Some things don’t go out of style…
DO NOT EXPERIMENT FOR STRANGERS
Typical dinner party dishes are invariably the temptation no less than the downfall of ambitious ignorance (oops). Never let an inexperienced cook attempt a new dish for company, no matter how attractive her description of it may sound (I should adhere to this rule more often, you?). Try it yourself, or when you are having family or most intimate friends who will understand, if it turns out all wrong, that it is a “trial dish”. In fact, it is a very good idea to share the testing of it with someone who can help you with suggestions, if they are needed for its improvement (this would mean having like 2 dinner parties a week…who would keep my house that clean?)
Or suppose you have a cook who is rather poor on all dinner dishes (um, fire them?), but makes delicious bread and cake and waffles and oyster stew, scrambled eggs, or even hash! You can make a specialty of asking people to “supper” (waffles! cake! bread! hash! that supper sounds fantastic!). Suppers are necessarily informal, but there is no objection to that. Formal parties play a very small role anyway compared to informal ones.