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Friday, April 23, 2010

Food for Our Big Day

Two weeks ago we went for a tasting with our venue's caterer - Cafe du Nord. Trying to get to the tasting from Walnut Creek was a little stressful as a protest had temporarily stopped/delayed BART service, but we arrived exactly on time.

For our tasting we tried three appetizers, three entrees, and five sides. Chef Mike modified all but two of our choices so that most were Eden-friendly, meaning no products made from Cow's Milk (butter, cream, cream cheese) were used. An added benefit to the removal of dairy is that no one will accidentally mix meat and dairy (very important for some of our guests who follow a Kosher-style diet).

When friends warned us to go with an appetite to our tasting I was a little cautious. Luckily we went hungry. Chef Mike gave us healthy portions of everything and everything tasted so good that we just had to clean our plates.

The appetizers we tried were: Bruschetta with Vine Ripe Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil, Hummus on Grilled Pita with Sweet 100 Tomato and Kalmata Olive, and Crostini with Goat Cheese and Artichoke Olive Relish. (I apologize for the quality of the images - we were tasting in a club so the iPhone didn't capture the details very well.)

The entrees we tried were Ravioli filled with seasoned Porcini Mushrooms in Tomato-Thyme Cream Sauce (our vegetarian option), Roasted Chicken Breast with Lemon Caper Sauce, and Cross Rib Beef Roast with Cabernet Black Pepper Jus. (The lights were dimmed in the club as the first band of the evening was about to go on, so no photos.)

The sides we tried were Gourmet Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Pecans and a Balsamic Vinaigrette, Wild and Mixed Rice Pilaf, High Summer Squashes Sauteed with Herbs and Garlic, Tuscan White Beans with Rosemary and Garlic in Olive Oil, and Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes.

With the exception of the Hummus appetizer which we'll be replacing with another Bruschetta (Bruschetta with Winter Greens Braised in Olive Oil with Chile, Garlic and Lemon), you'll find each of the options we tried on the menu at our reception. We're excited that we were able to put together a menu that avoided eggplant, walnuts, eggs, avocado, and offered options without cow's milk, tomatoes, or bell peppers.

What are you serving for your wedding reception? Were you able to find a menu that accommodated food allergies?

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