Last Friday we finally had our tasting at our wedding venue, Barr Mansion. In case you don’t remember, our venue provides the food (even the cake!), and it’s all 100% organic. So the Dude and I got to visit the place where we’re going to get married and have dinner and drinks in the Artisan Ballroom where our reception will be. A nice way to spend a Friday evening, if you ask me.
The first thing we tried was something called “la quercia prosciutto Americano bruschetta”. I don’t have a picture because we were literally each handed one off a tray as we got in line to get our drinks. It was the best thing I ate all night: simply a crunchy piece of bread with something creamy and peppery on top, all wrapped up in a piece of prosciutto. OMG. I normally eat meat only about twice a month, but I would have eaten a dozen of these suckers if they’d given me the chance. Unfortunately we’re not doing passed hors d’oeuvres, so these were out.
The Dude and I both liked the turkey burger a lot (although he had to take the cheese off of his bite because of his turophobia). I also really liked the pizza, though at first I thought it was sun dried tomatoes instead of mushrooms. Those little shiitake mushrooms are so flavorful! We were both underwhelmed by the sweet potato patty. It wasn’t really a patty; it was a little mushier than what I think of as a patty. And it wasn’t as spicy as I’d hoped.
On this plate is another slice of the shiitake mushroom pizza as well as (4) roasted vegetables and Mt. Tam cheese in ciabatta rolls and (5) pecan-smoked bison New York strip kabobs. Neither of us was too impressed with the veggie rolls. All the flavor was in the cheese–I’d just as soon have eaten the cheese by itself. It was tasty, but just not as exciting as some of the other options. Finally, the smoked bison kabobs were pretty delish. We thought they’d be a real crowd-pleaser, too.
There was one appetizer on the menu that I was dying to try–the grilled ginger-lime shrimp kabobs. Those are three of my all-time favorite foods! Throw in some guacamole and I could live off of that meal alone for years. Too bad they didn’t offer it at this tasting.
After the appetizers, the servers came around with plates of this. I couldn’t find it described anywhere in the menus they gave us, but it seemed to be bruschetta with some herbs and a jumbo shrimp. It was pretty good, but the Dude and I were both confused as to how you were supposed to eat it with the tail still on. I ended up eating the shrimp first and then the bread/herbs.
These are the entrees. Yeah, I’ll confess: I had already eaten half of the veggie lasagna when I took this picture. The pinker meat is (1) beef tenderloin with bacon herb butter. The other meat is (2) slow-roasted mesquite-smoked pork roast. The half-eaten square with the cheese on top is the (3) Greek lasagna with ziti, feta, and local vegetables. And the side is (4) smoked sun-dried tomatoes and heritage grain salad.
The Dude completely freaked out over the beef tenderloin. I’m not kidding you. He went back for seconds and thirds. When we were leaving (after he’d stuffed his face with a plate of cake), he asked if he could go back and get some more to put in his pocket. We’re definitely serving it at the wedding. If it makes him that happy, we have to go for it! We both liked the pork, too, but we didn’t feel the need to do anything barbecue-related because we’ll be serving real Texas barbecue at our rehearsal dinner. When we tried the veggie lasagna it was my turn to spaz–I ate all of mine and half of the Dude’s. It was nothing like a traditional lasagna. It was so light and fresh! The main veggie was eggplant, and it was the best eggplant I’ve ever eaten! I’m starting to drool just thinking about it. We’ll be serving the lasagna at our wedding, too. We weren’t that into the tomato and grain salad. It was something I’d eat, but I didn’t really see our families digging it.
I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get to try either of the fish entrees–maple grilled salmon or sesame-soy halibut. But we’ll likely select one of them for our menu. I trust it’ll be delish.
For now, we’re thinking of nixing the appetizers so that we can afford pricier entrees. We’re doing it buffet style, so we can mix and match as much as we like. Here’s what we’re thinking of serving.
As a guest, would you prefer a menu like this, or would you be happier with a bunch of smaller appetizers?
Coming up in Part II: Miss Mouse and the Dude tackle dessert.