Serving people food in a dinner party situation—no matter the size—is all about creating a mood. There are all sorts of tricks to doing this, from streaming the same interesting but unobtrusive music to every stereo in your house (bonus points if you can get it in the bathroom as well) to adjusting the lighting so that everything (and everyone) looks good.
As long as your old Crate and Barrel dinnerware is not chipped or discolored that end of things will probably go unnoticed. Introduce this fine White Noise collection from illustrator and designer Alyson Fox for Ink Dish (where the stuff will become available come August), however, and the overall dynamic will undoubtedly shift. A little bit Art Deco and all kinds of idiosyncratic, these could buoy conversation for at least 30 minutes.