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Off-site wedding caterer - Jersey City


RonV
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I'm in the early stages of wedding planning and the fiancee says I spend enough time on egullet that I should start the caterer search. We're getting married in a renovated old-time theater in Jersey City, so we need someone who will help us with everything from tables, linens, wait staff to obviously food.

One reason we didn't want a typical wedding hall is that the food is always so run of the mill. Seems like such a waste for a piece of subpar meat and a twice baked potato.

As is always the case, we're working within a budget, so my idea is that rather than having an average "expensive" menu (filet, lobster, etc) that we'd prefer to find a good caterer who can work with us to create a menu that's less expensive but well executed. Seems a buffet is the way to go given the set up of the theater, so my mind keeps floating back to an Italian menu (my fear is it just doesn't seem very wedding-y, if that make sense). Just strikes me that well done Italian could be done relatively inexpensively -- some nice antipasti rather than the typical cocktail hour fare; a few pasta dishes that would work on a buffet; a couple chicken dishes, a fish thrown in there. Of course there might be a completely different way to go, and I'd love to hear any suggestions.

I've been living in Philly the past few years and haven't done a very good job of scouting out North Jersey since moving here about 6 months ago. So I toss it out there for you guys. Any advice so I can try to get the ball rolling? I know that Picnic is a favorite of the board, so I reached out to them first a couple months back, but never heard back. I get the sense they cater higher end parties/events than we were looking to have, which was a bummer, but makes total sense.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Ron

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Picnic Catering in Emerson is the gold standard; she's PicnicChef here on eG and her website is www.picniccaterers.com. Christine's catering our wedding in August and she's willing to work with any range of food and budget; I can't recommend her enough.

"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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I've been a big fan of OME Caterers for years, and Craig Shelton, a James Beard winner, is now their executive chef. I haven't used them since the ownership/chef change (I changed jobs and am no longer running events), but I would contact them in a heartbeat, especially because they were always coming to our building or to someone's home; they really know how to do the off-site thing very well. Unless there have been major changes to their approach, they were always very accommodating of our budget, we bought the liquor directly from their supplier (w/o a markup by OME), and the food was wonderful. Don't be put off by that slick new website...at least float the question!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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