After decades in the business, this streamlined operation practically has a monopoly on the New York catering biz, and with good reason. Year after year, it delights couples and their guests with inventive dishes like BLT-shortcake bites, truffled duck pastrami, artisanal steakhouse beef, and deconstructed banana splits. Kirsch has exclusive arrangements at several venues, including Tappan Hill, the Skylark, and the Loading Dock. Prices upon request.acquolinacatering.com
Acquolina’s all-star team of chefs whips up hors d’oeuvre like quail-egg-and-paprika canapés and Parmesan tulips with yellow-pepper foam. Entrées range from spinach-and-ricotta gnocchi to filet mignon. Cocktail-hour prices start at $30 per person; seated dinners at $90. (good value)
Amanda Smith Catering and Event Planning917-626-6055; amandasmithcaterers.com
Mexico-born Amanda Pilar Smith’s company offers specialties like lavender-flecked tuna on Asian pear with wasabi cream. The ceviche trio and taco bar are particularly popular. Smith deftly handles events of 10 to 300 in locations throughout New York City, Connecticut, the Hamptons, and upstate New York. Seated dinners from $85 per person.
Arthur Avenue Caterers2344 Arthur Ave., nr. 186th St., Bronx; 718-295-5033; arthuravenue.com
Based in the heart of what they (and many others) call the “real Little Italy,” these longtime caterers create traditional feasts that will make Italian relatives swoon. They offer antipasto platters but also provide full-service catering (from Italian wedding soup to truffled filet mignon). Prices upon request.
Barraud Caterers405 Broome St., nr. Center St.; 212-925-1334; barraudcaterers.com
Well-regarded among epicureans, this catering company—anchored by the talents of chef Ro Howe—devises tasty creations like spiced foie-gras crème brûlée with pineapple salad and braised lamb shanks with gorgonzola bread pudding. Seated dinners from $65 per person. (good value)
Benchmarc Events13-17 Laight St., nr. Varick St., fourth fl.; 212-625-8270; benchmarc-restaurants.com
Favorites from Marc Murphy’s French-Italian menu are available (including appetizers like goat-cheese profiteroles and entrées like braised lamb shank with Brussels sprouts and bacon), but Benchmarc prides itself on the ability to customize weddings, whether it’s a traditional Romanian feast or a gourmet-hamburger station. From $75 per person. (good value)
Bite690 Greenwich St., nr. 10th St.; 917-676-1320; bitefood.com
Scott Skey and Nick Hosea’s business specializes in contemporary cuisine with an emphasis on local, seasonal ingredients. A festive soirée might include fried chicken and watermelon bites and a farmers-market buffet table, featuring a local roast suckling pig served with blackberry-bacon compote and tomato chutney. Prices upon request.
Blue Hill On the Road914-366-9606, ext. 226; bluehillfarm.com
Devotees of Blue Hill’s restaurants in Greenwich Village and Tarrytown, New York, can wow their wedding guests with chef Dan Barber’s exquisite seasonal farm-to-table cuisine. Menus are customizable, and Blue Hill can help with every aspect of your event, whether it’s a huge tented affair in the countryside or a small family gathering in the backyard of a brownstone. Prices upon request.bluesmoke.com
?Kenny Callaghan’s lip-smacking urban barbecue appeals to couples who aren’t averse to rolling up their sleeves and getting a little messy. His Ole Hickory pits smoke everything from pulled pork, brisket, and vegetable sliders to grilled salmon and Memphis-style baby back ribs. From $35 per person. (good value)
Canard, Inc.503 W. 43rd St., at Tenth Ave.; 212-947-2480; canardinc.com
These innovative caterers have dreamed up passed hors d’oeuvre such as foie-gras-and-quail fritters and savory mini ice-cream cones. They’ve also assembled exotic grazing stations featuring crowd-pleasers like Peking duck. From $100 per person for cocktails or $240 for dinner.
