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Newly ENGAGED!! Please recommend best, well-priced caterer in Rhode Island ....

Hi, my fiance and I got engaged this weekend! We're holding our reception at the Towers in Narragansett, RI in April 2011. Would you have feedback on the caterers on the Towers' approved vendor list? Vendors are: Atomic, Blackstone, Blue Rocks, Catering Collaborative, Chelo's, Coastal Gourmet, Glorious Affairs, Pinella Marra,Plantation, Pranzi, Shelter Harbor Inn, Simply Devine, Tom's Market, Westbury Gourmet and West Valley Inn.

We want to share our favorite foods with our friends and plan on passed finger food and food stations. We'd like a raw bar (hopefully provided by Matunuck Oyster Bar) and other New England-style seafood, perhaps lobster if the price point is still low; a Korean/Japanese station with Korean bbq, sushi, maybe lettuce wraps and spinach/chicken dumplings; a Tuscan station; maybe a Big Sky Country station with elk, trout, bison (representing our last big trip!).

Of course, we are considering costs. We don't want to skimp on the food experience though and I would say we're interested in value (rather than budget). It'd be great if the caterer would let us bring our own alcohol but would provide bartenders, for example, so we could have some nicer wines for a lower cost. We are also ok with having some comfort food with a twist to keep costs down -- e.g., passed sliders with gruyere, puff pastries filled with Jamaican curried chicken.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

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  1. We had our wedding in the Towers 5 years ago and used West Bay Gourmet. They did a wonderful job with stations for dinner - we wanted an international flair and did one asian, one south american, and one traditional (at my mom's insistence). They also did some really fun passed apps with a seafood focus - paper cones of clamcakes, etc. Our friends still talk about the food - it was fantastic. WBG was the first caterer that I visited and when I went to others with the same requests most were significantly more expensive - one told me I was trying to buy a rolls royce with a ford escort budget! I have seen mediocre reviews of WBG occasionally, and agree that they are not nearly as good with their plated sit-down dinners, but for a station style wedding, I could not recommend them more highly.

    We bought all of our liquor at Haxton's in Warwick (they let you return what you don't use) and WBG provided us with a bartender. I think we paid a few $ per person for his time, glassware, mixers, etc. It worked out great and allowed us to provide an open bar at a reasonable price.

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    West Bay Gourmet
    889 Boston Neck Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882

    1 Reply
    1. re: barfly

      Barfly, thanks for your advice! Your reception sounds like what we have in mind for ours. How many tastings would you recommend?

    2. let me get this straight - you got engaged THIS WEEKEND and you already have a date and a location picked out? Its Tuesday, how is that even possible?

      (keep in mind my fiancee and I have been engaged for 2 years now - and havent even made it that far....LOL!)

      5 Replies
      1. re: joe777cool

        Joe, I was thinking the same thing!!!!!

        1. re: ciclista

          How I wish there were "like" buttons on this site..

        2. re: joe777cool

          ah...some girls wait their whole lives for these milestones.. (not me, but some girls...)

          1. re: coastalgypsy

            they wait all their lives only to rush through the process? I dont get it, but im probably not supposed to. Good luck Uppereastsidechic

            1. re: joe777cool

              We love Narragansett, so we'll have it there. But quaint and small means limited venue options for our family and friends next year, and there's no reason to wait until 2012. Coastalgypsy, you're right, I've waited for awhile for this happiness, and plus, we are older people and want to get on with our lives. I greatly appreciate the advice about Westbay and will keep looking for a couple other caterers. I work with lots of vendors and always like to get 3 quotes if possible. Having a big party doesn't mean breaking the bank! Thanks, all.

        3. My husband and I were married at the Towers in December 2009 and we chose Shelter Harbor Inn to cater our reception. They were fantastic to work with and willing to accomodate our needs. We also considered Tom's Market, and West Bay Gourmet. Tom's was not what we were looking for (not eclectic enough) and West Bay seemed inflexible. We felt rushed when we did our tasting there. In contast, Jeff at Shelter Harbor really won us over. He listened to what we wanted and took the time to go above and beyond. Granted, they were more expensive, but I am a firm believer in "you get what you pay for." Our menu included passed appetizers, a steak station and baked potato bar, as well as a pasta station with salad and a variety of brochetta, which our guests really enjoyed. We purchased our liquor, beer and wine and had Shelter Harbor provide the bartenders and mixers and we were able to return what was not opened. We had Pear Bellinis for our signature cocktail and Sin supplied our wedding cake. I cannot emphasize enough how happy we were with how things went. People still rave about the wonderful time they had and I would highly recommend Shelter Harbor Inn.

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          West Bay Gourmet
          889 Boston Neck Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882

          1 Reply
          1. re: eringourmet

            Hello Eringourmet,
            Sounds like the exact party I am planning in June at the Tennis Hall of Fame. Could you share roughly how much your alcohol cost per head and how much was the caterers charge? How many stations did you have-were there lines or you felt you had the right amount.
            Thanks, your answers would really help.

          2. West Gourmet is usually well reviewed by our guests. That is a pretty ecclectic menu for any caterer though. I have also heard postitive things about Costal Gourmet and Simply Devine but don't know what their specialties might be.

            Best wishes for your celebration.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Innkeeper Seely

              I've been to a few events (one was a wedding last October at Belcourt Castle in Newport) which were catered by Pranzi Catering in Providence (near RIC). Each time, the food was incredible. One of the hosts of one of the events I went to (this summer) told me the owner is great to work with, and very reasonable. I think they are worth a phone call.

            2. The original comment has been removed