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Apr 25, 2000 01:43 PM

help! caterer for party

  • t

help, please. I'm giving a smallish (between 50 and 75 people) standup after-work cocktail party in a Manhattan apartment to launch my brother's new book. we can buy the wine and rent glasses ourselves, but need waiter and bartender (who will also clean up), and a few reasonably interesting hors d'oeuvres. so far the only caterer we've talked to wants about $2,000 including paying waiter and bartender. This is about $500 more than I can stand to spend. any suggestions?

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  1. j
    Jessica Shatan

    Try this place called Michele's Kitchen, Inc. 792 Lex.@61st, 750-1730. If I remember correctly they may be able to do what you want for 12 to 1400.
    If you want decent, very professional catering for a good price I would recommend them. Not all the food is great, just decent with a few stand-outs here and there.
    We used them for a 75th bday party for my dad. Our was with passed hor doeuvres and then a buffet dinner. We used their bartender too.
    We called and made an appointment and met Michele at the place where he gave us samples of food to try, then he worked out all the details with us. It's a take-out deli/lunch place with a few tables so you can also check it out yourself 1st if you want, it's a very unassuming place with lots of platters of prepared foods in the window and business and neighborhood folk eating lunch... my mom discovered it because she would have lunch there on occasion when she was doing errands in the area.
    One really good appie that was better than expected was the mozzarella/basil/tomato (and an olive?) It was just incredibly fresh mozz. and tom. that was on a toothpick and had been dipped in the best pesto dressing. They have heartier hor doeuvres, too... coconut shrimp, chicken spirals, smoked salmon on toast points (we got the salmon, too and it was good but just not mouth watering for some reason).
    Things that were inconsistent were for instance, this chicken francese we got was very good, but the almond rice was just tasteless. And when we tasted desserts, this raspberry shortbread cookie was excellent but the chocolate chip cookie was powdery and the chips were milk chocolate and not semi-sweet. (We ended up getting a cake from Greenberg's, my bro and I made cookies and Michele's did the serving and the coffee/tea).
    Good luck and report back :-)
    And do a search for catering because back in August when I was planning this I did the same thing... posting on this board and there was a little thread I think.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jessica Shatan
      Tamara Glenny

      many thanks to both of you, will let you know how things turn out!

      1. re: Jessica Shatan

        Michelle's Kitchen -- don't get me started! The food might be ok or however you described it, but i wouldn't recommend them for one reason -- their window menus have had numerous misspellings over more than a year. This might seem silly to some of you, but i think it shows a shocking lack of attention to detail, as well as disrespect for any potential customers who might make the mistake of trying to interpret them. Not only are tricky foreign words misspelled, but also simple English ones like "chiken" [sic]. When i first became aware of this problem, I pointed it out to the manager. The next time i passed by, i checked to see if the menu had been corrected. It hadn't been and never was. The current one is different, but still has mistakes. Maybe some people don't care about this, but i do. Hope you had a good party. -- cinnamongrill, CEO of NYCSP (nick-sip) (New York City Spelling Police)

        1. re: cinnamongrill

          Good news!! I passed Michelle's Kitchen the other day and found the hand-printed window menu to be excellently spelled.(Is someone over there a chowhounder???). Congrats, MK! You are officially off the NYCSP naughty list. Let's keep it that way!

      2. I highly recommend a catering company called Hava's Kitchen. Hava (the chef and owner) is a phenomenally talented cook, and her prices are extremely reasonable. She's catered many parties for me and for friends of mine over the years (including our family's Passover Seder just last week), and I can't sing her praises highly enough. I bet she can do something great that's within your budget. The number is 718-768-8508.