Truffles Catering at the Belvedere
I've been to several weddings @ the Belvedere catered by Truffles and a couple of off-site events they've catered and the food has been terrible. Very old school Maryland style - heavy, lots of sauces, Crab Imperial, Chicken Chesapeake style. Not my thing. After the first I knew to load up at the cocktail hour, for some reason, their cocktail hour food is pretty good, esp in comparison to the main.
That may be true for some catering situations, but i'm in the industry and I can tell you that the chefs i work with produce dishes that are fresh, hot and tasty, even when we do large wedding crowds. Warming cabinet or not, Truffles food is notorious for being bland, tasteless and old school.
Bmorebaby, I concur with Poached, make sure to do plenty of tastings and make sure the caterers you choose ARE on the venue's approved list. A lot of venue's (Belvedere is one) have a preapproved catering list which means you can ONLY use those caterers and in the event another wedding is being held earlier that day, a lot of venues will restrict you (the second wedding) to use the same caterer - this happens a lot in Maryland, so make sure to ask.
Also keep in mind during your tastings that whilst the food looks and tastes great there, some things don't present so well when they've had to sit, be rewarmed or are passed as app's. And if you're outside the weather can certainly impact, there are some foods that don't hold up well in humidity and heat (assuming you're thinking a summer wedding),
I've been to several weddings and parties catered by Truffles and I've largely had the same experience as aussiewonder. Every event seems to have the same bad crab dishes, I personally get really ticked when I get bad crab cakes, balls,dip ect. when in baltimore. heavy creamy sauces. It's been that typical forgetable wedding food. The vegetarian options have been tasty.
I don't know what their tasting policy is but try to taste the majority if not all of what you would like to have served to form your own opinions- and stay away from the crab.
Also I know your question was about food but a note on the service- they have a tendancy to be pushy with the time schedule and impersonal
On another note not far away still in Mount Vernon is a great caterer Wickey's, they opened up at the Preston Hall location earlier this year. at Preston and Maryland. I have had their food at other events and it was amazing and unique, not mention really good service. I have not attended an event at Preston Hall but having been in the new location it still has that historic feel and can accomodate a range of parties.
Best of luck!
I'm a little surprised at the resoundingly negative reaction to the Belvedere. My cousin had her wedding there (although now that I think about it, that was -- wow!-- 5 years ago), but I remember thinking the food was perfectly fine. Not phenomenal or anything, but CERTAINLY not the worst wedding food I'd ever had, not by a long shot. I actually remember thinking the passed appetizers during the cocktail hour were rather nice. I remember mini crab balls and lamb lollipops standing out....