Wedding Weekend

June 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm 2 comments

Yesterday, my neighbor got married, and what a joyful day and weekend it was! We grew up like sisters – we looked up to her, saw her experience high school and college first, and always loved when she came over to babysit us. Everything about the day was absolutely beautiful, especially the bride. And like any good Italian American couple, so much of their wedding revolved around incredible food! I am pretty sure that I ate more in the past weekend then I did the entire previous week. I didn’t want to be “that guy” (as my sister jokes) taking pictures of every thing we ate, but it was so good!


Her rehearsal dinner was held at Buona Sera in Red Bank, known for its incredible Italian food. We had our own private room in the wine cellar, which made a gorgeous backdrop! Plus, the maitre d’ was absolutely hysterical, and kept things entertaining with a few antics. (Anyone ever seen a strobe light pop out of an antique suit of armor? That was a first!) The meal started off with incredible appetizers – fried calamari with marinara sauce, a cold antipasto platter with the biggest stuffed olives I have ever seen, penne with vodka sauce, penne pomodoro, and eggplant rollatini. Not to mention delicious, fresh-baked bread and free-flowing Riesling. I could have stopped here and have been happy. In fact, I pretty much filled up on the appetizers. I didn’t try the penne pomodoro in attempt to make room for dinner, but sampled at least a bite of everything else. The eggplant was tender and delicious, the antipasto platter greens and olives made for an impromptu salad, the penne vodka was perfect, and the bread was good for mopping up all of that delicious sauce. The next course was three meat dishes – steak tips, chicken florentine, and tilapia with a tomato basil cream sauce – and mashed potatoes. I was already stuffed at this point, so I passed on the potatoes and only served myself a piece of tilapia. The sauce was incredible and the fish was perfectly cooked. I need to try my hand at making tilapia like that, even though it will likely never come close to theirs! I also tried a small bite of my sister’s chicken florentine, which was incredible. Think we were done? Never! What is a good Italian meal without some tiramisu to round it out? I could literally only fit 2 bites of this lovely dessert into my overstuffed belly, but it was so worth it. You could taste the liquour that it was soaked in, but also picked up the hints of coffee and cocoa as well.


After a night of eating like that, who knew that an even bigger one could follow? Good thing I went for a morning run and ate a pretty light breakfast and lunch! The reception was held at the Oyster Point in Red Bank, which has incredible views overlooking the Navesink River. Even with the clouds and rain, the venue was still gorgeous. The cocktail hour sprawled across three rooms, each with its own bar and hors d’ouvres station. The first room had marinated vegetables, crudites, bruschetta on crostini, cheese and crackers, and rolled meats. I sampled some of the marinated mushrooms and artichoke hears, and a bit of goat cheese and a bruschetta toast. The second room had shrimp and oysters, which I chose to pass on for the evening. The last room had a pasta station, with more penne vodka, pasta with broccoli rabe, and other kinds that I couldn’t pick out. I was pasta’d out from the previous night, but my mom said that the pasta with broccoli rabe was delicious! All the while, there were servers rotating with other finger food goodies – crab cakes, beef with scallion sauce, Coney Island franks (fancy pigs in a blanket), lobster sushi, chicken quesadillas, shrimp tempura, bacon wrapped scallops… so much food! I tried a piece of the lobster sushi to round out the cocktail hour, making a concerted effort to save room for dinner.

Dinner was still four courses, each one more delicious than the last! We started out with a caprese salad – tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and asparagus drizzled with balsamic. I made it through less than half before having to give my stomach a break. That was followed by a small Caesar salad, which was frankly underwhelming (only bummer of the night though!). There was a lot of dressing and the lettuce was a little wilty, so I tried a bite and then headed back to the dance floor. Next was the intermezzo, which my sister remarked is usually a piece of music and not a meal course! The raspberry sorbet was delicious, but I only took a few bites as a palate cleanser. The main course was a choice between steak and salmon, so I chose the fish. Delicious! It was served with mashed potatoes, carrots, and green beans. Again, I could only make it through about half of the entrée (so much food at once), but wish I had room for more! The day was finished off with a beautiful wedding cake – chocolate cake with a berry mousse filling and a butter cream frosting. A few sweet bites to finish off the meal! Good thing the DJ was good so my sister and I could dance off that huge meal!


Even better than the food this weekend was getting to share in such a special day. I also got to meet the groom’s parents, who are from Croatia and Italy! They were so excited when I told them about my upcoming trip! The groom’s mom is from Dubrovnik in Croatia, and told me she wishes her mom was still alive so that we could go to meet her. She told me to look forward to the food and beautiful beaches, which makes me even more excited for my upcoming trip!

Question: What is your favorite part of weddings? Food, ceremony, dancing?


Entry filed under: Roamings. Tags: , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide  |  June 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    That menu sounds fabulous! Wait how does one get pasta’d out? Kidding. Sounds like a wonderful wedding.

    • 2. jenlenew  |  June 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm

      Haha maybe not pasta’d out. That really is impossible… Just not enough room for repeat foods :)


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