Saturday, June 14, 2008

napa, day 2, the wedding!


Mr.S and I basically ate on the run the whole day, at least up until the wedding. Why does it always seem like everything piles up on you the day that you have the most going on? So in an attempt to just focus on the wedding, I'll skip all the nonsense and not-so-memorable meals that occurred the first half of the day.

The Napa sun pounded down hard on our shoulders, the winds whipped around our 'dos, but the champagne was flowing freely and we had a wedding reception on our hands! Hell yeah. Our friend was married off, dowry and all (joking!) and we were ready to start the evening off.



I was so starved at this point that even the vegetarian options on the menu appealed to me. I anticipated a pretty awesome dinner, at least in the way of wedding food, since it was the Carneros Inn and I was told the menu would be incorporating mostly locally-procured ingredients. It was a seated dinner, with 3 courses, starters, salad and entree. What was impressive, yet strangely eerie, was the way the servers performed a simultaneous "drop" service, where they surround your table, stand behind your chair, and set your plate down all at the same time. Too fancy for me!

I had the scallop appetizer while Mr.S had the vegetarian tomato soup. I wouldn't say that the flavors of each dish were lacking, but there was nothing that "popped," or like, "exploded" on my tastebuds. I tried a bite of scallop with his soup, which actually turned out to be a good marriage of flavors. Haha, no puns intended.


The next course was the salad, which I have no documentation of, since we were all busy watching a short movie the groom had made. A doctor making a movie? Wow! It was an endive salad with Pt. Reyes blue cheese and pistachio oil. Frankly, I find Pt. Reyes blue to be overly done. It's become ubiquitous on menus. And it's really mild, whereas I prefer a more pungent blue. Domestically, perhaps that's harder to find, but many dairies are producing wonderful blues, especially in California.

The last seated course was the meat. A steak of locally raised beef, with rosemary jus, a slice of potato gratin and broccolini. Flavors were right on here, but the steak needed a more charred crust. The potatos were cold, and the cheese and butter had congealed it into a gummy block, so few people at our table actually ate it. I remember still being hungry at this point, and trying to fill up on the nice crusty rolls with butter.



Later, the staff brought out the cake, but only for a few minutes, and ushered it back into the kitchen quickly and silently, like some sickly child from the Victorian ages. It was too bad, because it really was quite a lovely cake that should have been put on display. It was a triple-tiered square cake, with real buttercream frosting, instead of fondant (which makes me want to throw up). Yes, I feel strongly about good frosting. The first layer was vanilla cake with rasperry filling and vanilla buttercream. Layer 2 was Snickers cake- chocolate with caramel and peanuts. The third layer was the "world's best carrot cake," as previously described to me by the bride. However, this layer was never served to us guests, and when asked about it, the servers denied knowing about such said layer. I was greatly disappointed. (Carrot cake is my favorite!) Could I have actually dreamed up this pretend third layer? To answer my suspicions, I spied the wedding planner crossing the lawn later that evening with the elusive third layer, wrapped up, presumably for the bride and groom to take home. Quel horreur! And that, my friends, is my sad sad cake story.

I took away a lot from this wedding experience... one thing for sure is that I do not want a multi-course seated dinner for my own wedding. I am resolute that I want to serve huge platters of spicy Thai food, family style- big boats of satay and sweet/sour cucumber salad, platters of fried noodles and rice, and tureens of pumpkin curries and meat curries swimming in all sorts of colorful broths. I want people sweating, mopping their brows, loosening their ties (and belt buckles) and dancing up a storm while toasting with iced Tiger lager. This, I'm sure of. The dress, the ceremony, all that I've yet to contemplate...


Cheers to the happy couple, my dear friends, the Doctors!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isnt it kind of mean and petty to critique a friend's wedding food?

Anonymous said...

It's actually tradition to keep the top layer of the cake for the bride and groom's 1st anniversary. (Um...cake frozen for a year? Does not sound that great to me.) Supposed to be good luck. I agree, though--your Thai food wedding plans sound much better than fancy shmancy but less-than-great food.

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