This is a fun question, just to get some new ideas.
I don't need recipe links and I don't need menus. Just ideas, which is the most fun part of planning an "important" dinner for 14.
For example: This afternoon I was lucky/crazy enough to stumble into a 2 star Michelin restaurant in St. Emilion--apparently you can just that do in France. The first course was a "tomato soup," which of course couldn't have been further from a tomato soup, but was the essence of late summer: Perfect tomatoes, slivers of plums, a bit of vanilla and a shower of flowers and... burrata ice cream. (Also: Wine.) That's an idea I'm going to steal--A savory ice cream as part of a first course soup. I don't need a recipe for a burrata ice cream, I can figure that out myself, but I am interested your wildly different ideas for interesting food and unusual combinations, particularly for vegetable sides and, always, wacky starters that make everyone wonder what's next.
This is a business dinner, three weeks from now, which will be succeeded by meetings in Sonoma, largely ceremonial.
What would you serve if you wanted to impress?
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