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Lobster macaroni and cheese, locally-grown asparagus garnished with a cheese crisp from Nage Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach.

Crab cakes by The D at Deerfield in Newark.

Oyster on a half shell is served with a Yellowfin tuna fan sprinkled with sea salt and lemon micro zest from Michele’s Restaurant at the Dover Downs Hotel in Dover.

Chesapeake crab canape with arugula pesto and dill, served with local marinated mushrooms with smoked salmon from Harry’s Savoy Grill and Ballroom in Wilmington.

Serving in Style
How you serve food is as important as what your guests eat. Choose the style that works best for your party and your personality.
Tapas—Also known as heavy hors d’oeuvres. There is no time during the reception specifically dedicated to sit-down dining, which can be a pro or a con. On the upside, tapas encourages people to get up, mingle and dance. It also frees the bride and groom up so that they can spend time with their friends and family. But, if guests are expecting a traditional evening with a heavy dinner, they might be surprised.
Sit down—This is the formal, traditional dinner that is typical to a wedding. It promises a certain level of structure and predictability for guests, which can be a plus. And it also allows brides to take a second and actually eat. “The biggest complaint that I hear is that the bride didn’t get to eat anything. This actually schedules time for you sit down and eat,” says Meghan Gardner, general manager of the Blue Moon in Rehoboth Beach. But a sit-down dinner can be a pricey way to go as it requires the most servers and the largest portions of what can be very expensive food.
Buffet—These are incredibly popular with brides and guests. Buffets, which tend to require fewer servers, can cut down on costs. And the diversity of flavors can be a lot of fun for guests, as well. Another bonus: buffets work well in any location. Sit-down dinners usually require a kitchen nearby so the food can be prepared. But a buffet requires very little assembly. “You don’t have to cook on site,” she says. “They are great in any location, even the beach.”

Taste Test
Sure, you’ve planned for the rehearsal dinner. But did you consider that your wedding dinner might actually need its own test run?
Facilities will often provide brides and grooms with a tasting before they commit to a menu. What you can expect and how much a tasting costs varies widely from venue to venue, but the goal is always the same: that you walk away knowing exactly what will be served at your wedding. Some chefs prepare the restaurant’s entire menu, others prepare several dishes that you have already agreed on. Dinner will often be accompanied by the reception’s wine or beer selections. If not, ask if you can pay for a beer or a glass of wine. You might find the pinot noir garish with the cheese crostini. If you do, you’ll have time to change one or the other. “The important thing is to taste everything,” says Shireen Kline, director of sales at the Wilmington Doubletree.
You should also take the time to really look over the room. It’s a great opportunity to make sure you’re happy with where the tables will be set up, how big the dance floor will be and what kind of flowers you’ll have.

A Springtime Spritzer
You might not be able to incorporate grandma’s porch swing in your wedding, but you can invoke another childhood summer favorite with this delightful drink. The Pink Lemonade Fizzle was developed by Nick Georigi, general man-ager of Eclipse Bistro in Wilmington. It’s a mix of sweet, tart and bubbles. It’s sure to leave a sweet taste on your tongue.

1 ounce of a citrus vodka
2 ounces of lemonade
1 ounce of cranberry juice
sparkling white wine

Combine the first three ingredients in a highball glass with ice. Top the mixture off with the sparkling wine. Serve and enjoy.

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