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Chef-owners Marc Tessitore and Robert Zimmerman pride themselves on their attention to detail, and guarantee that one or both of them will attend every event-no matter the venue. Past menus have included roasted-vegetable-and-potato Napoleon with asparagus purée and candied-ginger crème brûlée. Passed hors d’oeuvre range from $14 to $20; buffet and plated dinners are $45 to $75.
This downtown doyenne will tackle any recipe her clients request. For a Russian couple, Bass created a five-course feast including roasted-red-and-yellow-beet Napoleon, wild-mushroom tarts with rye pastry, ratatouille, and poached sturgeon with coriander seed. From $175.
For tastes that span the map, Shiraz offers an excellent global-fusion menu: Appetizers include honey-smoked filet mignon with grilled pineapple salsa, and drinks made with freshly squeezed juices and herbal infusions. Some clients skip the traditional wedding cake in favor of crème brûlée served with orange-apricot relish and mint. From $100.
Since 1988, Simply Divine has provided a boutique approach to kosher catering and event planning for selective brides who want an alternative to the typical kosher-wedding experience. Menus typically feature house-smoked fish; zucchini-basil crêpes with wild mushroom sauté; beef, chicken, and duck entrées with shiraz and chardonnay reduction sauces; and fish entrées with basil, chive, or ginger lime emulsion sauces. From $175 to $225.
A recent edition to the company, executive chef Cornelius Gallagher (formerly of restaurants Oceana, Bouley, and Daniel) caters events of all sizes with a flair for innovative cuisine. Hors d’oeuvre include peekytoe crab profiteroles with curry and crispy cumin panisse with sweet-onion coulis (from $150).
Ellen Gelb is best known for her Asian-inspired concoctions, such as steamed lobster dumplings and Vietnamese summer rolls. But she’s up for offering other cuisines, too; a recent feast included thyme-roasted whole branzino (from $175).
Norma Jean Darden’s expertise lies in melding different cuisines-Asian-Quaker, say, or Japanese-Jewish. For TV newsman Maurice DuBois, who met his wife in Africa, Darden made Nigerian chicken in peanut sauce (from $32.50).
sterlingaffair.com After working at high-end establishments like the Culinary Institute of America and the Waldorf-Astoria, Peter Fazio joined this French New American catering venture. A Sterling Affair is at its best with hors d’oeuvre, serving options like lobster bisque turnovers with crème fraîche or truffled macaroni-and-cheese bites. From $175. sylviassoulfood.com
Soul-food icon Sylvia Woods’ daughter Bedelia Woods is at the helm of Sylvia’s Catering. On the menu: Chilean sea bass with saffron butter sauce, sautéed collard greens with roasted garlic, braised barbecue short ribs of beef, ol’ Charleston shrimp with herb cheese grits, and sweet-potato cheesecake ($50 to $150).tastecaterers.com
Taste Caterers’ seasonal menus emphasize fresh, local ingredients (from the Hudson Valley and Long Island). Choices include a wild-mushroom tasting plate, horseradish-crusted wild salmon, star-anise fillet of beef, and artisanal cheeses ($225 to $250).
Alexandra Payard’s tasty receptions feature hors d’oeuvre like porcini tartlets with endive fondue, followed by a tasting dinner with dishes like coffee-ancho-chili-braised short ribs with baked grits, or seared salmon with Chilean carica, cucumber rémoulade, and wasabi-buttermilk dressing ($85 to $250).
Thomas Preti146 E. 37th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-764-3188; thomaspreti.com
With more than twenty years in the catering business, Thomas Preti will help couples find the right location for their wedding. The innovative presentation includes tasting plates as part of the dinner menu, or a dessert sampler. Weddings (usually lasting six hours) start at $200.
When couples want a seasonal menu reflecting a diverse culinary heritage (e.g., Filipino-Polish or Italian-Puerto Rican), they call on Scott Fagan and Eric McIntyre for a customized menu, including five-spiced empanadas, sesame tuna on wasabi blinis, and chocolate passionfruit bombes. This team manages all aspects of a wedding, from venue selection, vendor logistics, rentals, staffing, and drinks with total budget transparency and a down-to-earth attitude. With service styles and strategies for almost every budget, receptions usually range from $120 to $170 per person (including alcohol).
Known for combining elegance and comfort, Orlando and his staff offer clever fare such as roasted Maine lobster with fresh figs and sautéed foie gras, duck à l’orange, and a veal chop stuffed with spinach and leeks ($95 to $225).
Since 1983 this West Village caterer, which also has its own event space, has been accommodating every kind of palate. For one wedding, they re-created the empanada recipe of the bride’s Ecuadorian grandmother. Not afraid of big numbers, the Upper Crust has served crowds of 3,000 guests. Prices for cocktail-only receptions start at $70; supper buffets and seated dinners start at $150 to $175 (including alcohol).
From the Winter 2008 New York Wedding Guide
- Simply Divine
334 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10023 ; Tel: 212-541-7300 ; www.SimplyDivine.com
Simply Divine is NYC's premier boutique event planning/kosher catering company. Seamlessly blending exquisite cuisine, superb service, and innovative décor, we listen to your dreams and make your day unforgettable.