Good Question: Cooking to Impress a Crowd

Dear Kitchen,

I have been asked to cook for a group of ten of my parents' friends. I'd like to knock dinner out of the park because they are all accomplished and experienced cooks and entertainers.

What is an impressive, dinner party meal for a novice cook? There are no restrictions, so meat, etc. is fine. The trick with me is always timing the various elements to come together at the dinner bell. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.