Before we get to the food, a little backstory: My husband's current boss and his wife are a lovely German couple about the same age as my husband and I. When the boss was simply a slightly higher-ranking coworker (he was promoted and shifted to DH's department about 6 months ago), he and his wife invited DH and I out to an event in the city and basically indicated a desire to hang out with us more frequently as friends. However, with one thing and another, we haven't had a chance to see them again socially since. Now, according to DH, their dynamic hasn't really changed, despite the promotion, but I feel a little oddly stuck between the desire to "impress the boss" and the desire to just get to know them as friends, since that's where our relationship started.
Anyway, I don't know if any of that backstory will have any bearing on what you Hounds may suggest as far as menu is concerned, but there you go. There are no big restrictions on the menu, aside from a tree nut allergy, and my own self-imposed desire not to cook German food for them. I also don't want to do a ton of futzing while they're there, so things that can be largely prepped in advance are perfect. My plan:
Drinks and Nibbles:
A light white wine or prosecco
Caprese bites (cherry tomatoes and buffalo mozz with basil on toothpicks)
A small assortment of Italian meats
(We'll probably finish our prosecco/white here)
Shaved fennel salad with oranges
Homemade bread with tapenade butter (and regular butter, to be served throughout the meal)
Something red (I have a nice Zinfandel and a Chianti that should do)
Lasagne Bolognese al forno
Sauteed shredded Brussels sprouts (I know something like broccoli rabe would be more typically Italian, but DH hates it - ditto on spinach)
So, what say you, Hounds? Any glaring omissions or huge missteps? Thanks in advance for your input!