I can’t believe I haven’t written about our menu yet. Food was priority numero uno for me, which is why we chose October for its hearty harvest comfort food options, and how we chose our venue because we could bring in our own caterer.
Of course, I met our caterers at an open house at our venue, so they have worked together before and it wasn’t a research-intensive task. But they were just one of many suggestions from Open Aire Affairs. We could choose the kind of folks who sold themselves as all inclusive, full-service (for this semi-DIY bride?); we could choose the local “best” who has the exclusive catering rights to two other popular venues in our area (red flag: several events in one day potential!); and we could choose the folks who didn’t give us a huge sales pitch—they just gave us their food, and it was phenomenal:
The chef, Michele Pulaski, prides herself on her “handmade” food.
I knew that this would probably mean higher costs, but she was happy to make suggestions that would work well within our budget and that fit with my harvest inspiration for the wedding:
I saw a gorgeous photo of a rustic pot pie of the cover of Gourmet magazine (similar to the pics above, but even better), possibly three years ago by now. It was my first real inspiration photo for how I wanted our wedding to feel. Warm, comfy, happy, family, Sunday supper. How fun and cozy would pot pie be for the meat option? Oh, and pumpkin ravioli for the veggie option. Another “must.” These ideas served as a springboard for our actual menu.
When I mentioned pot pie to Michele she loved loved the idea, but ever the creative professional, she directed me to a less labor-intensive (and therefore within my budget) option: braised beef brisket. And a buffet, not a sit-down meal. She and James (DiSH’s event coordinator) had to convince me to budge a bit on the sit down meal to save some money on servers so we could put it toward food, and fortunately, they were successful.
James was extremely patient with me while I carefully chose our menu options. In addition to the overall harvest feel, I was drawn to foods that reflect how our palates have grown since Mr. T and I have known each other. We have lived Los Angeles and share an affinity for fresh SoCal/Mex, and since living in Astoria (aka, little Greece) I adore Greek foods. Dining out with our NYC friends and serving/bartending in fancy restaurants hasn’t hurt our food-preciation either. And now, finally, without further ado, if you will, our Fall menu:
Cocktail Hour on the Terrace:
Greeting Guests with Hot Spiked Cider (if it’s chilly. Peach Sangria if it’s hot outside)
A Cheese & Tapas Table
Pastry Wrapped Baked Brie with Fig and Bourbon Conserve
Spanish Blue Cheese with Port Poached Pears
Herb Coated Mild Chevre in an Olive Oil Bath with Picante Peppers
Island Chips of Plantain, Yucca, and Corn Chips with Homemade Salsa Verde
Lemony Hummus and Mediterranean Spinach Dip
Stuffed Jalapeño and The Trio of Olives
American Edamame: Crisp Grape Tomatoes with Vodka and Sea Salt for Dipping
All Served with Artisan Breads and Crackers
To Be Passed
Fried Halloumi Cheese with Fresh Herbs and Lemon
The Tartlet Duo Sweet Caramelized Onion and Feta and Olive Tartlets
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Skewers with Crystal Hot Sauce
Scampi Shrimp Skewers with Drawn Butter
Grilled PBandJ Mini Sandwiches (yeah, you read that right!! )
Seated soup course during toasts:
Plated Soup Course
Our Homemade Pumpkin Parmesan Soup with a Parmesan Sage Crisp
The Main Event:
The Dinner Buffet
Broiled Chilean Sea Bass Topped with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with a White Wine & Caper Buerre Blanc
Classic Sliced Braised Brisket with Caramelized Onions and Demi Glaze
A Mashed Potato Bar with Yukon Golds and Mashed Sweet Potatoes with your Choice of 3 Cheese Sauce, Brandy Cream Mushroom Sauce, Toasted Garlic and Bacon Bits
Sautéed Sting Beans in Browned Butter and Toasted Pine Nuts
The Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
Baby Greens, Pears, Chevre, Candied Pecans with Our House Lux
Fresh Breads and Dinner Rolls with Whipped Butter
Ohmigah, I die. I. Cannot. Wait!!!!
Dessert deserves its own post, so hang tight.
Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to serve? Are you serving any fun food surprises? (And does anyone else have emotional connections with food like I apparently do?) C’mon, dish!