Cocktail Party Menu: Cold Station Trends
When creating your wedding reception menu, you’ll often begin by choosing your cocktail party stations, selecting from a wide range of delectable, gourmet spreads that guests often look forward to the most. Your wedding cocktail party sets the stage for each of the upcoming reception menu features, and a top 2012 wedding trend is surprising wedding guests with unexpected cocktail party menu items.
Some of the top cocktail party menu trends include international foods, organic wedding menu items, gluten-free menu items, and unique twists on traditional wedding cocktail party foods.
Here are some of the biggest trends in cocktail party stations, focusing just on the Cold Stations. We’ll focus on hot buffet stations in an upcoming post:
Antipasto: Grilled marinated harvest vegetables, bocchini mozzarella, artichokes, and fire roasted peppers.
Olives: An array of colorful marinated and stuffed olives, with herb dressings.
Bruschetta: A crowd favorite, the bruschetta station tops rounds of grilled Italian bread with marinated chopped tomatoes in garlic, olive oil and herbs.
Cheeses: The traditional cheese cube platter of wedding menus from years ago has evolved into an elaborate station filled with domestic and imported cheeses, such as Italian Fontina, Gouda, Swiss, Wisconsin Cheddar, Coupole Goat Cheese, Brie, Camembert, and other artisanal cheeses paired with chutneys, breads and crackers for today’s guests who know their cheeses and appreciate wine and cheese pairings as part of their cocktail party menu highlights.
Smoked fish: Smoked Nova Scotia salmon and whitefish top the wedding cocktail party menu trends list, with guests pairing these with items from the next item on our list:
Cold seafood: We see happy wedding guests piling their plates high with ice-cold shrimp, king crab claw, raw oysters on the half shell, clams on the half shell, and the enticing wedding menu trend of offering cold seafood salads such as a calamari salad on the cold seafood bar.
Sushi: Seafood and sushi fulfill the wedding cocktail party trend of offerings for vegetarian guests, and our sushi bar includes station menu fare such as hand-rolled California rolls, spicy tuna, vegetarian rolls, and tuna rolls, among others.
Normandy Display: Budget wedding menus and vegetarian wedding menu trends make this cold cocktail party station stand out with grilled zucchini, yellow squash, and red onions, marinated grilled artichokes, pencil asparagus with hearts of palm, risotto cakes with sun dried tomatoes, parmesan reggiano wedges and more. Top wedding menu trends also include hummus, baba ghanoush and focaccia breads.
Charcuterie: Adding a touch of European flair to a New Jersey wedding reception is the charcuterie station filled with slices of ham and dried sausages, which guests enjoy pairing with their olive and Normandy cocktail party station selections.
Caviar: More of our New Jersey and New York City wedding couples are returning to this top wedding trend of offering a caviar station at their cocktail parties, choosing from our wedding catering chef’s suggestions of caviars, and often pairing it with a vodka bar on ice for optimal presentation and taste.
Fresh fruits and berries. We’re lucky that our New Jersey wedding venues provide us with the freshest organic supply of fruits and berries for a welcome station that guests with additional dietary issues can enjoy to the fullest, and one of the top wedding reception menu trends this year is pairing fresh fruits and berries such as mango, raspberries, blackberries, and kiwi with our cold and hot station items. For instance, a bite of Brie paired with a bursting fresh blackberry gives wedding guests a delightful twist on the traditional cheese platter, and allows each guest to be the artist of his or her cocktail party menu choices.
We invite you to visit the sites for each of our properties to browse the unique cocktail party station offerings we provide, and our chefs will be happy to customize your cold station selections.
Photo credit: ©2012 Berit Bizjak, Images by Berit, Inc.