Our tasting team: Us + Mr. P’s brother (and best man) + Bridesmaid R.
The mission: Chow down! And figure out which dishes will be served at the wedding.
It’s time for some sexy food shots!
First, bring on the wine:
Merlot, cab sauv, pinot grigio, and chardonnay (all Beaulieu Vineyards except for the pinot)
- The reds were lighter than we’re used to, but for a multi-course summer dinner the weight will be fine. The pinot grigio was crisp and fresh, almost masquerading as a sauv blanc (one of my favorite varietals). The chardonnay wasn’t overly oaky, also crisp and refreshing. Overall, we were pleased with the quality of the house wines.
The little bites:
Left: Indian chicken with mango chutney on a crisp potato wafer; center: beef filet canape with olive tapenade; right: sesame-crusted Japanese tuna on rice-paper crisp with wasabi sour cream
Sesame-crusted Japanese tuna on rice-paper crisp with wasabi sour cream
- Love! The wasabi was not as intense as expected, which means it’ll be fine for most guests.
Beef filet canape with olive tapenade
- The components changed since our last look at the menu; instead of the artichoke puree and shaved parm, it’s now an olive tapenade. Perfect, aside from the tapenade, which made it a little too salty. Best Man M suggested a mushroom duxelle, melted bleu cheese, or a dijon drizzle instead.
Indian chicken with mango chutney on a crisp potato wafer
- OMG, love the flavor! Aromatic and oh so tasty.
Left: mini vegetable spring roll with sweet-chili dipping sauce; Right: crostini with roasted garlic, goat cheese, and roasted red pepper
- Spring roll: The dipping sauce made it the spiciest of all the apps. It’s a safe choice, but didn’t make the cut. We’ll probably swap it out for another veggie app like sweet-potato/cheddar pancakes topped with a citrus-cranberry glaze.
- Crostini: The potential for the giant slices of garlic (they’re the white pieces that are not the cheese) to overwhelm concerned M, but they were barely detectable. I loved the red pepper instead of the more typical tomato (as in bruschetta).
Strawberry salad with candied walnuts, bleu cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette
- My fruit-deprived winter palate came alive with the first bite. Yum yum! Nice “mild” bleu in both salads.
Pear salad with toasted hazelnuts, bleu cheese, and white-wine vinaigrette
- Guys, these pears were insanely juicy. It is so difficult to find good pears. I’m salivating just thinking about them! The light freshness of this salad gives it an extra edge for our summer shindig. We’re thinking we’ll keep the pear-salad components but use the greens from the strawberry salad instead of the frisée.
Entrees, from the lighter fish dishes to beefy beef:
Panko-crusted rockfish with an herbed tomato concasser and jumbo grilled shrimp
- The plate was interesting without being overly complicated, but the rockfish wasn’t as tasty as the salmon. Presentation was just “meh” compared to the next dish.
Coulibiac of salmon with mushroom duxelle and spinach wrapped in puff pastry
- This was the clear winner of the fish options. What reads like a complicated dish is just a super tasty Hot Pocket. More, please!
Herb-sauteed boneless chicken breasts in rosemary sun-dried tomato cream sauce
- Chicken was our “safe” option but not needed. It didn’t impress nearly as much as the coulibiac.
Grilled filet of beef with red-wine demi-glace
- Excellent, just as expected. Nice demi and loved the peppercorns. M’s only complaint is he wanted more!
And then cookies and coffee to sweeten the deal…
Sorry for the half-eaten display. We dove right in; photos were an afterthought.
The tasting was complete. And what were the results of our mission? Comfortably full, confident about our choices, and excited to eat more…even if we have to wait until June!
(No pictures or measurements for the outdoor terrace since the tent was down for the season. D’oh! Why didn’t we think of this?! And there was no need to measure the interior spaces as our [always on top of it] coordinator has all the dimensions memorized.)
If you were a guest, which entree would you pick? What have been some of your favorite wedding appetizers/entrees?
All personal photos unless otherwise noted