Catering By Shawnee423 W. 154th St., nr. Amsterdam Ave. 347-449-4886; caterbyshawnee.com
For the past twelve years, Shawnee Braggs has been impressing clients by fusing soul food and West Indian cuisine with flavors from around the globe. She herself works with clients to customize their menus. Wendy Williams, Ashanti, and Ne-Yo are among her fans. Prices upon request.cateringbyra.com
This company is hyperfocused on minute details, and its customized menus include seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients. The always-professional catering staff are accustomed to serving discerning audiences: Its exclusive venues include the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Mansion at Natirar. Prices upon request. (ecofriendly)tocquevillerestaurant.com
Husband-and-wife duo Marco Moreira and Joann Makovitsky favor seasonal ingredients for their modern fare. Highlights include the creamy Parmesan-grits appetizer and entrées like seared foie gras with sea-diver scallops and braised artichokes with porcini mushrooms. Hors d’oeuvre and a three-course dinner start at $85 per person. (good value)palmhouse.com
Known for their seasonal, local menus containing dishes like grilled red snapper with bruschetta, these Brooklynites are the exclusive caterers at the Palm House at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. They can also be hired for events, small or large, at other venues. From $135 per person.cleaverco.com
An East Coast Alice Waters, Mary Cleaver has earned a following among food connoisseurs for her emphasis on high-quality, organic, and local ingredients and her commitment to sustainable fishing and humane livestock practices. Reception menus can include braised Long Island duck with roasted grapes from the Finger Lakes, squash-and-potato gratin, and sautéed winter greens (from $225 per person, with alcohol and cake). (ecofriendly)
Cloud Catering42-81 Hunter St., Long Island City; 718-383-3313; cloudcateringny.com
The staff at this versatile company trolls local farms and greenmarkets to suss out the freshest fish, meat, and organic produce. Stand-out entrées include red-wine-braised grass-fed short rib with pommes purée and glazed heirloom carrots. Cocktails from $80 per person; seated three-course dinner from $175. (ecofriendly)
Cocktail Caterers416 W. 23rd St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 646-331-9191; cocktailcaterers.com
This LGBT-certified catering biz brings back retro food with a chic flair. The team can handle anything from an extended cocktail party to family-style and sit-down dinners with dishes like seared ahi tuna, toasted orzo, and julienned-vegetable salad. From $85 to $150 per person. (good value)
These caterers love to travel for destination weddings, which give chef Matthew Wadiak the chance to scour the world’s markets for local, seasonal produce. One menu included a salad with 27 types of heirloom tomatoes. From $125 to $300 per person. (ecofriendly)
Crave Catering + Events570 Henry St., nr. 1st St., Carroll Gardens; 718-643-0361; cravecateringny.com
Partners Marco Morillo and Debbie Lyn-Morillo have Nobu, Blue Hill, and Payard Patisserie & Bistro on their résumés. Accordingly, their specialty is rooted in haute comfort food. They once catered a rodízio-themed outdoor reception for which they served a rotisserie-roasted pig and churros with café-con-leche ice cream. From $150 per person.
Creative Concepts380 Lexington Ave., nr. 42nd St.; 646-308-1243; creativeconceptsnyc.com
Chef Miguel Urrego can whip up a variety of seasonal menus for small and large events. Choose from hors d’oeuvre like rosemary-focaccia bites and spicy-shrimp pancakes and entrées like herb-crusted, grass-fed lamb tenderloin. Prices upon request.
Creative Edge Parties110 Barrow St., nr. Washington St.; 212-741-3000; creativeedgeparties.com
For more than 25 years, this company has tailored menus to fit each couple’s tastes. Offerings include burrata caprese crostini and grass-fed filet mignon. Prices upon request.
From the Summer 2014 New York Wedding Guide
- Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships
71 West 23rd Street, #1611 New York, NY 10010 ; Tel: 212-696-4076 ; www.abigailkirsch.com
Memorable weddings and Abigail Kirsch are synonymous. Whether at one of our exclusive venues or a select venue in the tri-state area, our event managers will create a unique celebration that reflects your vision.
- Canard, Inc.
503 West 43rd Street New York, NY 10036 ; Tel: 212.947.2480 ; canardinc.com
These trendsetters have created such hors d'oeuvres as a deconstructed caesar salad and savory beet marshmallows. Whether for cutting edge menus or comfort food favorites, this caterer is a crowd pleaser. Prices upon request.
- Fancy Girl Table
294 3rd Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11215 ; Tel: 718-422-9151 ; www.fgtable.com
Organic catering, creative menus, beautiful presentation, and sustainable practices are the hallmarks of Fancy Girl. Chef Jeanette Maier's innovative menus use the freshest seasonal ingredients from local farmers. Elegant food for all dietary requirements.
- Fig and Pig Catering
12 Whitwell Place Brooklyn, NY 11215 ; Tel: 718-233-4287 ; www.figandpigcatering.com
Fig and Pig is a creatively driven catering company with a devotion to seasonal ingredients and the production of quality, food-focused events. Our food is methodical, yet instinctual; comforting, yet contemporary.