Sunday, February 26, 2012

Catering by Delessio

Tonight my building had another event catered by Delessio.  I'd already had dinner before attending, so I mostly just tried the desserts.  Unfortunately, the cupcakes were all really quite bad, definitely the worst cupcakes I've had in a long time.  It is too bad, because we did have some very good cupcakes from them at our holiday party, but none have been good since, I'm not sure why.  Brief review of each of these cupcakes is below, but the theme is dry cake, no flavor, and crappy frosting.
Vanilla cake, lemon curd, vanilla frosting.
The cake was flavorless and rather dry.  The curd inside at least gave it some flavor and zing, but wasn't that good.  And the frosting, also flavorless, just felt like eating butter.
Chocolate cake, vanilla? frosting, chocolate sprinkles.
This was the only cake that was remotely moist.  Decent chocolate flavor.  Frosting again pretty flavorless and just really bad mouthfeel, like eating a stick of butter.  But, best of the night.  This one, like many on the display, was totally deformed.  I don't care, but was a little shocked to see so many ugly cupcakes.
Red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting.
More dry cake.  Frosting was vaguely cream cheese flavored.  Not good.
Carrot cake, cream cheese frosting, walnut pieces.
And another dry cake, this one with some shreds of carrot in it.  It wasn't flavorless, it was highly spiced, but not in a good way.  More barely cream cheese flavored frosting.  Soggy nuts on top. [ Again, a very moist cake, it had carrots but I didn't taste them, the cake itself was really oily.  The frosting on top was flavorless.  Not good. ]
Vanilla cake, vanilla frosting, chocolate shell.
And more dry, flavorless cake.  The frosting was just sweet.  Chocolate shell at least made it a little interesting. [ This was another flavorless cake, but it was decently moist.  It had a tiny, tiny bit of cream filling.  The last one may have had this too, but I didn't notice it?  The frosting was just sweet, but the chocolate was again a nice touch.  No component was good on its own, but you could combine them into a decent bite. But certainly not worth paying for. ]

[ Not pictured ]
Trio of dips with pita bread

We weren't sure what the dips were exactly.  Several of us tried to guess what they were, but gave up.  One was orange.  One was a salsa fresca.  And one looked like hummus, but didn't taste like it.  The bread was hard and stale.  Not good at all.

[ Not Pictured ]
Lemon Decadence Cake

"Layers of shortbread, lemon-scented yellow cake, and a light but intense lemon cream. Finished with lemon buttercream, coconut flakes and meringue."

This cake looked beautiful, composed of many layers, with a slew of meringue decorations on top.  I don't really care for lemon cake, but it looked so good that I tried it.

I didn't like it, at all.

The only layer I liked was the base, a shortbread crust.  It was fairly buttery and decent.  Next came a series of layers of very dry, sorta lemon flavored cake.  Since lemon isn't a flavor I generally like, this was already set up to be something I didn't like, but the dryness really ruined it.

Then there were layers of lemon buttercream, again, a lemon flavor I did not like at all.

The crispy meringue topping wasn't bad, but certainly doesn't make a cake.

This isn't something I'd ever pick, so perhaps others enjoyed it, but I certainly didn't.

Original review, posted February 26, 2012 
Tonight my apartment building hosted an Oscar viewing party, with food catered by Delessio.  We often have food catered by them, and it is usually quite good.  Tonight was no exception.  It is still catered food obviously, and not nearly the same quality as going to a restaurant, but for what it is, it is good.  They use local, artisan merchants: cured meats are from Boccolone, chicken is Mary's free range chicken, beef is from Marin Sun Farms, breads are from Semifreddis, etc.
The savory spread.
Cheese and antipasto platters.
A selection of local and imported artisan cheeses served with crackers, Spanish Marcona Almonds, walnuts, dried figs, grapes, olives, pickles, green salad, cured meats from Boccolone accompanied by imported olives, marinated peppers and crusty bread.  This was a great selection, with tasty cheeses and very flavorful meats.  Paired well with the red wine served. [ The brie was fairly flavorless and not ripe enough, but the blue cheese was really pungent and delicious.  The candied walnuts were my favorite. ]
Stuffed mushrooms
Solano Farms crimini mushrooms stuffed with artichoke tapenade, breadcrumbs & parmesan. The artichoke pieces kinda hard, not very good.
Stuffed mushrooms, polenta bites.
The polenta bites were really good.  The polenta cakes were flavorful and moist and the mousse super creamy but I'm not entirely sure what it was ... I think salmon?  It seemed cream cheese based. [ I again liked the polenta bites.  Creamy, flavorful polenta, with a really, really creamy salmon mousse on top.  A very good cold appetizer. ]
Thai Chicken skewers, foccacia pizzas, sliders.
Thai coconut chicken skewers: Grilled skewers of Mary's Free-Range Chicken in a green coconut curry sauce.  These were ok, but basically just chicken and coconut sauce, a little mushy.

Focaccia pizza: Semifreddi's rosemary focaccia topped with garlic confit, basil and fresh organic mozzarella, goat cheese, caramelized onions.  Really awesome garlic confit and caramelized onions. Focaccia was pretty soggy. Overall very oily. But flavor in the garlic and onions was really wonderful.

Sliders: These were really good! I have had tons of burgers lately, at very fancy restaurants, and these were better than many of them. The meat was super flavorful, the bread was soft and sweet, the caramelized onions on top added incredible flavor, and the melted cheese just completed the package.  Really surprisingly good!
[ No Photo ]
Shrimp Cakes

These were horrible!  Really, really oily, some fishly flavor.  Not good cold. No sauce to go with them. Nothing redeeming at all here.
Mini cupcakes.
There were a large assortment of mini-cupcakes.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of them all.  As they were not labeled, I'm not 100% sure of what they all where.  We've had these at most of the events as well, and some of them have been much better than others.  For example, at the holiday party, we had peanut butter and jelly ones, german chocolate ones, and a few others that were AMAZING.  Tonights weren't that great.  Of the ones I had:
  • Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and walnuts (not pictured): Decent carrot cake, but I'm kinda a snob about carrot cake and always think it never lives up to my great Aunt's famous carrot cake recipe.  The frosting really great,  with an incredibly strong cream cheese flavor. The walnuts were fairly soggy though.
  • Chocolate with vanilla? caramel? frosting and chocolate sprinkles: Nice moist cupcake, but not that chocolately (at least, compared to the brownies!).  The frosting was very sweet but a nice consistency.  Overall, looked better than it tasted.
  • Vanilla with vanilla buttercream, chocolate ganache. Decently moist cupcake, but flavorless. The frosting was creamy but also fairly flavorless. Something was really off-putting here that I couldn't identify.
Dark chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies.
Dark chocolate brownies: Made with Felchlin chocolate, dusted with powdered sugar. I LOVE these brownies. The concierge often gets these for our events and they are amazing every time. Ridiculously intense chocolate, super fudgy, soooo good. We used to have these at the morning coffee service, what a treat!

Chocolate chip cookies: It was ok, decent amounts of chocolate chips, and oats, but not as soft as I'd like.

Overall, good food for a catered event.  And like all past events, the highlights were the meat and the brownies!  (At one of the past events, we had their filet mignon carving station making little sliders and those were INSANELY good).


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