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The BEST wedding food in NJ?


MJP
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Going to a bat mitzvah this weekend reminded me that I've never really had good food at any catered event in NJ, ever, period. I've probably just been to really overstated catering joints, but in a few years down the road, I might need to know about this.

So has anyone ever had really fantastic food at a catering place in NJ? I mean that of something you'd order at a restaurant and enjoy, not just something flashy like an overdone Chateaubriand, "chicken Wellington," or horribly dry carving-station turkey.

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside" -Mark Twain

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Macalusos in Hawthorn....amazing cocktail hour...dinner was the usual and unnecesary... most of us didn't even realize the cocktail food wasn't dinner

if I add up the 8ft tables there was 56 feet of cocktail food

and across the river there is always Abigail Kirsch

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I was a guest a wedding recently whose recpetion was held at the Woddbury Country Club in Woodbury, NJ (exit 21 of 295, for perspective). The pass -around hors d'ouvres were quite nice, not the ususal fried, breaded crap, and the dinner buffet was actually quite nicely executed, with organic field green salads, and a nice chick pea salad, surprisingly flavorful chicken marsala, scallops in a creamy roasted tomato sauce, al dente pasta, and carved beef that actually tasted like, well, great, flavorful beef!

All in all one of the best wedding receptions, food-wise, that I've ever been to.

Rich Pawlak

 

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I agree with Rooftop on Macaluso's--rediculous cocktail hour spread, I also am a big fan of the Crystal Plaza in Livingston. There is not a whole lot they can't do. They have a kosher and a non kosher kitchen. I've had the kosher food and it blows away most non kosher caterers food that I've had.

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In my opinion if you want great food and a beautiful restaurant with great service try the operations owned by the Knowles Family: The Manor, Highlawn Pavilion and Pleasantdale Chateau. In addition to great food Highlawn Pavilion you will have a panoramic view of New York. Pleasantdale Chateau is a Normandy style Chateau and is absolutely gorgeous. And they will work with you on a menu.

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The BEST was my daughter's wedding at the Valley Regency! WOW what a spread and it was quality food!!

Life is too important to be taken seriously.[br]Oscar Wilde

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My first thought when I saw the title of this thread was Crystal Plaza; glad to see it has already been mentioned! They are also some REALLY nice people to deal with.

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In my opinion if you want great food and a beautiful restaurant with great service try the operations owned by the Knowles Family:  The Manor, Highlawn Pavilion and Pleasantdale Chateau.  In addition to great food Highlawn Pavilion you will have a panoramic view of New York.  Pleasantdale Chateau is a Normandy style Chateau and is absolutely gorgeous.  And they will work with you on a menu.

I know the food at highlawn is excellent but we are getting married there in sept and so glad to hear this about the wedding dining.

we all know as stated it can be less than desirable at other places.

macalusos was a great wedding with an incredible cocktail hour...hats off

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Valley Regency gets another big vote. Easily the best wedding food I have had. I'd also have to give a nod to Nanina's in the Park. Both fantastic food and very plentiful. Crystal Plaza is good if you want to spend $60 grand on a wedding and don't mind limiting yourself with their kosher food offerings. I probably ate there over 100 times as I use to do video jobs there with my uncle. I can only count about 5 times that I thought the food offerings were sub par.

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  • 1 month later...

up here in the frozen nw part of the state we have Perona Farms. went to a wedding there about 3 years ago. really good and inventive passed hors d'oeuvers - where else can you get a salmon carving station with variously cured salmon? - and the samosas were to fight over.

the main dinner was ok but then it was almost 930 when it was served and i couldn't face eating it so took it home for john's dinner the next night.

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Like many others, I've been to so many weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, communions, etc., business, personal, family, and so on.

I think the Crystal Plaza is one of the best in the state. It can be expensive (which is a relative term), and in my opinion, you get what you pay for. They offer both kosher and non-kosher, and both are fantastic, so you are no longer limited to just kosher. I've been there for at least 2 dozen events, spoke with more than a hundred attendees, and maybe I've heard of someone who didn't get there meat cooked properly or something of the like. I have no ego or pride of authorship in this as I've never held an event there, or anything of the like.

The Manor and Highlawn Pavillion are also excellent. I've been to the Pleasantdale Chateau, and that too was excellent. I don't know if it's still open, but I've also like The Short Hills very much in the past. I went to a bar mitzvah there that was nothing short of incredible. I would have liked to have seen that bill (well into six digits baby, LOL).

I've also been to Valley Regency many times. No doubt excellent. However, I've been to a couple of events there that were not up to their usual standard, and it wasn't just me. I am not sure if it's an economic or pricing issue, and for the most part a place like this has a pricing point, but for whatever reason(s), a few times it was just "above average" -- which is far from the norm for this place.

As far as caterers -- sans facility -- I think Foremost Caterers is one of the best, if not the best, kosher caterers in the game today. Top notch in every respect.

I've also been to Seasons -- and I hate to say I wasn't impressed. I don't know if the event was done "on the cheap" (I really don't think so), but I wasn't impressed at any point. Also -- this was more than once. On one occastion, the appetizers were "fair" at best -- some were soggy, others were dry, sauces were very oily or pasty, etc. The entrees too were "fair" at best. I was very surprised and very dissappointed. Another time -- just "so-so" at best. I didn't like the quality of the food, the preparation -- it just wasn't that good. Again, I was surprised and dissappointed.

