Aisle Style . Food

Make a lively menu with delicious hors d’oevres.

Light Bites

Make a lively menu with delicious hors d’oeuvres. Photographs by Carlos Alejandro.


Sugarcane-skewered beef satay with mango sauce, from Nage, Rehoboth Beach.


Marinated salmon with blood orange, crème fraiche and American caviar on organic beet chips, from Nage

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Shrimp tostada with chipotle cream, from Sugarfoot, Wilmington


BLT gougère with tomato jam and mache lettuce, from Nage.


Miniature lobster Cobb salad from Sugarfoot


Vegetable tempura in a wonton box, from Sugarfoot


Country ham wrapped-smoked cipollini onion with peach jam and baby cilantro, from Nage.

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Cake stands by Cordon Bleu, $27.50 at Everything but the Kitchen Sink, Hockessin; Dotted napkins by Karen Lee Ballard, $6 each at The Enchanted Owl, Greenville.
 

Page 2: The Champagne Primer | There’s only one champagne, but there are several great sparklers. Cheers.

 

Brianne Fox and Michael Davis toast their marriage at St. Philip’s Lutheran Church on September 20, 2008. Photograph by Ron Soliman, Litrato PhotojournalismThe Champagne Primer

There’s only one champagne, but there are several great sparklers. Cheers.

Looking for a great bubbly? Here are a few types to please your palate and your budget.

Spanish Cava “Cava is the Spanish version of champagne, without the champagne price tag,” says John Sands, owner of Vino 100 in Wilmington. He describes Cava as “fruity and floral, a quintessential food wine.” He recommends Castell Roig Brut Cava ($16.99). Lesley Cowan of Teller Wines in Lewes recommends organic Pares Balta ($20).

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Italian Prosecco Prosecco is the sparkling wine of Venice. Eric Tuverson of Moore Brothers Wine Company in Wilmington describes it as “a delicate and refreshing starter for any meal.” He and Cowan both like Prosecco Montello e Colli Asolani, Bele Casel NV ($16). Sands recommends Loredan Gasparini Prosecco ($14.99). “This Italian sparkler will cover your palate with figs and melons,” he says.

American Sparkling Sands suggests Gruet Brut Blanc de Noir ($17.99), made from Pinot Noir grapes by the same method used for champagne. He calls it “a fruity wine with plenty of charm and an explosive juicy flavor of raspberry.”

French Champagne Sands suggests Boizel Brut ($46.99), a true French champagne from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. “The wine has an expressive, fresh, elegant nose with fruity aromas.”

Tuverson recommends Champagne Brut Rose, Delavenne et Fils NV ($48), which is, “intensely aromatic” with “dark berry and spice” and Champagne Cuvée Prestige, Diebolt-Vallois NV ($62), which represents “complexity and refinement brought to the highest level.”

If you simply must have Dom Perignon, Deerfield Wines in Newark sells it for $155 a bottle, as well as American sparkling wines such as Chandon ($20).   — Katie Ginder-Vogel
 

Page 3: Foods to Forego? | Consider guests with allergies by avoiding these.

 

Steffany Bane and Daniel Carey went for lots of shellfish for their reception at Greenville Country Club on June 28, 2008. Photograph by MK PhotographyFoods to Forego?

Consider guests with allergies by avoiding these.

You want the food at your reception to be beautiful, delicious and memorable. But have you thought about how safe it is for your guests?

For those with allergies, watch out for foods like peanuts and tree nuts, which often appear in savory foods such as satays, as well as many desserts, says Meghan Gardner, owner of Blue Moon Catering in Rehoboth Beach.

Shellfish are also risky. “People with severe allergies to nuts or shellfish can also experience problems if foods that don’t actually contain them are stored in the same area, prepared in the same bowls or pans, or served on the same plates as foods that do,” Gardner says. “That’s why it is extremely important to let your caterer know if either of these ingredients might be an issue for any of your guests.”

Several dishes offered at The Clubhouse at Baywood Greens in Long Neck are made without cream because so many people are lactose intolerant, says director of events Lauren Hanna. Alternatives include diary-free sauces and glazes such as a fresh tomato concasse and rosemary demi-glace.

Lou Marrocco, director of special events at Harry’s Savoy Grill and Ballroom in Wilmington, says to beware of gluten, a protein found in grains. Aside from breads and pastries, including the wedding cake, flour (a source of gluten) is often used as an ingredient in pasta and as the basis for many sauces.  —Marilyn Odesser-Torpey
 

Page 4: Vegetarian Variety | Local caterers are happy to accomodate special diets.

 

Rebecca Steinberg and Cory Stawartz opted for simple salads and breadsticks by Toscana for their reception meal at the Delaware Museum of Natural History on September 13, 2008. Photograph by Kate Len's Photography.Vegetarian Variety

Local caterers are happy to accommodate special diets.

Chances are a few of your guests will want a meatless meal. A creative caterer will go beyond pasta primavera or grilled vegetables to serve dishes that are as unexpected as they are appealing.

The caterers at Nage Bistro in Rehoboth Beach incorporate locally grown produce into dishes like its popular butternut gnocchi. “We have so much to choose from locally—heirloom tomatoes, Kennett Square mushrooms, a wide variety of squashes, peppers, organic salad greens and herbs, local strawberries and blueberries—even edible flowers,” says Nage’s Chrissy Sarro.

Nage’s selection of vegetarian offerings includes grilled tofu and vegetable skewers, eggplant sliders with roasted garlic puree, vegetarian sushi, black lentil salad with mint and couscous, and wild mushroom polenta with soy, parmesan and tomato ragout.

Michelle McClafferty and Brian Lofink served antipasta skewers during their reception at Venus on the Half Shell on September 6, 2008. Photograph by Alicia Cohen Photography.Offer a vegetarian option on the response card and include vegetarian options among the passed hors d’oeuvres. Food stations and buffets make it especially easy to include vegetarian options, says Lisa Bixby McGillivray, owner of Bixby’s Caterers in Wilmington. Be sure to tell your caterer the type of vegetarians your guests are. All eschew meat, fish and fowl. Vegans also abstain from eggs and dairy products.

McGillivray recalls one couple who requested an all-vegetarian reception. Bixby’s put together a brunch buffet of fresh fruit, assorted breakfast breads with honey and jam, mixed baby organic salad, vegetable soufflé, and whole wheat penne pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, kalamata olives and olive oil.

The bride and groom requested vegan meals for themselves. Some of the hors d’oeuvres and desserts were vegan, too.

“We have catered many events with a significant number of vegetarian guests,” McGillivray says. “My chef is vegetarian herself, and she loves to be creative.” –Theresa
Gawlas Medoff