Help Me Plan an Elegant Dinner to Serve My In-Laws

Good Questions

Q: Over Labor Day weekend my boyfriend and I are going to host both sets of parents for dinner in our apartment. This will be the first time they meet. I'd like to make something slightly impressive but not overdone. There are no dietary restrictions and we've got a great kitchen plus a grill.

I was thinking of maybe the Zuni roast chicken and bread salad? (By the way, his parents are divorced so we'll actually be doing this twice — the more ideas, the better!)

Sent by Laura

Editor: Laura, the Zuni chicken and bread salad are amazing, but they do require quite a bit of last minute work — the prepping of the bread salad needs some work after the chicken is finished. Also, if you are serving 6 people, you will probably need 2 chickens. So, personally, I probably wouldn't recommend that particular recipe. (Do make it sometime for just your boyfriend and yourself, though! It's delicious.)

Here are a few alternate suggestions:

Steak - Simple, with a good salad and bread. You can send everyone out to the grill, too, and get the kitchen to yourself for a few extra minutes!
Duck with Black Olives and Black Olive Risotto - Very fancy-ish, but also not too complicated, and good in a very satisfying way.
Pork Loin Spiedino with Pine Nut, Garlic, and Currant Soffritto - Somewhat similar to the Zuni chicken recipe, but easier to prep and scale up.

Readers, any good ideas for Laura?

Related: Dinner Party Menus: Four Seasons Of My Own

(Image: Faith Durand)

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