My birthday dinner is coming up, and I'm having 12 people over, give or take. I want the dinner to be elegant and organized around a theme, but also inventive enough that the menu feels creative and not predictable. It's also important to me that it's visually striking, with particular focal points.
Last year I did:
Lemon thyme lemonade
Kale Caesar with crispy chickpeas
Ratatouille arranged in a spiral
Fresh pasta with clams, chorizo, white wine
Homemade ice cream sandwiches
This year I'm trying to decide between Malaysian, organized around pineapple fried rice served in a pineapple; Italian organized around pizza done on the barbecue and arancini; paella and tapas; or Mexican with homemade tortillas and carnitas for tacos and different homemade salsas.
Any thoughts or ideas for sides and menu planning?