how we chose our wedding menu

Ceiling of the Palm Court, one of my favorite views.

Being the food lovers that we are, I'm pretty sure that apart from actually getting married, menu tasting was the part of wedding planning Mike and I have been most looking forward to. I probably started bothering our wedding planner Emily about setting up the tasting in February ... of 2012.

But finally! the day arrived and it was truly better than anything I could have imagined. The table actually gets set up in the Grand Ballroom, where our reception will be, so you feel very, very posh. Plus, they bust out the full china service, so you get to see exactly what it'll look like on the big day.

The Plaza china with mirrored "Ps."

The planning for the menu tasting actually begins a few weeks before, when Emily sends sent us a list of ALL the options for appetizers, entrees and dessert. For Mike, who hates large menus, this resulted in a few heart palpitations, but I'm pleased to say he pulled through splendidly. I just held his hand and kept whispering, "herbed mashed potatoes." The Plaza asked us to pick three apps, four entrees, and three desserts from the master list, all of which are then prepared for you in-full at the tasting. Actually, more than in full, but I'll get to that in a second.

When we arrived at our table, they had printed out custom menus with everything that we'd be tasting, which was an excellent touch since we could take notes as we went along. I, obviously, spilled a large quantity of butter and sauce on mine, but I still think I might get it framed.

Our specially printed menu (before spillage).

Our meal started out with bread service (how much do you hate me for using that term unironically right now? It's cool.), which comes with not one, but THREE butters. Mom, you'll love the cranberry. And look, I don't love bread as much as I love other carbs, but it was warm and delicious and we were also STARVING, seeing as all we had had to eat all day was cake and ... cake. You can read more about that here and here.

Oh AND? We also got to try all of our wines. That would be four (4) glasses. I patted myself on the back for scheduling this on a Friday afternoon.

Now I'm not going to reveal exactly what we chose for our guests, but I am nice enough (mean enough?) to show you what we tried:

Clockwise from left: Kale, Beets and Goat Cheese, Beet Ravioli

Beet Ravioli: Westfield Farm Goat Cheese, Pickled Greens, Mezze Arugula
Beet and Goat Cheese Brulee: Circus Frisee, Pink Peppercorn Vinaigrette
Tuscan Kale and Roasted Oyster Mushrooms: Campari Tomato, Parmesan Cheese

Clockwise from left: Filet, Lamb and Chicken. 


Black Truffle Chicken: Parsnip Puree, Rapini and Leek
Mustard-Crusted Scottish Salmon: Sauteed Spinach, Herb Saffron Couscous
Peppercorn-Crusted Filet Mignon: Baby Vegetables, Porcini Steel-Cut Oat Risotto, Port Wine Reduction
Braised Lamb Osso Bucco: Yellow Trumpet and Shell Bean Ragout, Herbed Mashed Potato

Clockwise from bottom: Mousse, S'Mores, Banana

S'mores: Toasted Italian Meringue, Dark Chocolate Gelato, Graham Crumble
Banana Canele: Banana en Filo, Dark Rum Caramel, Vanilla Gelato
Malted Dark Chocolate Mousse: Chocolate Wafer, Dark Chocolate Streusel, Grapefruit Caviar

For the appetizers and the entrees, the team brought out one full-size plate of each dish (so we could see what the full plating will be like) plus one plate for each of us with smaller sizes of all three. So, to recap: six plates on the table. Dessert, however, was SIX full-size servings, which brings the amount of sugar I ate on that day to approximately my entire body mass. The best part was that they wrapped all the leftovers for us to take home (which we most definitely ate cookie-monster style for dinner after sleeping off all our wine).

Thank you so much to the talented and beautiful and amazing Emily and the rest of the Plaza team for making this a seriously unforgettable meal. I know most brides don't get much time to eat during their receptions, but you better believe this one is carving out a few minutes to stuff my face.

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