I strongly believe that when you invite people to your home for a meal, you really should choose a menu that allows you to be relaxed and be a present and attentive host to your guests. I always try, as much as possible, to cook and almost totally prepare the food well before the guests arrive. That way I am actually able to enjoy their company and make it much more fun for them too. Your guests just won't feel comfortable if the host is running in and out of the kitchen, sweating and looking stressed. That is no fun for anyone!
My tried and true dinner party standard, is a roast. A good piece of meat, a couple of simple side dishes, and voila! A show stopping dinner that everyone loves.