I have to say I didn’t really know what to expect going into our menu tasting with the caterers, Pigeon Caterers. It wasn’t one of those events where a lot couples attend and try everything—it was a lunchtime meeting with just me and Sphinx. We had provided some of our favorites off of their extensive menu, but weren’t sure how it would be presented or how many things we would get to try.
Really, all I kept picturing was some kind of scenario like this:
Get it, girl. / GIF from Classic Disney Tumblr
And I wouldn’t complain about that at all.
You might remember that New Orleans weddings are normally cocktail style. So all of the food will be displayed at stations and tables, and it will be available throughout the entire reception. You aren’t usually getting the equivalent of a full meal at cocktail receptions, but I have left enough weddings with too much alcohol and too little food to set up our guests for that fate.
With that in mind, Sphinx and I really wanted to serve foods that would be tasty and filling, with a good bit of variety. We love cooking together, and we always like to bring something new and yummy to a family gathering, so we wanted our wedding food to reflect that. Sure, wedding food isn’t known for being amazing, but we have a great caterer and figured we should try our hardest!
So, let’s jump into the pictures! Might I warn you to come back later if you haven’t eaten lunch yet? The following photos will get you pretty hungry. (And maybe hangry. Don’t make me responsible for the hangry, I couldn’t bear it.)
The coordinator warned us to “just try a few bites, you’ve got a lot of food coming and don’t want to get full.”
Please, ma’am. I am a professional.
First, we were each served a plate of the passed appetizer options. From left to right we have a raw oyster shooter in cocktail sauce, mushroom fries with garlic and lemon aioli, crab cake slider with remoulade sauce, almond crusted chicken tender with a sweet Thai chili sauce, vegetable spring rolls, and a crawfish popper with pepper jelly. So lots of fried things, but those make for the best hors d’oeuvres, right? There was also a mini barbecue shrimp and grits shooter that didn’t make it into the picture, which was pretty much the cutest thing ever. They suggested we narrow it down to five passed options, but I just don’t know which one to take out. We might do a cheese and fruit table and add one or two of these options over there.
Next up was our soup and salad course. They added on the corn and crab bisque just so we could try it at the lunch, and it was really good, but we aren’t going to serve it. Soups aren’t that filling or easy to eat in a cocktail environment, and along with the warm weather in May, I can’t see many people going for this. The salad was perfection, though. This wasn’t the exact salad from their menu that we requested, but they had somehow made a salad of all my favorite things. I told them to keep it just like this! Spinach leaves, feta crumbles, candied pecans, sliced strawberries, and a strawberry vinaigrette will make for a nice refreshing salad at a springtime affair.
We wavered between a mashed potato bar and a pasta bar, but ultimately the taters won out because they wouldn’t create as much of a line as a pasta action station would. And they are served in martini glasses with toppings of grilled onions, mushrooms, cheese, green onions, bacon, and chives—how can we pass that up? Such a crowd-pleaser, and they tasted great; I think Sphinx licked his glass clean!
Since we didn’t go with a pasta station, we decided to just pick one that sounded good. In the center is their Cajun pasta, which consisted of shell pasta with a wine and cream sauce, sliced andouille sausage, shrimp, and crawfish tails. I think this was my favorite dish—I could literally eat it every day. Sphinx was a big fan of the meat on the left—that’s pork wrapped in bacon and stuffed with boudin (a Cajun meat, rice, and spices mixture usually served in sausage form). Pork in general isn’t my favorite, but this certainly was good and will be served with the grilled asparagus at a carving station.
Finally, we made our way to the dessert course. The strawberry and cream cheese crepe had a bit too much rum in the sauce for our liking, but it wasn’t anything that we were expecting to serve anyway. I’m still not sure if we’re going to do a separate dessert besides our cake; I like the idea but not sure if it’s necessary if we’re doing several flavors already.
So to conclude—we loved pretty much all of the food, and it was exactly like the “Be Our Guest” scene. A bit less dancing, but almost. And she was right, I was really full by the end of it. Ridiculously full but so very happy! The menu is definitely a bit carb heavy, but when you’ve got people not taking much time to eat, you want to maximize the amount of substance they’ll be getting in each dish.
I think Pigeon offers some great options for dishes and ingredients that are unique to New Orleans but are more interesting than jambalaya or gumbo, and that was just what we were looking for. So with such a great menu, I hope our guests will be able to eat a little bit before the drinking and dancing begin! We had some discussions about the timeline of the night with the coordinator, and I really like what we settled on, but I’ll share that later. We also discussed some options for guests with dietary restrictions, and they said we can have some separate food for anyone who needs it.
The best part of it all: they bring a tray of food into the bridal suite at the reception for us to chow down before we are announced. I might actually get to eat at my wedding? Everyone says it can’t be done, but I want to do it! Challenge accepted!
Any feedback on our menu? Were you a bride who was able to eat on the wedding day?