One of the many difficult decisions facing betrothed couples is also the question that’s plagued our people since first we discovered the transformative power of fire to food, what are we going to eat? Hosting a wedding is not unlike throwing the cocktail party of your lives. Not only is it the opportunity for family and friends to toast your union, share in the love of one special day, it’s also a chance to stuff them silly and maybe keep Aunt Ida’s mouth full enough to keep her obnoxious opinions to herself (there’s one in every crowd). Deciding the right caterer and event space can be beyond overwhelming. Here we’ve gathered a few of our favorite spots to host a party, equipped with some of the best food in town. Whether a swank affair or a backyard bbq is your personal style, we’ve got the food for you.
CREATE Catering & The Dining Studio
1121 Jackson St., Minneapolis
For a couple looking for a sophisticated cocktail party, CREATE Catering space is the only one of its kind that also holds a full liquor license. Handy if your friends are anything like mine. Tucked into a stretch of industrial, art studio spaces off Broadway and Central in Northeast, the room is part art gallery, part catering space. The doors roll up in the warmer months allowing guests to spill outside into the elements. CREATE also boasts major foodie-cred with Chef Philip Dorwart leading the kitchen. A graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Dorwart has worked in some storied kitchens. Best of all, the food that is served is sustainably sourced.
The room can hold around 72 people for a sit-down dinner or about 125 for a standup cocktail party.
421 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis
Perfect for the couple looking to revel in the love of close friends and family. Kafe 421 offers an intimate room off the back of their Dinkytown restaurant. Run by mother-daughter team Georgia Sander and daughter Antigoni Sander-McCloud, they’ll make every member of your wedding feel like a close personal friend. The care that goes into each part of the party throwing process is reflective of the loving family that runs this place. The food available is Mediterranean with worldly influences. While the catering menu is a bit more formally skewed, they’ve been known to bring in their more casual items, like the killer lamb burger, at special request. They only serve beer and wine, but can bring in virtually any wine the couple requests, or as Tig told me, “If they want Dom, we can get them Dom! No problem.”
The backroom holds around 50 for a sit down dinner or 90 for a cocktail-style reception. Best of all, on Sunday nights, there is no room rental fee.
D’Amico Catering at the Walker
Modern Events by D’Amico
1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
Perfect for a much more ambitious wedding party. I’d challenge you to find more elegant surroundings. The Walker can host a party from 6 to 3500 guests – an impressive span. They have a myriad of different rooms including the very chic Gather restaurant space. With a patio that overlooks the sculpture garden and downtown Minneapolis, it’s as impressive a view as you could ask for on a warm Minnesota evening. The food comes from the same kitchen that has trained some of the best chefs this city has to offer, including Gather Executive Chef Josh Brown. Gather has been recognized as one of the best new restaurants of the last year. Restrained elegance with the best ingredients served as food art, while surrounded by modern art.
Fork in the Road Food Truck
For a couple looking to inject a bit of whimsy in their wedding, why not have a bright orange truck bring the fun food? The food truck option is the perfect way to go for crunchy, nature-loving couples, ideally suited for outdoor ceremonies. While Amy Frechette and Kari Offerdahl can handily whip up just about any food your hearts request, their slow braised, pulled pork is a thing of beauty, as is their refreshing, zingy, vegan-friendly gazpacho. Their guest lists usually range from serving 15-500 people.
The fun of a food truck also allows for guests to come up and place their own orders, rather than that awkward time spent at tables, all guest’s eyes hungrily turned to overwhelmed servers only to receive tepid food. The ladies also have some fun bartenders that they can bring in to serve alcoholic drinks (providing that the venue has licensing, etc.).
50 N 2nd Ave, Minneapolis
One more place to keep in mind is the über-hip Bachelor Farmer. The restaurant made the semi-finals for the Beard awards earlier this year as one of the best new restaurants in the country. Run by the Dayton brothers, covered with Alec Soth photography, and sporting the sort of refined, elegant Norwegian food sweeping the world, it’s ground zero for food hipness right now. While it wasn’t quite prepared by press time, they will also soon sport what is likely to be the most sought after event space in the city. The upper level of the converted warehouse is still being spiffed up, and details being finalized, but watch this space for more information.