Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Coastal Weddings

One of the most up and coming venues in the Connecticut area for weddings is the Boat Shed. With breath taking views of the Mystic River, and located on the grounds of the historical Mystic Seaport, you can't ask for a more unique wedding venue.

Jen & John chose to have their ceremony at Lighthouse Point (located at the Seaport). Upon their arrival, guests were greeted by a traditional Scottish Bag Piper. The ceremony chairs were adorned with white chair covers and sage silk tie backs, and just as the sun was falling behind the trees across the river, Jen & John said their "I Dos".
Casual Elegance tends to be the theme for many weddings at the Boat Shed. Jen & John incorperated the white sea shells that serve as the flooring for the Boat Shed, and the high rafters into their wedding decor. Large lanterns hung from the rustic rafters, and guests were asked to wish the couple good luck and sign large bouys instead of the traditional guest book. Placecards were substituted by beautiful Starfish in a sandbox, and Jen & John's "Coastal" theme was then showcased through out their dinner service.

Guests started with Lobster Bisque, and then joined the buffet, filled with Grilled Filet Mignon, Atlantic Salmon with a Citrus Mango Salsa, & Grilled Honey Lemon Chicken. Jen & John chose to offer guests key lime tarts in addition to their custom wedding cake from Mystic Market.
Jen & John were most recently featured in the Spring/Summer Connecticut Bride's Issue- check out their debut here.

Catering: Coastal Gourmet
Coordination: Alyson Devaney
Photographer: IRIS Photography
Florist: McQuades
Music: Fogg Sound
Bag Piper: Bruce Hedman
Officiant: Deacon Mike

Monday, January 17, 2011

Venue Spotlight: Stonington Vineyards

We are pleased to announce that Coastal Gourmet has recently been named the exclusive caterer for Connecticut's most up and coming event venue, Stonington Vineyards.
Stonington Vineyards has always been a popular location for hosting high- profile events.   After focusing on the vineyard and producing wine for the past five years; owners, Happy & Nick Smith took a hiatus from offering the Vineyard for event space.  Now, Stonington Vineyards looks forward to offering the premier spot for your next wedding or event again.

Stonington Vineyards is one of the older wineries in Connecticut, located mid-way between New York and Boston: within the Southeastern New England Viticultural District. Their vineyards are situated on south-sloping, well-drained glacial soils. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean provides them a maritime microclimate not unlike Bordeaux with a long and relatively cool growing season; perfect for growing Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. 

Enjoy views of the rolling vineyards from the veranda or sprawling lawn, the stunning Vineyards are set on over 58 acres of sweeping lawns & grape vines. During the cocktail hour, guests are able to enjoy themselves on the newly renovated Veranda and  under the Gazebo, offering breath taking views of the vineyards and beyond.  Guests make their way into the main tent, to enjoy gourmet offerings by Coastal Gourmet Catering, taking in the sweet smells of the vineyards.

Dedicated to weddings & celebrations, Stonington Vineyards hosts only one event each week. Each event is a truly unique, special occasion, which provides memories for a lifetime.

We are excited to embark on this new journey with Stonington Vineyards!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Super Bowl BASH

Whether you are a die-hard sports fan or not, the Super Bowl is a great time for good friends and family to gather and enjoy a day of leisure and great food!

Every year, we host a Super Bowl Bash at my house. Our menu usually consists of the “guilty pleasure” kind of pub-style treats: nachos, chicken wings, chips and dips, potato skins and anything that falls into the category of excessive, unhealthy, spicy or cheesy! For as long as I can remember, the day after Super Bowl Sunday marks the start of my diet, so I take the time at our party to devour as much deliciously guilty food and beer as possible before abstaining for the next few months

In addition to the excess of greasy finger foods, we have a Chili Challenge and encourage our guests to bring along their own creation. I have failed to keep a recipe from the past, but have accidently created some amazing combinations because of this! No recipe is by design, as I enjoy the unbanned approach of simply cooking to taste; the fun in this kind of preparation is the mystery. The dish allows for exploration of ingredients and spice that have little boundaries and is a blast to prepare!

Beyond the tailgate-inspired cuisine, because I am a “foodie”, I am expected to serve up something a little more gourmet as well. I always enjoy putting out a new creation as an opportunity to experiment and to surprise my guests. Last year’s trial was seasoned tenderloin stuffed with cream cheese and jalapenos and wrapped in bacon – a delicious appetizer exploding with flavor. I found the recipe online and it was a huge success. I have prepared several other well-received appetizers over the years, but the fan-favorite has been my Gourmet Flat Bread Pizzas. I have prepared a variety of toppings including clams sautéed in white wine and garlic, shrimp with pesto, bacon and broccoli, and the traditional BBQ chicken. The pizzas are easy to make, but a word to the wise: if you are a Football Fanatic like me and don’t want to spend the entirety of the game in the kitchen, do all of this prep work before your guests arrive. Lay all of the flat breads out on sheet pans, and prepare your toppings, then all you need to do is heat them when your guests arrive, and serve straight from the oven!

With food and libations flowing, we try to make the action on the field the focus by creating fun entertaining games that center on THE GAME. We participate in the traditional squares pool – if you are not familiar with this game, here’s what it is all about: Super Bowl Party Game. We also play a game that forces everyone at the party to focus on the specific events of the game, whether they are interested in football or not! As my guests arrive to the party, each chooses a few pieces of paper out of a hat that include specific game scenarios. For example, Team A wins coin flip, Team B receives to start the game, Team A scores first, etc. As events unfold, my guests start to rack up points if the scenario they have in hand plays out. The winner receives a gag gift or lottery scratch ticket!

I am once again looking forward to this year’s party, an explosion of cheese and salt and gut busting pleasure, a great time with friends and family, fantastic commercials and half time shows, and of course THE FOOTBALL GAME! Enjoy your Super Bowl. I know we will.

Don’t feel like cooking at all this year? Let us do the work while you sit back and enjoy the game! Call us and ask about our Super Bowl Menu! 860-572-1111