Food Tasting

STUFFED - the one word to describe how Jared and I are feeling right now. Tonight, we attended Simply Elegant's (our venues caterer) food tasting, and we got to experience a variety of the menu offerings. I was hoping that this would help us organize our thoughts about what we were having and how much it would cost. This, however, was not the case. We tried a lot of great food, but I have no idea where that puts us budget wise.

To give you an idea of what and how much we ate, we took some pictures. Yes, I am aware that I am the worst food photographer ever, but you have to start somewhere.

To begin, we tried warm crab and cheddar fondue and baked french brie encroute with mango chutney and dried fruits and nuts. I adored and could have taken a bath in the fondue (shocker), and the brie was absolutely repulsive. I think brie can have a weird texture and can sometimes taste old. Additionally, we tried the St. Andrew torte, which was just okay and the brushetta bar, which was nothing too special. I think the brushetta bar is a nice idea, though.It's just one of those more basic items.

Some of the wait staff was walking around with hors doeuvres, and we (Jared) really liked the bourbon street shrimp dusted with cajon rub and sauteed with honey, lemon and white wine and the crab balls on a bremer wafer topped with a dollop of old bay cream. I knew those would be his favorite, and I am sure, the most expensive. He also tried grilled scallops, which were quite tasty, and spinach stuffed mushrooms. He thought the mushrooms were really good, and I trusted him. I like to keep mushrooms as far away as possible.

Then came the meal (I know, I was already stuffed), and it was really good.

This was my plate and it contained the following:
  1. Harvest salad mixed field greens, sliced pears & granny apples, crumbled maytag blue cheese & toasted walnuts & lightly dressed with ginger vinaigrette - I REALLY liked this salad and would love to include this in our menu.
  2. Gala salad with seasonal berries, mandarin oranges & candied walnuts with raspberry vinaigrette - While this was a tasty salad, it was a bit sweet for my liking. In general, I gravitate towards salty salads as opposed to sweet. 
  3. Pasta santa rosa bow tie pasta, fresh spinach, pine nuts, olive oil, herbs and sun dried tomato pesto - I really enjoy pasta, and while I thought it was okay, it was also a bit bland.
  4. Sicilian Brushetta - AMAZING. It reminded of delicious pizza.
  5. Chicken Chesapeake topped with lump crab - I was expecting this to blow me away, but it didn't. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but it lacked some flavor. It needed more punch. 

Jared's plate included the following:
  1. Grilled rosemary chicken accompanied by smoked tomato chutney & charred pineapple salsa - It was a pretty good chicken with just enough flavor. This is a possibility. 
  2. Herb crusted tenderloin of beef - Jared gave this a 9/10, which I think is pretty high. I don't really like beef, so I relied on him for this one. I heard other people saying it was really good. 
  3. Mashed potatoes with a touch of horseradish - This was a hands down winner to J; a 10/10. I don't know how we could incorporate this in the menu with what we are currently leaning to, but it was amazing.
  4. Chicken Chesapeake topped with lump crab - he felt the same way I did on this one. It needed some umph. 
  5. Pasta santa rosa bow tie pasta, fresh spinach, pine nuts, olive oil, herbs and sun dried tomato pesto - J liked this a lot and thought we should keep this as a possibility. I am a pretty tough pasta critic, so he may be right. 
At this point, we really couldn't think of trying anything else, but then Jared saw the cake. Oh yes, Artistic Designs provides the cakes for Grey Rock, and we sucked it up and tried them. I am not a huge cake fan at all, but Jared is a sweets'aholic. This was probably his favorite part.

In this photo was the Italian double chocolate custard, swiss raspberry marmalade and peanut butter cream. All of them were decent, but not winners. The chef did share with us that the raspberry one is the #1 choice by most brides.

Above is the red velvet cake and the heath bar cake. These were both fantastic, and our favorite was the heath bar by a long shot. We had no idea that we would like the heath bar one so much, but it was the best out of the ones we sampled. We will most likely need to use a few flavors for the cake, but that is going to require some fine tuning (aka more face stuffing).

Needless to say, we were at "maximum capacity" when we left and had to come home and put on the elastic waist pants. All in all, we were very pleased with the menu, but we need to nail down the costs of everything.

Looks like we need to spend some extra time whittling our middles tomorrow!


William Gray said...

This is so cool Ash.
Bill Gray

Kathleen said...

OMG those shrimp sound delicious and heath bar cake! I cant wait until May!!!!

Ashley said...

Thanks, guys! I am now wishing I took pictures of the apps, beacuse they were REALLY good. Honestly, I would be happy with just hors doeuvres (and booze of course), but that probably wouldn't make all the guests too happy.

Post a Comment