Forget the obligatory set-menu choice of three bland entrées — fish, fowl, or meat. Or the buffet line where by the time you turn comes around the food is picked over to the point of being barely recognizable. Delectable wedding fare prepared by innovative chefs can be found at a variety of wedding venues. Here are some of the finest on the east coast.
Wedding receptions at the luxurious Inn by the Sea feature local seafood fresh from the Gulf of Maine, an essential ingredient in Chef Steve Sicinski’s kitchen. Chef Sicinski is very much a part of the renowned greater Portland food scene, with an innovative take on all things Maine. For intimate weddings the chef’s plated Lobster Bake offers all the traditional ingredients starting with a baked potato cake, topped with handmade sausage and corn hash and crowned with Maine lobster and parsley lemon butter. Alewives Brook Farm, located next to the Inn, supplies fresh seafood daily. For large tented weddings the chef offers traditional lobster bakes al fresco on the seaside lawns.
There’s been a recent trend of New York brides opting for low-key, luxury receptions in Manhattan restaurants as traditional venue costs continue to skyrocket. Del Frisco’s, an iconic New York steak house, is known for the city’s finest wet-aged steaks and rare cuts like bone-in filet mignon and bone-in Wagyu Longbone. Wedding guests are treated to an intimate setting and signature side dishes that create their own buzz — such as sweet potato casserole, sautéed mushrooms, maque choux corn, asparagus, spinach supreme, fresh vegetables and château potatoes.
Located in Toronto’s glamorous Yorkville neighbourhood, the Four Seasons Hotel sets the stage for an elegant wedding reception, with an endless array of appetizers, including Savoury Herb Macarons with Quince Gelée and Chicken Liver Mousse; Blackened Tuna Tataki with Wasabi Aioli and Pickled Daikon; and Thai Chicken and Water Chestnut Lollipops. Desserts are so rich they deserve their own tax bracket. A unique gluten-free Raspberry Macaron Tart with Vanilla Panna Cotta is out of this world.
Woodloch Pines, a quintessential family resort in the pristine Pocono Mountains, takes great pride in its variety of wedding options. Woodloch is often referred to as a cruise on land. When wedding guests stay at Woodloch, not only are they given a place to sleep, but a place to play as well. Food is serious business at Woodloch, with wedding dishes such as Pepper-Lacquered Chilean Sea Bass dressed with Chardonnay, or Center-Cut Filet with a Brazilian Lobster Tail on offer for discerning couples. Tuna Timbale, a dish often requested at Woodloch Springs Country Club, features sushi-grade tuna served over avocado with spicy lotus root and red seaweed salad.