Over the Top

By staff June 19, 2007

My cousin’s big fat not-so-Jewish wedding.


By Judi Gallagher


We didn’t know how my cousin, Jill, could possibly top her younger daughter Samantha’s bat mitzvah party some 15 years prior, but she did at Samantha’s wedding in New York this past weekend. What do you get when you mix a Jewish and Irish reception? Incredible food that just kept on coming. Seriously, this was even better than the six-hour Italian weddings I have been to.


Shortly after the ceremony, 175 guests were escorted to the cocktail reception. What awaited us was an open bar—all top shelf—and table after table of delectable stations of international cuisine. I had to remind my sister-in-law twice that this was not a lavish buffet dinner, but just my cousin’s idea of a nosh before dinner. There were the pasta station, the Chinese station with dim sum, dumplings and tenderloin stir-fry next to the Mexican station of quesadillas, freshly prepared guacamole and any type of fajita one can imagine, followed by the Spanish station with the largest paella pan mounted with steamed clams, Spanish sausage, jumbo shrimp and chicken, simmering next to the fresh fried calamari. A table of fresh fruits and cheeses gave way to the Italian table of freshly fried rice balls, three different types of prosciutto, roasted vegetables, and calzones sliced to order and an olive bar that put Whole Foods to shame. 

Just incase 9 tables of international cuisine were not enough- you can get your veggies too during the appetizer section


Intermittently, they passed 20-some hors d’oeuvres, including coconut chicken skewers, baked stuffed shrimp, cheese puffs baked with caramelized onions and jumbo shrimp cocktails. As in a late-night infomercial, I need to exclaim, “But wait, there’s more!”

Paella anyone?


A full-course sit-down dinner awaited us in the ballroom with tenderloin and stuffed salmon before the midnight dessert buffet. By now you can picture that cousin Jill didn’t want just any dessert buffet. Try to imagine a chocolate station with not one but three types of chocolate fountains next to full slabs of white chocolate, dark chocolate and milk chocolate with every imaginable dessert item to catch the velvety warm chocolate shower. Bananas Foster and a sundae bar sat near a table of every type of New York pastry that one can imagine, which sat near a table of about 20 assorted layer cakes and tortes, a cappuccino station with every top-shelf liquor awaiting a pour, topped with fresh whipped cream, trifles, crème brûlées and mousse, and of course, wedding cake. As if that all were not enough, as we left the wedding hall, there was an attendant serving two types of Italian ice—as a “digestive.” Cousin Jill, you are a food lover’s dream!

Did I mention the cappuccino meringues


Do you have a culinary wedding story to share? Please post it below or e-mail me at [email protected]
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