Tiny Dinner Parties
If you’re anything like me, you’ve morphed into a short order cook over the last four months of the pandemic. I’m back to screaming, “the kitchen is closed!” If you’re itching to see a few humans but want to leave the prep, cooking, and clean-up to someone else, here are a few options for small catered dinners.
Thimble Islands Lobsterbakes
Thimble Island Lobsterbakes serves social, charity, and business events for groups up 100 outdoors or 25 indoors, in adherence with state guidelines. Minimum group size is 12. Adaptable to a variety of settings, from beaches and mountaintops to parking lots and backyards. Available for wedding rehearsal and reception dates as well.
Customary meal includes steamed cherrystone Clams, NE Clam Chowder, choice of 1.25-lb. steamed lobster, steak, chicken, salmon and vegetarian entrees, served with sweet corn, potato salad and coleslaw. That meal is $70/person, plus tax and tip. Larger lobsters are available upon request.
Lobsterbakes’ events are typically held outside. Their menu and service protocols have been approved by the East Shore District Health Department and the State of Connecticut. They are licensed, insured, and easy to deal with.
For an estimate, text the details of your event to Lobster Mike at (203) 687-6441.
Contact: Mike McCleery (Lobster Mike)
Gourmet Galley is catering more intimate outdoor dinners for a minimum of four people. A great way to limit exposure, this option involves just one chef and one server. Highlights from this menu includ local seafood, such as black sea bass and scallops, grilled gaucho steak, seared duck, or vegan surf and turf.
Outdoor “micro-weddings” are also available. Gourmet Galley arranges these soup to nuts–tent, flowers bouquets, music, photographer, a lovely meal in individual boxes stacked up like a cake! Meal includes cheese and crudite as appetizers, a choice of room temperature entrees, and a cupcake for dessert. Events are capped at 100 people, per state guidelines.
Visit their website for more information.
Coffee’s Country Market
Coffee’s Country Market is offering outdoor catering for intimate events of 20 people or for larger events up to 100 people, per CDC and CT guidelines. In addition to usual strict sanitation guidelines, all staff are wearing masks and are social distancing in the kitchen.
In terms of food menus, Coffee’s is moving away from buffets and passed appetizers and going for a more individual aspect when possible. In the cases where food will be shared, they are doing everything they can, such as providing individual serving utensils, to keep everyone as safe and comfortable as possible.
The usual catering menu is available, as well as additional plated options. A popular menu is the Surf and Turf dinner: sliced tenderloin with buttered lobster tails or honey sriracha fried chicken with soy ginger glazed salmon paired with grilled asparagus and basmati rice or baby roasted potatoes.
Coffee’s is happy to adjust their menu offerings to accommodate guest counts. General catering menu can be found on the website, and their staff is happy to put together any special menus for dietary restrictions, etc.
Chef Paul Barron
Chef Paul Barron takes pride in his personal catering experience. Staff will work with you to customize your dining experience to your specific wants and needs. Chef Paul Barron offers a variety of catering styles, from buffet to family style to plated, or a combination of the three. Choose from pick-up, drop-off, or cooking on-site at any location–your home, the beach, a boat, you name it!
Minimum group size is 2 people. Maximum is 100 guests outside due to state guidelines. Staff have enhanced their already strict sanitation protocols. All members are required to wear masks and gloves, surfaces are disinfected before, during, and after service, and all vendors are required to leave deliveries outside.
Visit his website for more information.
Contact Chef Paul Barron
The Marketplace Guilford
The Marketplace is offering outdoor catering events—BBQs, Lobster Bakes, Raw Bars, and Cocktail parties—for any and all occasions. All staff wear masks and gloves while working the event, in addition to maintaining six feet of distance from guests as often as possible. They also offer individual disposable options for a comfortable socially-distanced event.
To ensure that all health and safety protocols are followed, at least two staff members work at every event. This past weekend, The Marketplace catered an All American BBQ for a birthday party at a client’s house where one staff member was serving the burgers and hot dogs onto plates while the other staff member was helping with all sides, condiments, and any additional needs to ensure social distancing rules were followed. This structure allowed the team to assist one guest at a time.
The Marketplace also recently catered and staffed a cocktail party for 90 people, in three waves of 30 people to reduce overcrowding. Some of the hors d’oeuvres included Chili Lime Shrimp, Mini Antipasto Cups, Chipotle Lime Chicken Skewers, and Watermelon Feta Mint Salad.
The Marketplace is following all state guidelines for event sizes, therefore, all events are restricted to less than 100 people outdoors and 25 people indoors. They also work with clients to create a plan of staggering guests so that food can be served in waves instead of all at once.
The Marketplace is ready to cater any and all events, working closely (but socially distanced of course) with clients to ensure a safe environment accompanied by whatever delicious creations you can think of.
For more information, visit their website.
Cloud Nine Catering
Cloud Nine catering is back! Choose from a variety of menus, from BBQ to Tuscan Buffet. All state and federal health guidelines are being strictly adhered to, so your catering experience will be both delicious and stress-free. Check out their online menu for more catering ideas or to get a quote thelacefactory.com/online-ordering