what are some of your favorite dinner party meals?!

Question: What are some of your favorite dinner party meals?
i will be having a dinner party for 10 people. So i want something simple, yet have it look like i spent all day cooking. no frozen foods or anything please. a fresh cooked meal

the only thing i know so far is that i am making garlic bread! LOL

we are all italian so perhaps pastas, chicken etc.
i know i can just look online, but i dont even know where to start because there are so many recipies so i just wanted peoples opinions on their favorites!

BONUS if you can recommend wine/cocktail



A roast is something you can prepare the night before, just sear and pop it into an oven an hour or so before guests arrive!

Aglio e Olio con pepperoncino is a fast and easy pasta to make

You can go to the local deli and get a selection of 4 types of cold cuts like spicy salami, prosciutto, coppa, and mortadella, as well as 4 cheeses ( i suggest Asiago, parmigiano reggiano, gouda, and emmenthal)

For salad, nothing beats easy and impressive looking like the perfect insalata caprese!

I like to pair all of this with a nice red wine, maybe a chianti classico!
Enjoy! Hope this helps!


Here is the menu and wine pairings we did for the most industrious 8-person dinner party I've ever had. It was after a trip to Burgundy and Piedmont so the food and wine reflected that. I'm guessing it's a little beyond what you want to do, but maybe it will inspire you a bit (and I can get you any of the recipes if you are interested).

Insalata Russa (in puff pastry shells)
Bloc de foie gras with onion confit
Kir - Bourgogne Aligote with Creme de Cassis (Burgundy)

1st course:
Terrine of escargot and shitake mushrooms with garlic butter
Domaine Latour-Giraud, 2000 Meursault-Genevriéres Premier Cru (Burgundy)

2nd course:
Bresaola with arugula, Parmesan and Olive Oil
Prosciutto with grilled fig, Parmesan and Olive Oil
Bruno Giacosa, 2008 Nebbiolo d’Alba (Piedmont)

Main course:
Grilled garlic and herb marinated rack of lamb
Shallots in red wine and thyme reduction
Fennel and figs scented with bay and cinnamon
Duck fat roasted tiny potatoes
Cherry tomatoes with garlic and basil
Minted peas
Fratelli Revello, 2000 Barolo, Vigna Conca (Piedmont)
Pio Cesare, 2004 Barolo (Piedmont)
Paolo Scavino, 2003 Barolo, Bric del Fiasc (Piedmont)

Cheese course:
Epoisses - Burgundy
Delice de Pommard - Burgundy
Abondance - Haute-Savoie
La Tur - Piedmont
Grés des Vosges - Alsace
Vincent Girardin, 1999 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru (Burgundy)

Warm chocolate souffle
Coffee ice cream
M. Chapoutier, 2007 Banyuls (Rhone)

Post-dessert dessert (as I like to call it)
Pastry assortment (small pastries brought by guests)
Balbi Soprani Brachetto D'Acqui Non-Vintage (Piedmont)

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