Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Love is in the air....

What a beautiful wedding we attended on Saturday. It was beautiful not because the bride, my coworker, M, looked stunning as she was given away by her father. Nor was it beautiful because the groom walked around grinning like an idiot because he was finally married, and they could start their life together. This is an allergy blog, darn it. It was a beautiful wedding because I could eat!

The bride was married at a catering/reception facility called The Westwood, in Garwood, N.J.
Usually I don't name places other than restaurants outright, but I was just so bowled over by the food!

The cocktail hour consisted of a beautiful crudite table in the center, with various kinds of fruits, cheeses, and crackers all on separate trays (i.e., the fruit didn't touch the crackers, thereby not touching the cheese, etc). I was able to find several varieties of crackers I could eat with my strawberries, and NAH helped himself to some cheese and bruschetta from the make-your-own bruschetta platter (also on the crudite table). Interestingly and extremely allergy friendly, as the trays did not just all hold separate and uncontaminated contents, but each one (and there were close to 15) had its own serving spoon/tongs. I figured this was a good omen for the dinner.
NAH also helped himself to some braised short ribs, neglecting the calamari and penne a la vodka, while I sought turkey and cranberry relish from the gentleman at the carving station.
We were full and happy before we ever walked into the reception (as you should be at any wedding!)

When we sat down, the menu on the table listed a NY strip steak with sun-dried tomato butter (ack!), and chicken francaise with a cream sauce (ack!). What to do? Well, I was full, so I took a gamble. I asked the waiter if it was possible to get the steak without the dreaded butter death sauce. He said certainly. Now, I only had to worry that it would be placed on the steak, then removed and rinsed off, as I have seen catering staff do at weddings.

Imagine my surprise, when 15 minutes later our server came to the table to ask me about the rest of the ingredients in the steak seasoning: garlic, salt and pepper. I informed him they were fine, and started to trust that I'd be able to eat dinner, in addition to the wonderful snacking I'd just done. To my delight, the steak came out, not only cooked perfectly, but with a big toothpick in the center of it that prevented the chef from putting the butter on it (they marked my territory. I love it!). I was thrilled and it was completely delicious.

The wedding was beautiful, the location was lovely, and M and her husband danced the night away. NAH and I danced too, in between courses! This was no ordinary wedding food!

~Your allergic diner.

No comments: