made ahead of time.
Marinated Shrimp with seaweed salad
My friend Rebecca pointed out that Ursula actually eats shrimp out of a shell in the movie so I decided that would be the perfect way to pay tribute to one of Disney’s best villains. My marinated shrimp recipe has been on therosetable.com for a while. You last saw it at my Cinderella Ball. It takes five minutes to make the night before a party. So easy! And if there’s one thing I learned from Ina Garten, it’s that you don’t have to make every single thing, which is why I picked up seaweed salad at Central Market to serve with the shrimp. Get the recipe for marinated shrimp here.
“The seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake”
Under the Sea Pasta
I originally really struggled with the menu for The Little Mermaid because you have to serve seafood but you can’t serve seafood! I mean, I love crab and all kinds of fish but I wasn’t about to serve a beloved Little Mermaid character to my guests, even if they do eat crab for dinner in the movie! It finally hit me that mussels and clams would be perfect for the theme and who doesn’t love a great seafood pasta dish?
This pasta only takes about twenty minutes to make and tastes like a five-star restaurant dish. Shallots, butter, lemon juice and zest, white wine, shellfish…those are some of my all-time favorite ingredients! If you love mussels and clams like me, I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. (You could also make it with just mussels or just clams if you prefer.) Not a noodle nor shellfish was left behind at my Little Mermaid dinner party! Speaking of noodles, I chose these because they reminded me of Octopus tentacles, another nod to Ursula. Get the recipe here.
I am so proud of this cheesecake. Not only is it an amazing classic cheesecake recipe on its own (without the fancy color swirl) but also a beautiful dessert for any mermaid party. Plus you could use this same swirl method for tons of party themes. I topped each slice with an edible mermaid tail, made with teal Wilton candy melts, a silicone mermaid tail mold, and edible pearl dust. I made the tails a week before the party and the cheesecake the day before the party. All I had to do day-of was pipe on the whipped cream in the morning and slice it after dinner. Get the recipe here.
Want to see more? Watch The Little Mermaid episode of The Rose Table here:
Thanks for joining me under the sea! Binge watch all of my Disney Dinners here. Get excited because next month I’m doing a Jurassic Park dinner party. See you there!
P.S. I used seven pounds of lemons for this party. SEVEN POUNDS OF LEMONS! You’d think it was an Amalfi coast themed party. It was a lemon palooza: lemon juice in the cheesecake, lemon juice in the shrimp marinade, lemon juice and zest in the pasta, and tons of lemon juice for pitchers and pitchers of Mermaid Martinis. If you love lemon like me, this is the Little Mermaid dinner party menu for you!
P.P.S. I now have a cookbook! Dreams really do come true. Order The Rose Table cookbook here.
Make your own magic,