Food & Drink: Theme Party
Just as you wouldn’t wear linen slacks and flip-flops to a black-tie affair, or a ball gown and five-inch stilettos to a relaxed backyard barbecue, you wouldn’t serve messy, difficult-to-eat items like spaghetti and meatballs at a mix-and-mingle wedding reception, or casual (albeit tasty) pulled pork sandwiches at an elegant seated affair. Whether you wed at a rustic ranch or posh resort, your reception menu should mesh with both the style of your event and the atmosphere of your venue. Pimm’s Cup and smoked salmon lollipops? That scenario screams urban cocktail party at a gallery or loft. The whole nine yards, including a top-shelf full bar and duo of lobster and beef? A glitzy golf club sets the scene.
But there’s no need to fret about making a food faux pas at your upcoming event. To make things easier, we picked five fabulous reception themes and tasked area caterers and restaurateurs with imagining innovative and delectable food and drink ideas, all matched with the best local venues.
Urban Cocktail Lounge
Posh bites and couture cocktails are the ingredients for a memorable evening mixer
Eat Tasty tray-passed morsels served on a skewer, by the spoonful, or in a cocktail glass look cool and are easy to eat. Think soup and ceviche shooters, and meat and veggie satay grilled on site and served with an assortment of chutneys from The Blended Table Catering and Events. Or smoked salmon lollipops, skewered French meringue beet macarons with goat cheese, and martini glasses full of tomato confit with micro basil fennel salad and Parmesan crisps from Culinary Crafts. Comfort food goes high class with Done to Your Taste Catering’s gourmet grilled cheese stations and mashed potato martini bars with all the fixins: herb butter, sour cream, chives, cheese, and bacon.
Drink The Blended Table’s Colour Maisch says instilled beverages such as rosemary-infused vodka and limoncello cocktails are popular, as are traditional drinks like the Manhattan and Pimm’s Cup. And what’s a celebration without a little bubbly? Serve mini bottles of Champagne with festive straws.
Book Culinary Crafts’ new downtown venue, the Tasting Room, has indoor and outdoor spaces for intimate events. Pierpont Place and the Salt Lake Hardware Building offer industrial-chic atmospheres. Salt Lake’s 15th Street Gallery and Park City’s Kimball Art Center and J GO Gallery are smart, sophisticated settings.