Our venue typically works with four catering companies in the NH Seacoast/Southern Maine area. We could choose an outside caterer, but that incurs an extra $500 fee and I didn't think that was necessary. So I ruled out one caterer based on their product (i.e. they specialize in on-site clambakes and my best friend/one of my bridesmaids is deathly allergic to shellfish) and emailed the other three for info a couple of weeks ago.
One got back to me right away and suggested a meeting in the next few days. One got back to me a few hours later, with a completely overpriced estimate that involved no input from us. One never got back to me. So . . . last Sunday, Justin & I drove up to Eliot, Maine to meet with the catering director at Muddy River Marketplace, the first place to respond.
We were running late and I wasn't sure if we were going to do any tasting, so we crammed bagels with peanut butter and travel mug coffee into ourselves on the ride up. However, I needn't have worried. In the course of a three hour meeting with the director, we had two cokes each and an assortment of their BBQ specialties, including "fowl balls" (smoked chicken wrapped in bacon), pulled pork, cornbread, baked beans, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, baby back ribs, BBQ chicken . . . There may have been even more, but I can't remember!
Now, I like BBQ. I like it very much. However, I was a little leery of doing an all-BBQ reception dinner. I know it's fun and casual, but my modus operandi thus far has been to attempt a wedding that is both fun and elegant at the same time. I wasn't sure that BBQ was going to do it for me. However, the catering director at Muddy River is a former executive chef and has catered at all kinds of top hotels. He can make pretty much anything you want, if you don't want BBQ.
So now we're looking at a proposed menu of:
- Mediterranean appetizer display (above), including hummus, spinach dip, salsa, tomato & white bean bruschetta, sliced Italian meats and cheeses, marinated mushrooms, country olives, and assorted breads, chips and pita bread.
- Three passed apps: Smoked Chicken Wrapped in Bacon drizzled with honey mustard (the "fowl balls"), Spinach & Feta in phylo, and possibly Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms
- Summer tomato salad with fresh basil, mozzarella and virgin olive oil
- Prime Rib carving station with horseradish sauce & au jus
- Panko Coated Haddock Filet
- Roasted New Potatoes with garlic rosemary butter
- Roasted Vegetable Medley
- Grilled Vegetable Dinners (the vegetarian option, which is a mix of marinated portobello mushrooms, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, and peppers)
- Hot dogs, chicken fingers, and baked macaroni and cheese for the kiddos
- And for dessert (this might be my favorite part of the whole wedding!), a s'more station complete with fire pits, wooden dowels preloaded with marshmallows, and chocolate & graham crackers on silver trays (below)!
I know, right? I love this place. My parents have pretty much given us the go-ahead, but they want to be fed, too, so we're all meeting with the catering director again in a couple of weeks. After that, we'll put our deposit down, start finalizing the menu, and that's one more item off the list!