Help me plan my dinner party

We are part of a group of five couples who all meet once a month and have a dinner party. We always have a theme, and everyone brings food and drinks to share.

This month it’s my turn, and I’m doing Italian…but in stead of “O solo mio” I want to do “Frank Sinatra”, “mafiose” Italian.

Invitations are going out on a cardboard cut-out (or if I can find some) rubber fish wrapped in newspaper (“Show up, or you sleep with the fishes”).

I plan on setting up several small tables with checkered table cloths so that people will have a place to sit and eat, but also to encourage them to mingle. I will definitely have some Sinatra on the stereo.

For appetizers, I think I will choose two good wines, a white and a red. For each, I would like to select two cheeses to go with that wine. Later, we’ll do the martini bar thing (wine and cheese suggestions greatly appreciated).

We do these parties as a pot luck, and half the fun is trying each others favorite recipes. I do however, want to organize what everyone is bringing so we have a good balance of food.

So here I am, looking for menu suggestions and just fun suggestions in general for the party. Lay it on me, dopers.

As a Doper, I think it behooves you to serve calamari.

If you wanted to get really whacky, you could make a tape outline of a body on the floor.

Jimmy Hoffa cupcakes might be in order.

You could invent some sort of party game of “opening Al Capone’s Vault” where you put some small prizes in a locked box and the guests have to play a game to get the combination.

I have some guests who would love the calamari, if I could get any here. Unless you’re a restaraunt, CO is not an easy place to find fresh seafood.

Lissa , I am so drawing a chalk outline on the front porch :smiley:

And I really like the Al Capone’s vault game idea.

You definitely need to display this somewhere!

See if you can find some of those wine bottles with wicker baskets woven around them to use as candleholders for the tables.

And put some Al Martino on the stereo, too, for that extra-Godfathery touch.

I almost forgot. You have to serve cannoli.

Yes, you need the chianti bottles with the wicker on them - I’d use them as candle holders, though. I’d also have some good chianti as the red wine. Get some pescevino as your (dry) white wine - yep, the bottle is fish-shaped!

Since the mafia was (is?) mainly Sicilian, think of some Sicilian dishes you can have. Unfortunately since it’s an island, a lot of the cuisine is seafood-based, which you say is hard to come by - but you could do a chicken marsala. And maybe some Provola cheese (or provolone - it’s a smiliar style based on provola, but produced in northern Italy and a lot easier to get here).

The previous suggestion for Jimmy Hoffa cupcakes reminded me of the Mardi Gras cake tradition… they buy these large cakes with a tiny plastic baby baked inside it (but no one knows where). If your slice has the baby in it, that’s considered lucky, and might win you a prize of some sort (depending on the party).

And for some light-hearted, cheesy, upbeat Italian party music, put on some Louis Prima.

Don’t forget to dress up for the occasion, too, if you can… there’s the classic Mafia look (as in the Godfather movies), but also the trashy, '70’s-'00’s look (as in Married to the Mob, Goodfellas, and the Sopranos). Pinstripe suits, spats, cigars, evening gowns, and chunky jewelry (and pinkie rings!) – or gaudy outfits with loud patterns (think Pucci), big hair (and lotsa spray!), six-inch heels, chunky jewelry, pinkie rings, and exposed chest hair and a golden coke spoon on a chain?

Sopranos Recipes. Better yet, a whole cookbook. (I don’t vouch for either of these, but they might be a source of inspiration, at least).
If your guests are fans of the show, references to Artie Bucco’s restaurant(s) might be fun.

Me, I’d put sleeping caps on those fishes, and leave the threat unspoken. “Show up for this dinner party, or else…”
Sounds like tons of fun!

Check the auto parts store for some stick-on bullet holes. You can put them all over your car in the driveway and maybe on the doors, etc, in the house.

Something along the lines of tortellini in pesto would be fabulous.

After you serve the main courses, you could put out sticks of gum for your guests to chew, since you’ll no doubt have enjoyed very garlicky, oniony foods. Then for dessert, you could put out a tray of cannoli with a small trash can on the floor nearby, and a sign that says “Leave the gum, take the cannoli.”

Wow…are there some great suggestions here, or what? :cool:

Even with what you guys have given me so far, it’s going to be hard to narrow it down (so ok…maybe I won’t even try!).

Keep 'em coming. This is great stuff 'yall. Thanks!

What? No fucking ziti?

Make homemade ravioli stuffed with a blend of chicken, marinated artichoke heart, mushroom, parmesean cheese and sun dried tomato.

I reccomend an alfredo sauce with them but to each his own.

If you are into food decor at all soaking a bit of olive oil with sun dried tomato or pesto will make green and red flavored oils respectively, looks quite festive drizzled over various dishes.

Leave the gun, take the cannoli.