Trends in Cocktail Party Stations

 In Bright Ideas for your wedding, reception planning, wedding planning

A wedding’s cocktail party stations allow the bride and groom to showcase a generous variety of their favorite gourmet cuisines, from European cuisine to Asian cuisine, Italian gourmet cuisine, new American cuisine, Middle Eastern cuisine, and more. As our culture grows more interested in the culinary arts, and as our New Jersey wedding clients come to us with truly thrilling ideas and requests for eclectic, elegant dining paired with fine wines and elite vintage champagnes, we at the Pleasantdale Chateau – as well as at our sister wedding venues The The Manor, The Highlawn Pavilion and theRam’s Head Inn – relish the chance to co-create a stunning lineup of the top trends in cocktail party station fare.

Our chef Robert Albers has created an extensive menu of delicious dishes within the new trends in station themes, and our brides and grooms choose from among them to customize their event’s culinary experience. Here are the top trends in cocktail party stations to consider for your wedding menu:

  • The Fresh Garden Crudités Station – During the past few years, wedding guests have grown increasingly fond of the fresh, crisp vegetable platter, opting for organic, healthier treats within the collection of cocktail party menu options. A crudités station offers elaborately-presented pieces of broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, red and yellow bell pepper, carrot sticks, celery stalks, zucchini sticks, sun-dried tomatoes and a creamy Parmesan dipping sauce.
  • Fresh Fruits and Berries Station – Also a popular choice among wedding guests, as well as brides and grooms planning green weddings here in New Jersey, this station features an array of fresh, sliced seasonal fruits and berries such as golden pineapple, watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, seedless red grapes and strawberries. Guests who must eat in a healthy manner now find themselves delighted at a wedding, not frustrated by an array of fried options.
  • Imported and Domestic Cheese Station – In the world of wedding cuisine — as well as gourmet dining influenced by European cuisine as well as the tastes of our domestic heartland and New Jersey farms’ fresh offerings – cheeses are the new It food on wedding menus. If a couple doesn’t have a cheese station planned, they ask for a cheese course within their reception menu. Some of the most popular cheeses featured on our cheese station include aged Gouda, Coupole goat cheese, herbed Swiss, Vermont white cheddar, Brie, Camembert, Farme D’Ambert and Gourmandises, served with seeded flatbreads and chutney.
  • Normandy Display Station – A Normandy display station brings a variety of international cuisine to a wedding menu, offering hummus, baba ghanoush and cucumber yogurt dip, charcuterie platter of sliced ham and dried sausages, pencil asparagus with hearts of palm, toasted Israeli couscous with golden raisins and pine nuts, and more. Our wedding couples from Morris County, Passaic County, Somerset County, Hudson County and surrounding regions of New Jersey and Metropolitan New York City have dined in some of the finest restaurants in the world, and they’re quite particular about offering some of the finest cuisines from around the world.
  • In a cocktail party menu trend that surprises some wedding couples, fondue is back as a hot trend, with the fondue style being a cheese and ale-based fondue, served with vegetables and apples, spicy sausages and assorted breads.
  • Even with a meat-based entrée planned for the reception menu, our brides and grooms often wish to include a carving station. The top trends in carving stations right now include unique types of meats, looking beyond the classic prime rib or pork loin to sushi grade ahi tuna, apple and ancho braised brisket of beef and more. When guests are treated to a unique cocktail party station menu item, they’re all the more impressed with your lavish gourmet wedding celebration.
  • Seafood stations remain at the top of brides’ and grooms’ wishlists, with chilled oysters on the half shell, jumbo Gulf shrimp, snow crab claws and other iced seafoods presented to guests.
  • Chafing dish menu items give wedding couples their choice of several gourmet cuisine items such as mussels, clams and shrimp in garlic and white wine over orzo, Osso Bucco, eggplant stuffed with ricotta, plum tomatoes and garlic sauce, country escargot with garlic and leeks, and an array of regional specialties, exotic dishes, cocktail party menu items chosen to please kosher menu requirements as well as vegan and other dietary requirements.
  • The pasta station’s newest trend in the gourmet sauce our chefs prepare to make it stand out. Our New Jersey home to weddings specializes in Italian gourmet cuisine, and as such our chef’s pasta station sauces include classics like vodka sauce and pomodoro sauce, plus gourmet twists such as Italian sausage and pesto sauce, marscapone cheese and garlic cream, brandy mushroom sauce, seafood sauces, and the creamy, cheese top trend of wild mushroom and sage risotto, or Louisiana crawfish risotto, and more.
  • A favorite station among our foodie wedding couples is the Asian station, including a sushi bar where attendants make hand rolls to order, or where guests can feast on chicken teriyaki dumplings or moo shoo duck hand rolls – again, unique dishes that guests may not order for their own dinners on the average visit to a local Asian restaurant.
  • Additional cocktail party stations include: smoked fish displays including smoked salmon, gravlox, pastrami cured salmon and smoked trout and more; and a caviar station with several different top-grade caviars, blini, toast points and garnishes.

The cocktail party menu begins the celebration in fine style and with gourmet taste, delivering a new trend seen at weddings – people taking pictures of the cocktail party stations and hitting send to share the beauty and sumptuousness with their networks of friends and family far away. In our digital age, that’s quite a high compliment, among the many you’ll receive for your cocktail party menu collection.


Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

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