Kosher Wedding Caterers in New Haven
I am getting married in New Haven, but I am not from the area. Please can you guys help? I have heard of Abel Caterers and Marjory Gussak. I have spoken to both and they seem very nice, but obviously the food is key!
I am biased. I worker for the late Neil Abel back in 1978, long before his daughter Meredith (who now owns and runs the business) was around.
Abel can put out wonderful food. The key to a sucessful affair is to work with Stanley, NOT Meredith. Stanley wil make sure not only that everything runs smoothly, but that you actually get everything you pay for,
I used them as recently as last month. Unfortunately, Meredith Abel handled everything with my wife. Everything looked beautiful, but 4 trays of cooked food that were supposed to be delivered room temp at 9am to be served at 11am were frozen solid. Abel was supposed to refrigerate the items, but some 'fool' froze them. Then there was a missing food platter, paid for but not loaded (the only item that I wanted to eat on the menu). It took weeks for Meredith to refund, promised checks never came and wife had to stop there twice to get her money back.
That said the food and presentation were wonderful.
I have used Abel for more than 35 years for Bar Mitzvah, Weddings, Business Affairs, BBQs, etc.........Food has always been very good. You get what you pay for, if you try to cut corners/costs, so must they.
The other advantage of using them if you are getting married in New Haven is that they are local and so are their kitchens and labor pool. If something is missing or needs adjusting they can and do send to the commisary for more. They have no problem staffing.
The staffing is an issue. I did go to an affair a couple of years ago that Gussak catered in the New Haven area. It was short staffed. The host (a close friend) was fit to be tied. The caterer said there was a car of no-show/late servers and by the time more could be brought in from Gussak's home base it was too late. The food was good, but not great (but I think it was a reflection of the host's budget, not the caterer's talent).
I haven't used Abel, but have used Margery Gussak on several occasions over the years including our wedding, both sons' Bar Mitzvahs, and even some large seders. She has catered pretty much every simcha for my wife's extended family in Western MA over the past decades.
Her food can be creative and outstanding, especially when compared to other kosher caterers, and we have been VERY pleased with her more unusual offerings (lamb "lollipops", ceviche, etc). Her best output, however, comes at a premium price. Friends of ours with tighter budgets had her serve more standard fare, and while it was very high quality, it didn't necessarily knock our socks off.
I can see where the distance could create problems. We live in Fairfield county, and while have never experienced any problems, I know that our synagogue has had issues with them regarding rules about timing (not kashruth).
Most importantly Ruthie, Mazel Tov, and have a blast at your wedding!
We have used Abel a couple of times for funeral receptions and once for a seder. The food was always fresh and plenty of it, but nothing unusual or "wow." It's solid if unremarkable.
Service was helpful and professional. They answered the phone and all questions promptly. Delivered when they said they would with complete orders.
The only downside was the desserts - flavorless and boring. I imagine you will get a wedding cake anyway. Congratulations!