I figure as long as we don't have a dining room, we're exempt from 'dinner parties.' Our kitchenette just has a table with 2 chairs. In turn, I don't expect anything more from my hosts; I'm happy with an invitation to come over for delivery pizza!
We tend to set our coffee table (with the couch on one side, chairs on the other), but I will also serve some pretty decent food. It keeps it casual and everyone goes away full. I will still do salad/starter, entree, dessert.
Last time, I spent the better part of a day making several kinds of sweet and savory empanadas, which are quite casual on the eating end despite all the labor that goes into them. I knew my fellow ex-Texan guests would appreciate the effort.
Previous efforts have included gnocchi, complicated stuffed peppers, homemade gourmet pizzas (and desserts like some unusual brownies, baklava or pie; salads are more than greens + tomatoes, too) -- all sorts of stepped-up simple foods.
I like to host events that say, "We care enough to make some effort for you, but we're not fussy people!"