I usually don't remark on wedding banquets, simply because I usually don't find the food particularly noteworthy. Generally, they're passable and the company and event are far more interesting.
Last night, my niece got married to her childhood sweetheart. And the event was fun and noteworthy - full of happy tears and joy. And everyone looked so beautiful; the bride was gorgeous and so was the groom; the parents of the bride and of the groom looked fabulous; the weather cooperated except for a VERY brisk wind - what more could one want in an October wedding in Minnesota?
But here, the food was also very good. We had gone back to our hotel to rest a bit and so missed the hors d'ouevres. I asked a couple of people what was served, but alas, all I got from these well-meaning, but definitely non-foodies was "shrimp, beef, you know...'
To find our seating, my sister and her daughter, the bride, spent hours tying tags to caramel apples. The apples had cellophane wrapped around them and then they tied on a little tag with our names, the table number; the color of the tag indicated to the wait staff if you had a beef, chicken, or vegetarian entree. Very clever and nice since I had long forgotten which entree I had ordered.
For dinner, we first had a mixed greens salad with sliced almonds and mandarin oranges, dressed with a raspberry vinaigrette. Multigrain rolls were an accompaniment. I discovered that I had ordered the beef entree and so was served a bacon-wrapped filet mignon, cooked perfectly and was, as expected, very tender. I prefer my bacon more cooked, so enjoyed the bacon flavor on my steak while my brother - who has never turned down food - got my bacon. The steak was topped with a grilled baby portobello cap and a veal stock demi glace. The sides were mashed yukon potatoes with feta and garlic. The cheese and garlic were very mild and subtle so you could still taste the buttery potatoes. Delicious. Also as a side were steamed green beans with strips of red bell pepper. They barely steamed the beans, so they were nice and crisp. The side benefit was that the red peppers were also lightly steamed ad retained their shape, texture and flavor. How many times have you had this combination only to find that the peppers could have been pimientos? Not here - they did a standout job in the kitchen.
The other entree options were a quarter chicken served with a maple raspberry glaze garnished with fresh raspberries and toasted pie nuts. I was told by those at my table that the chicken was moist and delicious. The third entree option was a vegetarian dish of wheat linguine with steamed mixed vegetables and feta. I don't know how that was - my family are total carnivores. They even had a special meal for kids with chicken strips, french fries, and a fruit cup. Everyone was happy. Finally, for dessert, there were individual warn apple pies with the traditional double crust. Adorable and just the perfect size.
After dinner and an hour of dancing and champagne toasts, they invited us outside to a small bonfire and s'mores. For those of you unfortunates who've never had a campfire s'more, it's two graham crackers with a toasted (or totally burned, depending on your tastes and skills) marshmallow and a chunk of Hershey's milk chocolate candy bar. All squished together, it's ooey - gooey and makes you want "s'more."
After a couple more hours of dancing, they brought out sliders and french fries. The sliders were delicious - the meat very well seasoned and with cheese, bacon, catsup, and barbecue sauce.
I have to give this place a plug - the reception venue was beautiful (though I wish the wind wasn't so strong so we could have enjoyed the outside views more), the waitstaff was efficient, pleasant, friendly, and very helpful. As an original Minnesotan, I appreciated getting coffee along with my meal insted of having to wait for dessert. The food was plentiful and outstaning - everything was cooked and seasoned perfectly, not an easy feat when serving 250 guests! So, if you're in Minnesota and looking for a great venue for an event, I heartily recommend Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
Congratulations Rachel and Bryan - may you have many happy married years and great memories of your special day!