Wedding Cocktail Party Menu: Hand-Passed Hors D’oeuvre Trends
Your wedding makes a fabulous first impression when guests are approached by smiling, white-gloved waiters presenting them with spectacular hors d’oeuvres on silver platters. As sensational as it is to welcome guests in VIP-manner, the true measure of a successful wedding cocktail party is the variety and pleasing gourmet tastes of hand-passed hors d’oeuvres.
Here at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, as well as at our sister wedding venues the The Manor, the Highlawn Pavilion and the Ram’s Head Inn (the latter located in Galloway, New Jersey), we finesse our cocktail party fare to include the top appetizer menu trends originating from the world’s best regional and cultural fare, organic and imported food trends, and our own chefs’ sophisticated palates and advice on which tastes pair perfectly with others. Any fan of Top Chef knows that dishes need to coordinate, to pair well with one another, to make sense in a presentation. Our New Jersey wedding couples come to us with impressive culinary wishes and experience, and we hear equally from bride and groom about their preferences for their wedding cocktail party hors d’doeuvres list.
Here are the top wedding hors d’oeuvre trends for your wedding’s sensational start:
Hot Hors D’oeuvres
- Offer five or six hot hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail party, no matter the season.
- Offer exotic flavors such as Moroccan chopped chicken salad on garlic toast and Thai curry samosas with tamarind dip.
- Offer unique twists on meat appetizers, such as hangar steak on brioche crouton with a shallot marmalade or an andouille sausage en croute.
- Offer unique twists on non-meat choices such as fontina cheese, asparagus tips and mushroom Panini.
- Include gourmet cheese options such as hors d’oeuvres made with Camembert, Fontina, and Brie, since wedding guests adore palate-pleasing bites of tasty cheeses they might not buy for their own meals and parties.
- Seafood appetizers are a top trend, including wedding classics such as Maryland crab cake, scallop Rockefeller and sautéed shrimp – again, crowd-pleasers to guests who may not prepare gourmet seafoods for themselves.
- Risotto dishes are also a top trend right now, with lobster risotto requested often by our New Jersey wedding couples.
Cold Hors D’oeuvres
- Offer tasty cold bites served on ceramic spoons, such as our red snapper ceviche with pink grapefruit and cilantro.
- Offer creative seafood salad spoonfuls or toast-toppings, such as a crab salad with apple and chive.
- Tartlets are easy-to-enjoy appetizers, with guests enjoying cheese flavors such as our artichoke, goat cheese and black olive tartlet.
- Hand rolls and vegetable sushi hors d’oeuvres please guests who enjoy fresh and healthy appetizers, and the trend is for unique twists on hand rolls – such as our smoked salmon and avocado cream cheese hand roll.
- Gourmet meats such as tuna tartars and beef Carpaccio give guests an upscale raw appetizer to enjoy (and again calls to the dishes our New Jersey couples see prepared on Top Chef.)
- Pair your hot and cold hors d’oeuvres with gourmet dipping sauces, such as creamy ginger sauce or mango dipping sauce.
- Make it easy for guests to help themselves to appetizers, offering them on ceramic spoons or with appetizer spears or picks.
- Choose colorful dishes, such as those topped with bright green herbs or dots of sauces.
- Have wait staff offer cocktail napkins printed with your married initial monogram as a fine, personal touch to your cocktail party menu presentation.
Chef Robert Albers, Executive Chef, Pleasantdale Chateau