Great thread.

Eric

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I was a guest a wedding recently whose recpetion was held at the Woddbury Country Club in Woodbury, NJ (exit 21 of 295, for perspective).  The pass -around hors d'ouvres were quite nice, not the ususal fried, breaded crap, and the dinner buffet was actually quite nicely executed, with organic field green salads, and a nice chick pea salad, surprisingly flavorful chicken marsala, scallops in a creamy roasted tomato sauce, al dente pasta, and carved beef that actually tasted like, well, great, flavorful beef!

All in all one of the best wedding receptions, food-wise, that I've ever been to.

Yes -- I've been to just a couple of events here and liked it very much.

Eric

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Were I planning a catered event in New Jersey, I'd look to the Mirage catering facility on Oak Tree Road in Edison. It's owned by the Mehtani Restaurant Group, which operates the restaurants Moghul, Moghul Express, Moksha, Ming and Mithaas in Edison, and Mehndi, Ming II and SM23 in Morristown. At Mirage you can get first-rate Indian food, as well as Chinese and just about anything else. I've been trailing the team there for something I'm writing, and have been very impressed with the operation and, of course, the food.

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the best i've ever had was at the rockleigh country club. the gigantic shrimp on the dinner salad was the tenderest, best shrimp i've ever had. (hmmm, maybe i don't get out much). the cocktail hour spread was mind-boggling in breadth and scope and really fresh and delicious. not just good food for a wedding. gooooooooood food period.

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My brother got engaged and moved to Texas all the in same week a few years back. I will still spending most of my time working in NJ - so my folks and I along with the bride to be family did some caterer searching.

We grew up in Verona and both my brother and I had our bar mitzvahs at the Manor in West Orange.

Naturally we considered going there for my brother wedding but weren't impressed with the general condition of the facility and the attitude of the individual we dealt with. The building is starting to show signs of it's age and looks pretty much the same as it has for years. We also went there one year for Mothers day which is not a day to judge an establishment on but we were very unimpressed. Especially when a waiter stood on a chair in the dining room to jam a knife into an A/C vent when a customer complained about the temperature. Image a mother complaining about the temperature of a restaurant :)

Anyhow the attitude they gave us was that of like they were going to be doing us a favor by allowing us to have my brothers wedding there. We walked out to make a long story short.

They ended up having the rehearsal dinner at the Bethwood. The wedding was at the Crystal Plaza.

In my opinion and that of many I asked is that the food at the Bethwood was much better than that at the Crystal Plaza. I am not sure if it was my they ordered to eat but it was not worth the hefty price tag. My brother was married on Monday - Labor day which also afforded us a reasonable per head meal price.

Working with the owner of the Bethwood, Frank Pombo - what an experience, what a character. Anyone that has had an affair there is probably chuckling to themselves. Frank was fantastic and very accommodating.

I am not going to say that the Bethwood doesn't look it's age and need some work here and there but the rehearsal dinner was first class and the food was fantastic.

Anyone been to Sunday brunch at the Bethwood? I heard is fantastic.

I have also been to affairs at the Richfield in Verona - it was decent, fair, nothing spectacular.

My 2 cents worth...

One thing I will say is that the caterers in NJ are a lot less expensive then those down here in Southern FL.

-Scott

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the best i've ever had was at the rockleigh country club.  the gigantic shrimp on the dinner salad was the tenderest, best shrimp i've ever had.  (hmmm, maybe i don't get out much).  the cocktail hour spread was mind-boggling in breadth and scope and really fresh and delicious.  not just good food for a wedding.  gooooooooood food period.

I was waiting for someone to talk about the Rockleigh as I didn't want to come across as being too biased. I had my wedding there back in 2000 and it was fantastic. To this date my friends and coworkers remark that it was the best wedding food they have ever had period. In second place I would have to agree with many poster that Crystal Plaza is top notch. Good luck.

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I completely forgot about Rockleigh Country Club. I've had a couple of events/parties there and they've all been excellent. Is Irwin Lepselter still there?

Since their renovation, new building, etc., the facility is magnificent.

Eric

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I completely forgot about Rockleigh Country Club. I've had a couple of events/parties there and they've all been excellent. Is Irwin Lepselter still there?

Since their renovation, new building, etc., the facility is magnificent.

Eric

Wow that's right ... Irwin. He made the place. I hope he's still there.

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I completely forgot about Rockleigh Country Club. I've had a couple of events/parties there and they've all been excellent. Is Irwin Lepselter still there?

Since their renovation, new building, etc., the facility is magnificent.

Eric

Wow that's right ... Irwin. He made the place. I hope he's still there.

I haven't had an event there for several years, but I did attend a bar mitzvah there within the last two years. Like I said, since the new construction, etc. -- the place is magnificent. The food was always top notch and Irwin knew how to throw a great party. He knew is clients, their friends, etc. and catered (no pun intended) to them extremely well.

Anyway, I made a phone call and spoke with Irwin this afternoon! He is no longer at Rockleigh -- and he's doing very well. It was great speaking with him and catching up a bit.

Eric

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  • 6 months later...

Practicing a little bit of threadomancy here; I'm doing the planning for our wedding and any further input is greatly appreciated.

Also, adding the Newark Club; I met with their catering manager yesterday and I can vouch that to me, it's very reasonably priced for what you get, and what a view!

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside" -Mark Twain

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock 'n roll." -Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of The Legend of Zelda, circa 1990

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