Preface: In efforts to support all businesses encountered on this wedding planning journey, Caterer B shall remain nameless. I'm not here to bash anyone who is doing their honest job to earn some money. If the fit is not right, then that's it. Unless we can work out some details that Caterer B might not be for us.
On Saturday Mike, Meagan (bridesmaid from Atlanta) and I traveled 60 miles round trip out to Maryland to meet with Caterer B. The Chef invited us into his home for a private tasting. There's something to be said for someone starting out a business and using their home to further their cause. At the same time, it's no fancy personal room decked out with dishware and flatware options.
The Chef explained he chose white linens for our tasting to focus on the food. He provided us with a swatch book to choose from over 50 colors of linens. The same teal tablecloth presenting at Windows Catering tasting is available. I might need to do some heavy duty internet searching to find those lovely votive holders from the last tasting, regardless of the caterer we choose!
Caterer B's company specializes in signature drink options to complement soft beverage choices. Three different specialty lemonades graced our table: passion fruit & vanilla bean, strawberry, and peach, along with ice tea.
Passed Hors D'oeuvres
1. Spicy Sesame Salmon on Cucumber
2. Goat Cheese & Leek Tarts
3. Beef Tenderloin Slider with Carmelized Onions
4. Small Stationary table with crudites Shooters, Vegetables/Fruits, Breads and Humus
Plated Mixed Greens Salad in Cucumber Collar with Champagne Vinaigrette
Plated Dinner Options
1. 'Coq Au Vin'
2. Squash, Asparagus & Peppers Wrapped in Grilled Eggplant in Aromatic Tomato Sauce
3. Tenderloin of Beef*
4. Kosher Meal (outsourced)
*We took this option off the menu prior to the tasting, however The Chef wanted us to see the options available to us.
All served with Herb Roasted Potatoes,
Lemongrass scented Broccoli and
Red wine Shallot Sauce
Wedding Cake, coffee available
The signature drink options were a nice touch, however we are not in need of four choices and chose the peach lemonade (due to the alcohol pairing versatility!).
The Hors D'oeurves ranged in impact. You can never go wrong with hummus and cheese, ever. The Goat Cheese & Leek Tarts wowed us. The spiciness of the salmon left us searching for water. We understood they are striving for impact and texture versatility, however we are not out to shock our guests into gulping down their cocktail. The slider also felt out of place, as far as wedding fare goes, however Mike enjoyed it.
The Mixed green salad complemented the meals nicely. We all enjoyed the champagne vinaigrette!
The Coq Au Vin, a traditional French dish made by marinating chicken in red wine, tasted largely of wine with a side of chicken. Also it contained bone, which might be messy for a wedding. The meat was dry, even with the sauce. We brought this up and The Chef agreed to change it to a breast of chicken and a whole different recipe. We decided Coq Au Vin is gourmet and are looking for something more recognizable for our guests (and not so wine-y).
The Vegetarian Entree rocked my socks all the way to China and back. I hardly shared. The combination of all those vegetables, wrapped in eggplant, made my dinner.
The Tenderloin of Beef was a nice touch, but not a necessary option. We do not have room in our budget for it, and it didn't rock any socks.
All entrees came with a side of potatoes and broccoli, practically making me barefoot yet again. They shall stay (in mah belly!)
Thanks to me asking about cakes, The Chef decided to take on a bakery partnership!
There were three options for us to try: Lemon with butter-creme and fondant, Chocolate Peacan with butter-creme, and Vanilla with Raspberry filling and butter-creme. The beautiful presentation included three topper-sized cakes! There were no measly, tiny slices served!
The Raspberry icing in the Vanilla cake was nice, but nothing special to me. Meagan swore by the icing on the Chocolate Pecan cake. Not being a huge icing fan, I took her word for it! Being a super-huge-fan of chocolate cake, my expectations were high and not met. The Lemon cake was more dense and moist, but again nothing to write home about. All in all the cakes left me wanting more, however Mike (who says of himself that he will eat any baked good and has no standards when it comes to sugar) loved it all. We are not tied to this baker and will explore other options here.
Meagan found the large spoons on the table hilarious.
As did I!
Overall, we need to work out a few things with Caterer B. While he is in our budget, he might not be in our wedding. We put out Requests for Proposal to 5 more caterers this weekend to see if it is possible to find a caterer in our budget who tastes good too!