The catering this year was by Peninsula Catering. Sadly, it went the way of the winter solstice party ... nothing was good. It was also really pricy. I would not recommend this caterer.
|Scorpion Prawns. $5.95 for 2.|
These were not good. Even though served in a chafing dish, they were cold. The shrimp was rubbery. The filling was somehow entirely flavorless, even though it was apparently made of artichoke, crab, cheese, breadcrumbs, and even chipotle. The filling was basically a solid cold mass in the middle.
Least favorite of the appetizers.
|Potato Blinis. $4.95 for 2.|
These were mostly just unremarkable. The potato blini was a bit chewy and also cold, but this time intentionally. The salmon wasn't bad, but also wasn't very flavorful. No nice smokey flavor, but at least it wasn't stringy or fishy, not offensive. Tiny dot of crème fraîche was too small to taste.
Sadly, my favorite of the apps.
|Petit Beef Wellingtons. $4.95 for 2.|
This was the appetizer I was most excited for, since I recalled a previous event where we had remarkable filet. It clearly was a different caterer.
These were kinda awful, and I got a totally "fresh" batch. The puff pastry was soggy. Limp and wet. The filet inside was way overcooked, certainly not "delicate" as described. I didn't find any pâté nor duxelles in mine.
Serious disappointment. Not quite as bad as the prawns, but a runner up for second worst.
|French Stuffed Mushrooms. $3.95 for 2.|
I didn't really expect to like these, but I tried them anyway. Camembert and sun-dried tomatoes could be good, right? Wrong.
The mushrooms were super slimy, and not fully cooked. I didn't taste sun-dried tomatoes, nor Camembert. And again, cold. Really off-putting. Tied with the petit beef wellingtons for second worst.
|Pear and Brie Pouches. $4.25 for 2.|
After the fail with the wellingtons, I'm not even sure why I tried yet another puff pastry dish. I guess because like brie!
These were unremarkable. The pastry wasn't as bad as the wellingtons, but it certainly wasn't crispy. I didn't find any pears nor almonds in mine, but a touch of cheese was present. Not offensive, but nothing redeeming. Second favorite, but only because everything else was sooo bad.
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- House Cheese Tray, $75: "Provolone cheese, smoked gouda, sliced brie log, and herb-crusted goat cheese, served with stuffed Spanish olives and gluten-free crackers". This was the most uninspired cheese tray I've seen. It seriously could have come from Walmart. I tried the gouda only, and it had no smoky flavor at all. Meh.
- Crudite Batonettes, $4.95 per pair: "Seasonal vegetable batonettes with roasted chipotle hummus on compostable bamboo cones". The veggies looked so dried out and limp that I didn't bother try these.
- Bruschetta, $85 platter: "Make your own bruschetta, with chopped roasted tomatoes with garlic, olive tapenade, marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers, chopped portabella mushrooms & gluten-free crackers". The crackers were actually tasty, but were just store-bought. The olive tapanade was too strongly flavored, not balanced.
There were also some other hot selections, designed for the kids, but plenty of adults were going for them. They looked even worse than everything else, so I gave up at this point and moved on to dessert
- Assorted Pizzeta, $3.50 each: Mini pizzas, cheese, pepperoni. The cheese looked congealed, the crust rubbery.
- Mini Quiche, $3.95 each: I don't like quiche in the first place, so I certainly didn't try this.
- Mini Quesadillas, $4 each: Chicken, beef, or veggie, with guac, sour cream, pico de gallo. Again, at this point, I was so down on their food that I didn't bother with these, as they aren't the sort of thing I'd normally like that much anyway.
|Fresh Fruit Tartlettes, Opera Squares. $42 for 24.|
I started with the Fresh Fruit Tartlettes: "Short dough shell, pastry cream filling and colorful assortment of seasonal glazed fruit (mango, kiwi, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry)".
The tart shell was stale and a bit soggy. No flavor, no butteryness, nothing to it. The pastry cream filling was ok. The fruit, cute, nice presentation, but unremarkable. Not offensive, but not good. Least favorite dessert.
Opera Squares: "White cake soaked in coffee syrup, filled with coffee butter cream and dark chocolate mousse, finished in dark chocolate ganache, garnished with a touch of gold leaf."
These were actually good. The cake was moist from the coffee syrup. The butter cream was creamy, as was the mousse. Lots of flavors and textures here. The ganache was nicely chocolatey. By far the tastiest thing all night.
|Assorted Macarons. $3.75 for 2.|
It was ok. The cookie part had a decent lightness to it, the filling creamy. Shredded coconut on top. I never love macarons, but these weren't bad.
The cake inside was incredibly dry. No flavor whatsoever, certainly not vanilla. The layer of white chocolate on the outside was very thick, waxy, not all that sweet. And then white chocolate shavings around that. The shavings added some texture, but overall, this was not very good.