I don't do a lot of these, but when I do, I think I can pull them off pretty well. The secret is simplicity and a few shortcuts here and there. Oh, and also timing. Because no one wants to attend this dinner party waiting for the osso buco to be ready.
1. Shortcuts. For the appetizer I did a crawfish cake over sauteed shredded brussel sprouts and a mustard cream sauce over. The crawfish cake was not homemade- in fact premade at Whole Foods and just warmed up at my house. The sauce and sauteed brussel sprouts... yes, those were homemade, but didn't take long at all and only used 1 pan. Which brings me to my next dinner party hint.
2. One Pot Meals. You're having people over. You're likely going to be serving them an appetizer, entree and dessert which means at the minimum 3 different dishes. Cut down on dishes and stove top clutter by sticking to meals that can be made with as few pots and pans as possible.Crab boil for example uses 1 pot but yields not only crab but sides like potatoes and corn.