I'm having 2 couples for a weeknight dinner! I will like to cook something special and do a simple 3 or 4 course meal.
Any menu suggestions?
Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)
If you type in "make ahead" into the recipe search you will find a lot of recipes that can prepared in advance. Some dishes benefit in flavor from being cooked in advance. Do any of your guests have dietary restrictions? Are you in a wintry climate, because a cassoulet or other stew-type one-pot meal could be served with a salad and crusty bread. You could start with simple drinks/olives/nuts and end with a cheesy (as in cheese-based) dessert?
short ribs over polenta is one of the easiest dishes and it makes an incredible wow dish for guests.
The entree depends on a ton of things -- your preference, guest preferences, budget, prep time. I'd do a simple and light appetizer -- maybe just cheese and fruit -- that could be prepped well in advance; a salad that could be made ahead and dressed right before service; and then a dessert that's another make-ahead. I made a cherry pudding cake yesterday that was marvelous and could be made the night before; for presentation purposes, it'd look great in individual ramekins. Recipe is on the Pioneer Woman blog; search for cherry cake pudding. One caveat; the sauce is way too sweet for me. I'll cut the sugar in half next time.
Thanks everyone for the tips and suggestions! Everything sounds great!