Suggestions on a 70th B-day Dinner Party in St. Louis
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Here's what I ended up doing and could not have been more pleased with the results. The restaurant I ended up picking was Hendel's Market Cafe. My mom has been there several times and I knew she would like the food there. I printed off their group dinner menu online and called to get more info (I was doing all of the planning from North Carolina). Everyone I interacted with at the restaurant were very helpful.
The 3 entrees I chose were the Grilled Pesto Salmon, Chicken Sebastian and Aged Choice Strip Steak. I had everyone let me know their choice when they RSVP'd. I also had toasted ravioli served as an app. We ended up with 20 guest for dinner and 2 additional people came for dessert only (delicious cake from SweetArt - see below).
The wait staff we had were great. For example, when we first showed up they had the toasted ravioli set up on a side table in a chafing dish. Being that a majority of the guests were 60+ and it was fairly tight quarters, I talked with one of the servers and decided that it might be better to server he apps at the tables. They were on it and in less than 5 minutes the ravioli and marinara were put on plates and served on the table. The toasted ravioli was good (standard) and the marinara was even better (great flavor and good chunks of tomato). Next they brought out rolls with butter (i think it was honey butter) and then the salads. The salad they served was a mixed green salad tossed with a very good poppy seed dressing.
Next the entrees were served. Can I just say they give huge portions! I know no one left there hungry and some even took some of their food home in a to go box. I had the Grilled Pesto Salmon and it was wonderful. It was a least a 5 or 6 oz. serving of grilled salmon served on a puff pastry triangle with diced tomatoes, toasted almonds and drizzled with a basil pesto sauce. It was also served with a side of rice pilaf and roasted summer squash. Everything was seasoned perfectly. I can't speak for the other entrees but they did look really yummy too. Especially the Chicken Sebastian - it was a sauteed chicken breast topped with asparagus, mushrooms, provel cheeese and topped with a garlic cream sauce. I would have chosen that if I hadn't gotten the salmon.
Instead of having the standard cheesecake w/ strawberries that they serve with the Group Dinner Menu, I got a cake from SweetArt and had it served. I was taking a chance on it because I'd never been there and was just going on online reviews and their website. I just had a good feeling about them. At the suggestion of the owner (i think) I got the Best of Both Worlds 10 inch cake which was a 4 layer cake with alternating layers of cbabi's chocolate and golden vanilla cake, filled and frosted with chocolate buttercream and raspberry curd. It was frosted on the outside with chocolate buttercream. The writing and decoration on the cake (lettering and some pretty flowers with pearl candy centers - see picture) was done with a fresh strawberry buttercream that was so good I would have had it as the filling instead of the raspberry curd had I known about it! That was a nice surprise. The cake was so moist and fresh and not too sweet. It must have been baked that morning since I was not able to pick it up until 1pm. EVERYONE loved it.
After presenting the cake to my mom and singing happy birthday the waitstaff took the cake back to the kitchen (at my request) and cut and served the cake.
What a wonderful evening.
Hendel's Market Cafe
599 Saint Denis St, Florissant, MO 63031
2203 S 39th St, St Louis, MO 63110
Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I didn't give much detail because I'm pretty open. My mom lives near Florissant but we'd be willing venture out of that area if needed. This helps a lot. I grew up in St. Louis but it's been 15 years since I've lived there. Haven't decided on a place yet so additional suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
You haven't given us much information. Budget; neighborhood; type of food? Cardwell's in Clayton has private rooms that are wonderful for birthday parties: http://www.cardwellsinclayton.com/index.php. Portabella, also in Clayton, does an excellent job on parties of this size: http://www.portabellarestaurant.com/
Give us a little more guidance, please.
Cardwell's Restaurant & Bar
8100 Maryland Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63105
15 North Central, Clayton, MO 63105