Thursday, April 19, 2012

Delicious Dinner

Wow, sorry about being MIA for the last few days. My Spring semester for school ended today, and I had some assignments and projects that needed to be finished. Now that those are done, though, I can get back into regular posting.

Sunday afternoon, after going to a few open houses (Did I mention we're house hunting? Well, if I didn't, we are. And it's so much fun!), we had our tasting with the caterer. Russell Morin only does tasting after you have booked them and paid a deposit on their services, which was fine with us. And in fact, that actually worked out well for us, because we had a chance to look at their options, choose our wedding day menu, and taste what we have chosen versus some of their standard meals.

When FI and I were originally in talks with caterers, one of the things that really sold us on Morins was the food choices, and how delicious they sounded.  We spent many hours coming up with our wedding day menu, and after this tasting, I have to say, we are so excited to eat this food again in October.

Now I'll get to the good stuff - the actual tasting - with PICTURES!

FI reading over our wedding day menu / Personal Picture

When we got to the catering office, we were invited to our private room for the tasting. They had a round table in the center, as you see above, with examples of their china on one wall, and actual tablecloths hanging on the other side. The china was gorgeous.  My favorite was this one, but we decided against paying the extra fee on plates, since ours were complimentary with booking.


White china with silver dots pattern / Personal Picture

Our catering coordinator, Ashley, came out and introduced herself to us (we have only talked in email and on the phone) and said that the copy of the menu on the table was to remind us of what options we have chosen.

Wedding Day Menu - Sorry for the name blur / Personal Picture

After reviewing the menu with Ashley to make sure that everything looked right, she went back to the kitchen to let them know we were ready to start the tasting. Not even five minutes later, she was returning with our first plate of hors d'oeuvres.

The first three of the hors d'oeuvres that we got to taste were the Smoked Chicken Empanadas with Roasted Pablano and Chipotle Cream, Chicken Saltimbocca - Chicken Wrapped with Basil, Italian Fontina and Prosciutto Drizzled with Pesto, and the Truffled Potatoes - Petite White Creamer Potatoes Twice Baked with Crispy Pancetta and Asiago, Drizzled with White Truffle Oil.  In the picture below, you will only see the Chicken Saltimbocca on the right, the Truffled Potatoes in the middle, and some really spicy extra hors d'oeuvres they added. We ate the Chicken Empanadas before I remembered to get a picture - but they were DELICIOUS!

Super Spicy Something, Truffled Potatoes, Chicken Saltimbocca, Missing place for Empanadas / Personal Picture

The next plate that we received was the next group of hors d'oeuvres we decided on were Goat Cheese Rounds - Local Goat Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Wild Mushrooms on a Puff Pastry Coin and the Pacific Rim Beef Skewer with Asian Red Pepper Aioli.  Both of these were delicious as well, although the Pacific Rim Beef Skewer was kind of difficult to eat since there was so much on the toothpick.  The Goat Cheese Rounds were outstanding. And that is coming from someone who doesn't like mushrooms or goat cheese. These were probably my favorites.  

Goat Cheese Rounds, Pacific Rim Skewer, Some Lobster Wonton Thing, which was good, but another extra / Personal Pictures

The last hors d'oeuvres that was brought to us were the New Age Beef Wellingtons: Grilled Tenderloin with Boursin Cheese and Merlot Demi. These were also delicious, and I can't wait to eat ten thousand of these at the wedding.  

New Age Beef Wellington / Personal Picture

After trying all of the hors d'oeuvres, we decided that the Pacific Rim Skewer was just too difficult to eat, and that we wanted to replace it with something else, so we decided on Baked Ricotta and Roasted Pepper Bruschetta with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto. We did not get a chance to try this, but our coordinator assured us that it was delicious, and I have no doubt of that.  

The next part of our tasting was the dinner entrees. We decided to go with a dinner buffet, as we want to give our guests the opportunity to experience many different types of New England Style food.

First up, Ashley brought us out all the seafood options we chose for the buffet.  We chose, Rhode Island and New England Clam Chowder with Oyster Crackers, Clams Casino, and Pan Seared Marinated Center Cut Atlantic Swordfish Steak Laced with Garden Basil Aioli.  The chowders came out in mini mugs, with a clam cake on a toothpick resting on top. We were able to try both the RI style and NE style, and both were delicious. The clam cakes were some of the best I've ever had too, and I've had a lot of clam cakes in my 23 years of living in RI.  The Clams Casino were also very good, and I'm looking forward to having some of those at the wedding too.  The swordfish was my favorite of this grouping, though.  Swordfish is one of my favorite seafoods, and the fact that it was served with a Basil Aioli made it even better (I have a slight obsession with anything with Basil).  

From Back to Front: NE Style Chowder, RI Style Chowder, Clams Casino, Swordfish / Personal Picture

Out next plate of entrees was the non-seafood choices we selected: Grilled New York Sirloin with Brandy Mushroom Sauce, Rosemary Chicken - Grilled and Marinated Chicken in White Wine and Rosemary and Topped with a Dijon Mustard Sauce, and our sides, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Local Green Beans. The garlic mashed potatoes had the perfect amount of garlic in them without being too overwhelming, and went very well with both the sirloin and the chicken.  The sirloin was delicious, and even though I don't like mushrooms, they were also very good. The chicken was outstanding, and I wish that there were more.


NY Sirloin, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Rosemary Chicken / Personal Picture

After our entrees, the serving staff gave us a few minutes to decide whether that meal was what we were expecting and if we wanted to change anything on the menu. We decided to keep everything as it was, because we had absolutely no complaints at all about the meals.

Now, I believe that I have mentioned before that we are not having a cake, and that we are doing passed desserts instead.  Well, they didn't really care, because they gave us a cake platter as well.

Cake Platter / Personal Picture

This was a combine-your-own cake platter, which was very intriguing.  They even brought out a little guide to the platter so that you knew what each cake, inside, and frosting options were.  Some of our insides and frostings are in different places, but you get the idea.

Cake Platter Key / Personal Picture

To go along with this, they also brought out some after-dinner dessert drinks, which were spiked with different alcohols. Not being a very big drinker, I tried these, but wasn't a big fan, as you can see from the picture below of my tasted drinks - essentially nothing in them is missing.

Left: Chocolate Raspberry Shooter, Right: Baileys & Vodka Mocha / Personal Picture

Next, they brought out some of the passed desserts that we asked to try, since that is what we have opted for instead of a cake.  The two that they brought us were a Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwich, and the Salted Caramel Whoopie Pies.  The whoopie pies were one of the items that we had on our original list, but after trying them, we just didn't think that there was enough of the salt or caramel flavors, we we switched that dessert out for the peanut butter cookie sandwiches because OMG, they were soooo good. FI actually only let me have half of mine because he wanted more of it. Yeah, it was that good.

Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwich, Salted Caramel Whoopie Pie / Personal Picture

After finishing up the desserts, Ashley came back to talk with us about our menu, and make note of the changes that we made.  We also sat and finalized some other options, like linens and children's and vendor meals, but I'll talk about those things in another post.

Instead, I will leave you with a picture of the demolished Cake Platter. Why aren't we getting a cake again?

Cake Platter Demolished / Personal Picture

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