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May Wedding Help -MSP

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No, its not for me - but i have been asked to serve as best man at a wedding this coming may, and after getting drinks with the happy couple last night i thought i would solicit some advice from the chowhound crowd.

Details: young couple not looking to spend a ton, probably need it to be in minneapolis proper, their tastes are'nt super upscale but if my name is on the program id like to get them the best available food within their means, next memorial day for about 150-175 people.

we all agreed that the best wedding food is still wedding food (passing on terrible lipstick on a wedding porkchop joke), but that doesnt mean its not worth trying. I was at a wedding at the St Regis in SF labor day that exemplified this - some dishes were truly memorable, and overall the execution was pretty great, but it was definitely still reception food.

Ive looked through the archives, and this thread in particular:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/516025

but wanted anyones updated opinions.
I read the praise for ChowGirls, and have passed their name on to the couple, does anyone have more feedback with regard to their flakiness/disorganization on the logistical end?

Finally, there seem to be strong ties between venues and caterers in town (the mill city museum ONLY deals with d'amico, you dont even get a choice of providers). They were strongly put off by the legalistic nature of damico's catering service (filled with would-be "hidden" charges and fees). Can anyone confirm or deny that end? Or recommend a flexible venue or one that works with a more laid-back foodservice end?

thanks

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  1. hmm. any idea what the ballpark per head food cost would be? are they wanting offsite catering with food brought in, or catering inside a restaurant/facility? cuisine preferences?

    for my part, i'm unimpressed with d'amico on the catered food level & think you could get much better value by going with a smaller company.

    1. My single data point: My wife and I were married 10 years ago this month and D'Amico was one of the caterers that was available at the venue we'd chosen. Of the acceptable caterers D'Amico seemed the best for what we wanted.

      The result? We were more than happy with their food and service. While their overall feel was very "corporate" we found them to be fairly flexible and helpful in many ways. They were particularly flexible when the size of our wedding shrunk some due to the Northwest pilots' strike.

      The service they provided at the venue was top-notch as well. I'm sure that they were a little more expensive than other caterers, but I would say that we were quite happy with the end result. I suspect that we were a little more conservative than we needed to be (along the lines of "you'll never get in trouble if you go with....") but I have nothing but good memories of them.

      So, based on one experience that occurred 10 years ago, I'd give them a recommendation.

      1. Honestly, i cant hazard a guess at their per head price, but they are probably looking at off-site catering due to the size of the event - i gather they are looking for a ceremony reception combo, so i suppose a restaurant with space enough for the festivities and food wouldnt be out of the question, i just didnt forsee anywhere that sat 175 people about which i didnt already know.

        I appreciate your comment, bob s, and do realize they could do worse than damico, but i am inclined to agree with sk that they could do better, both in terms of overall quality and value.

        as for cuisine preferences they arent exactly CH spokepeople, but they appreciate good food. that said there will be lots of family from south dakota and western new york who would probably prefer something less adventurous, but hey, its not their wedding so they can get over it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tex.s.toast

          Neither you nor sk will get any argument from me. Given the venue and given some other parameters (i.e., family stuff), D'Amico was what we went with. Just wanted to let you know that they can work for weddings.

        2. The Semple Mansion ( www.semplemansion.com) allows any caterers, but their kitchen is such that all food has to be prepared off site and brought in in hot boxes.

          Blaisdell Manor on 23rd and Blaisdell in Minneapolis ( www.threesonskitchen.com ) was another space we looked at with a very interesting menu and very nice service staff... they would not let us bring in our own cheese; however, so it was a deal-breaker for us.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cheeseguysgirl

            ooh. both of those look interesting, and, alas, the groom is a non-dairy-eater (and somehow still my friend) so the lack of cheese options is unlikely to deter this couple.

            thanks for the thoughts!