Are you a city bride with a penchant for culinary excellence on the hunt for an intimate venue? The Lambs Club is just the ticket (we should know, we hosted our Brides New York Bridal Fashion Week celebration there just a few weeks ago).
The incredibly swanky spot (it was once a members-only club) is known for its food. So, in an effort to find out how to nail your wedding menu (buffalo wings and filet mignon, for example, might not make for the best coupling) we consulted Geoffrey Zakarian, executive chef at the theater district gem and Chopped and Iron Chef star.
Here, his top tips for how to to impress your guests with food and drinks.
Brides: What are The Lambs Club's most popular wedding dishes?
Geoffrey Zakarian: Our cocktails are always in big demand for weddings as it is such an important part of our culinary program. With fresh pressed juices, hand-cut ice and expert barmen, no wedding goes without some of our signature handcrafted celebratory beverages. In particular, the Gold Rush, a cocktail of bourbon, honey, and lemon, makes an appearance at almost every event. On the food side, our beef short rib that is braised in red wine for 12 hours is extremely popular.
Brides: How should a couple approach their rehearsal dinner or engagement party menu?
Zakarian: For an engagement party or rehearsal dinner, it is great to do something family style or shared in the middle of the table. It gets everyone talking and interacting with each other and it sparks the energy amongst all the guests.
Brides: If you were to create the perfect wedding menu, what would it be?
Zakarian: The trick is to have a well-edited menu. People have a tendency to do too much — stations from every cuisine around the world, endless hors d'oeuvres and then sit down for a meal. The way to treat to your guests well is to streamline the food offerings and have it all make sense from start to finish. Here would be my picks for a summer wedding:
Cocktail Hour: Trays of champagne and one signature cocktail, plus five to six well-crafted hors d'oeuvres
*First Course: Poached lobster salad
Entrée: Rack of veal with summer vegetables
Cheese Course: Apple strudel with aged gouda
Dessert: Wedding cake*
Once people are up and dancing, then you can have some fun with the food. (Think: ice cream sundae stations and passed mini steak and cheese sandwiches.) It's a good idea to keep the food flowing as people continue to drink. Also, don't forget to pass trays with glasses of water — late night food and water keeps everyone on the right side of the line.
Brides: Where should a couple splurge menu wise?
Zakarian: You shouldn't splurge on just one course. You should spread the money out evenly. There are ways to save. You do not have to offer lots of hors d'oeuvres and food stations to start. Pick just a few. Same with the bar. You don't have to have a full open bar in the beginning. Choose a few wines, one or two cocktails and something sparkling. Then, make sure the servers are passing the drinks on trays — people will drink what you are offering instead of looking to queue up at a bar.