Okay. So a few months ago, new neighbors (a married couple) moved in next door and much to our utter delight they are both professionally trained chefs, working in hip LA restaurants. We entertain regularly, and never have trouble serving delicious, sometimes elegant and sometimes casual meals to our friends, but most of them don't know the different between an onion and a leek. We've had two wonderful meals at the neighbors house, and have visited the wife's restaurant and were treated like royalty, so we are long past due having them over for a reciprocal meal. But I'm nervous!
They're very nice, gracious people, and I know they'll compliment anything I put out, but I really want to put on a nice dinner. For better or worse, my guy has decided we should make a beef carbonnade. It will be a bit of a beer dinner (the husband and my guy will be brewing all day), so I need some other dishes that will go wonderfully with the meal, as well as pairing with a variety of craft beers that my guy has chosen. But the carbonnade will be petty heavy. Can you suggest some other dishes for other courses or sides? I'm thinking of making some homemade egg noodles to serve with the beef.
Salad? Soup? They're bringing dessert, would a small cheese plate be too heavy at the end of the meal?
Any suggestions or reassurances would be welcome!