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Food at Villa Barone Manor or Marina del Rey in the Bronx

This past weekend, my fiance and I checked out sites for our wedding reception. Two places that we are considering are the Villa Barone Manor, and the Marina del Rey, both located in the Bronx, near the Throg's neck bridge. Clearly the two places are in competition with each other, and Marina del Rey obviously wins with location, but is pricier.

Both reception halls said that they are known for their food, but I have not really been able to find out any information on any sites regarding what guests think about the food. We asked about doing a tasting before the wedding, and Marina del Rey told us that they only do a tasting after the deposit was put down because many people had taken advantage of them in the past. Villa Barone Manor said that they do not do tastings at all.

So my question is, has anyone eaten the food at these halls, and is the food as good as they say?

Also if anyone has any other suggestions for a reception site, our priorities are :

1) Excellent food
2) Located approximately midway between Connecticut and Staten Island
3) Holds at least 175 people,
4) Less than $150 pp before tax and tip

Thanks

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  1. I've been to both many time, but neither in the last 2 years. I've always thought the Marina was superior in both decor and food. If they were close in price Marina would win.

    As far as other places have you tried the beach clubs in New Rochelle? There are 5 of them I believe, all in a row, The Surf Club, The VIP, The Davenport, Beckwith Point, and one other. I think most of them should be some where around your price point. They are located about 5 to 7 miles north of the other two your looking at.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jim P

      We got married at Glen Island Harbour Club six years ago and people STILL talk about our wedding. To this day people at events will come up to me and gush: "This is the girl who had the hands down best wedding of all time." And these are people who know good food and have been married at Oheka, Brrooklyn Botanical Gardens, and the Rainbow Room to name a few places. I have been to every place that was mentioned on this thread multiple times for weddings/christenings/communions etc and objectively speaking Glen Island is non pareil. They have another property, the Fountainhead, in New Rochelle that is also fantastic food/ ambience-wise just without water views that is a bit less expensive if you want to check it out. The food at our wedding was unbelievable particularly the cocktail hour with ten stations and the Venetian Hour with hand dipped torrone stations, freshly made zeppole, created as you wait creme brulees etc. We worked on the menu for months, but in the end it was worth all the effort. Carlos was our banquet manager and I reccommend him if he is still there. The food was our main concern and they really delivered- the head chef, tocque and all, out mid-reception to ask if everything was to our liking.

      I abhor the Surf Club for what it's worth...always a musty smell and very average food even with supplements. And Marina, even with the huge renovations has a major case of "past its prime" ambience. Just my .02.

      1. re: ZenFoodist

        Thanks for the help. Perhaps we'll check out some places in New Rochelle.

    2. I agree with the Glen Island Casino recco - they put on a heck of a party - BUT it's doubtful you'll hit your 150 pp target there.

      Marina Del Rey is what you'd expect - the food is good, not great. It will meet your expectations, but likely won't exceed them.

      Good luck.

      6 Replies
      1. re: peasoup

        That is disappointing. The Maitre d' at Marina del Rey ( Joseph I think?), made the menu sound absolutely delicious. Perhaps he is just a really good salesman.

        1. re: AndrewOG

          You will definitley come in at under $150 depending on season. Was just there with a cousin who wanted a Saturday night in late Novermber- $145.

          Mine was 127 for a Friday night in July. ( six years ago with every add on you could imagine!!!!)

          The maitre'd at Marina is quite a salesman. I remember his promise of a ten entree selection very well... I was tempted. My mom has noticed that at every affair we have been to there, the table linens are a bit shabby as are the servers' uniforms. Picky, but if you're planning a wedding, you know where I'm coming from.

          1. re: ZenFoodist

            Well I'm having my wedding at Marina in 4 months and I'm stressing out even more now!!!!!! I thought the enviornment was really clean there and didn't notice the "Shabby" table linens!!

            1. re: princess79e

              Princess...

              Please don't stress out. Of the seven (!!!) weddings I've attended at Marina, five were very good- above average for sure. Two were complete debacles, cigarette holes in linens, dirty servers' uniforms, poorly managed bathrooms, lint all over the carpets in the reception area, entrees arriving at different times, cold food etc. Neither of the brides at those two weddings had any "attention to detail" skills whatsoever. basically their parents handled the whole affair months in advance and never re-communicated. I am sure you will not handle your reception in this manner.

              Discuss your concerns with your Maitre'd in a very organized fashion well before the Big Day. I provided many typed lists of things I wanted to ensure. Not a detail was overlooked. I also hinted at a lovely "over- and- beyond" gratuity that I delivered on- especially after our Maitre'd opened up our cocktail hour 30 minutes earlier to accomodate many guests fresh from our church. Just make sure your banquet manager realizes that you have a discerning eye and that your standards are very high.

              I hope this helps.

              All Good Things,
              lisa

              1. re: princess79e

                Just to update this:

                We ended up booking our wedding at Marina for Oct. 2008.
                We did a tasting after putting down a small deposit and we absolutely loved it. There was lots of wine, and waiters came around during the courses with large bowls offering to give us extra pasta and entrees. They brought out a mini Viennese table which was delicious.
                It was all good, wholesome, fresh-tasting Italian food. I do not think that we had any complaints. Of course this was only for the 25 ppl at the tasting, I hope they can pull it off for 200 ppl.

              2. re: ZenFoodist

                do you know if the $145 per person was including tax ?

          2. Suggest talking to the following caterers: http://www.fabfoods.net/
            They were wonderful to work with, have great food, and have a few venues. Haven't used them in couple of years but last use was at Lyndhurst (Carriage House) in Tarrytown for my daughter's wedding.

            1. I have been to the Villa Barone Manor for numerous occasions and I have to say that they have the most excellent food I have ever tasted at a catering hall along with the best service. The coctail hour always leaves you wondering how you are going to be able to finish your main dish and once you've had your pasta your intermezzo and salad you can't even enjoy your main dish the way it should be enjoyed! Lets not forget about dessert. The Venetian hour at the Villa Barone is one like you have REALLY never seen before. The food and staff really make up for and view that the Marina Del Rey has to offer. I have been to Marina, Surf Club, Glen Island, VIP you name it and I am still waitting to be impressed.

              1. I just booked my 2009 wedding at Marina del Rey. I've been there previously and loved the food along with the service and view. I've also talked with people that have been at weddings recently there and loved it. They have completely rennovated the place even since the last time I've been there which was about 6 years ago. Everything looked clean and the banquet Manager seems to be very nice and helpful. I had a choice to go to Villa Barone or other halls in New Rochelle, being that that is where I am from but to me they are just so played out. So many people go there I wanted to be different. I haven't heard anything spectacular about the places in New Ro actually I went to a bridal show at the Surf Club and didn't like the food they served at all. I hope that Marina del Rey stands up to my previous experiences and from what I heard but I'm pretty sure I made the right decision. Oh and the prices seemed pretty fair, of course Sat. nights more expensive but other nights are reasonable.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Mimi501

                  We ended up booking MDR for the sunday of Columbus day 2008. But only after we did the food tasting. It was delicious and they kept giving us pasta and entrees and wine. They also provided a mini venetian hour.
                  We have not personally heard only good things about MDR, so things are looking good.

                  1. re: AndrewOG

                    Congratulations. I have been to both many times. If you ask me on food they are a draw. I haven't had better food at any of the Beach Clubs in New Roc either. I think most places have pretty good food, especially if you have a lot of out of staters coming. The MDR location is better, you can hopefully get some really awesome night time pictures w/the bridges in the background. The Manor only has it's own interior for pictures. This is a plus for your guests as well, my co worker got married @ MDR a few years back and we took loads of pictures outside of each other. Plus during the cocktail hour we were highly amused by a random raccoon leaning against the windows! Make sure you express to the maitre d' that you are concerned about the issues that have been brought up, and you will not tolerate it. Once they acertain that you are aware, and involved they usually pick up their game.

                    1. re: katjenpiz

                      We're going for our final pre-meeting with MDR this next week. What issues do you think we should discuss with them?

                      Shabby linens and uniforms I am not so concerned about unless its ridiculous. I think we will probably do a walk through with the Maitre d' at our meeting. Our main concern is the food. We absolutely will complain if the food is cold or not up to standards.

                      All in all I am not that concerned about MDR, as every single person who we have asked in the last year has told us that it is a great place to have a wedding and the food is excellent. Obviously they're not going to tell us its a terrible place, but they always sound enthusiastic.

                2. Dear AndrewOG

                  I did my wedding at the Villa Barone Manor on August 19, 2005.. The food was delicious i only have 125 guests. They let me came up the Elevator in the middle of the Hall. it was like a dream wedding . I recommende you the villa Barone Manor..the way they treat you and your guests is amazing....

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: castia

                    I've always heard great things about Marina but I've never been there. My sister got married at El Caribe in Mill Basin Brooklyn. It was fantastic and the food kept everyone talking for days....Good luck and congrats!

                  2. Post-Wedding followup:

                    Our wedding was this past weekend at Marina del Rey in the Throg's Neck section of the Bronx. The food was fantastic, and everyone gave us compliments about both the food and the service. I heard that some guests tipped the servers because they felt like they were doing such a great job.

                    MDR pretty much followed up on everything that the Maitre d' originally said. And wow, the venetian hour - words do not do it justice. There must have been 10 tables worth of desserts and they provided takeout containers for everyone to bring food home. And one server even went around with a large basket of zeppoles at the end.

                    The food was our #1 concern for our wedding, and we were totally satisfied. If anyone looks to do their wedding at MDR, beware that you have to put down a deposit before you can do a tasting. Bring your appetite and some friends for the tasting as it was basically a full meal with wine and dessert for 6 people.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: AndrewOG

                      PLEASE GET BACK TO ME
                      Can anyone please tell me how much marina del rey is costing these days??? i know that the food has gotten good reviews but i dont want to go there if it is expensive??? i want a coktailhour, dinner viennese etc. the whole deal...oh and it is a june affair. if anyone knows please post
                      thank u all in advance

                      1. re: pcorntail

                        The Marina starts at $150 - and I think that's for a Friday night and not including Viennese. So do most of the places. Not sure about Villa Barone but the food is OK, not great and it's cheaper. -- I'm going to a party there that we're paying for and it's $90 for a sit down but no Viennese. Surf Club and VIP (in New Rochelle) also have OK food, Glen Island has great food. If I had to pick, I'd still pick Marina del Ray.

                        Talk to them about that Viennese hour (I think it's a waste but that's my opinion) -- there should be other dessert options.