8 venues with a farm to table wedding menu - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

8 venues with a farm to table wedding menu

Updated: 12/17/2013 4:24:49 PM
© iStockphoto.com / Jan Tyler © iStockphoto.com / Jan Tyler
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By
Charyn Pfeuffer


If you’re a foodie at heart, having an amazing wedding menu tops your priority list. Whether you’re inspired by local, farm to table or simply delicious cuisine, you want your wedding dinner to be more than just a meal; it’s got to be a culinary event. These eight hotels each offer standout wedding food that showcases their destinations and will get guests talking. Plus, they have romantic ambience to spare, great service and accommodations your guests will love. 


The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado

The rugged natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains makes for a fabulous backdrop when saying I do — as does this luxe 744-room resort, which opened its doors in 1916.

Pamper your pals with golf, tennis and spa services before swapping vows on the lakeside patio and celebrating with a formal reception in the Lake Terrace dining room.

Bonus: You're a quick hop from Denver International Airport (just over an hour by car) and at the perfect starting point for group outings to Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs and Garden of the Gods.

Farm-to-table food:
Colorado wild game, fish, lamb and beef feature prominently on wedding menus. One of the hotel's signature reception dishes, Broadmoor Duet, uses only Colorado-sourced ingredients — filet mignon with a haystack mountain and goat-cheese crust, paired with Colorado mountain trout, Palisade peach chutney, Klondike potato pave and Sutcliffe Field Blend red-wine sauce.

Local culture: Combine a day of wine tasting and visiting Pikes Peak (not necessarily in that order) for two very different local perspectives. A stay in Colorado Springs isn't complete without a trip to the scenic 14,110-foot summit aboard the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.

Next, sample grapes grown at one of the highest altitudes in the world at Taste of Colorado, located at the entrance of Pikes Place Highway. Wine tasting is complimentary, and the Broadmoor can arrange group transportation.


Hotel Monteleone
, New Orleans, Louisiana


Southern charm, sultry weather, and an exciting food and cocktail culture make New Orleans one of our favorite wedding destinations. In the heart of the French Quarter, you'll find one of the city's most famous addresses: the historic, 570-room Hotel Monteleone, one of only three hotels in the country to boast the designation of Literary Landmark. (Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner have all stayed here.)

The property got a major makeover in 2011 to mark its 125-year anniversary. Say I do in the rooftop Riverview Room, where large windows frame views of the Mississippi River. More formal receptions are commonly held in the Queen Anne Ballroom.

Farm-to-table food: The plentiful bounty of the Gulf region shines at Hotel Monteleone's new restaurant, Criollo. Chef Joseph Maynard has created an ingredient-driven seasonal menu that relies heavily on local seafood such as blue crab, Black Bay oysters and Louisiana crawfish.

Maynard and his staff will work with couples to create an authentic Big Easy experience, whether you want a traditional New Orleans family-style meal or a more formal sit-down affair. Send off your guests the day after with a big Southern buffet brunch.

Local culture: Welcome guests with Sazeracs — a New Orleans-born drink touted as the first cocktail ever — at the hotel's famous Carousel Bar & Lounge, home to a working carousel turned bar that revolves as you sip.


Inn at Ship Bay, Orcas Island, Washington

Just 90 minutes north of Seattle and a one-hour ferry ride west, the San Juan Islands feel worlds away from the mainland.

At this casual-yet-classy 11-room inn, to-be-weds can exchange vows on the waterfront bluff overlooking East Sound, the fjord that creates Orcas Island's unique horseshoe shape.

Wildlife-loving couples and their guests will never forget the frequent sightings of otters, seals, eagles and black-tailed deer.

Farm-to-table food: Seasonal fare takes advantage of Pacific Northwest fish and seafood; think Buck Bay and Judd Cove oysters, Kamilche Sea Farms mussels, and Alaskan salmon and halibut, all of which can appear on custom reception menus.

Bread is made from scratch with a 100-plus-year-old sourdough starter — guests will want to smuggle a loaf for the road; it's that delicious.

Several acres of pear, plum and heirloom-apple orchards surround the property, producing fruit that's featured on hotel menus.

Local culture: For a unique farm-to-table lunch outing, try Rose's Bakery & Cafe in downtown Eastsound. Your group will love the soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goodies — washed down with Washington State and San Juan Island wines.


Hotel Lanai
, Lanai, Hawaii


At a mere 13 by 18 miles, the isle of Lanai is perfect for couples looking for a low-key wedding experience; the smallest of the six accessible Hawaiian Islands, it boasts only 30 miles of roads.

In recent years, Hawaii has become a culinary hot spot as chefs work with farmers to highlight their unique Polynesian-meets-Asian cuisine. On Lanai, poi (a sticky purple mashed taro dish) is still very much a culinary staple, and the roasting of a whole pig is a popular ritual at special occasions, including luaus and weddings.

With its two plush outposts, Four Seasons Resort Lanai rules the luxury market, but for a taste of local flavor, the 11-room Hotel Lanai exudes 1920s plantation charm.

Farm-to-table food: Local celebrity chef Beverly Gannon designed the hotel's culinary program, touted as "comfort food with an edge," and Lanai City Grille's chef Ella Juliano continues with this direction, using island products and influences whenever possible.

Creative entrees include Hawaiian ahi tuna served with chipotle butter sauce and furikake, a Japanese seaweed. Although many couples take advantage of the fresh-caught seafood dishes for their wedding menus, the rotisserie chicken is still the Grille's number-one seller.

Local culture: For an otherworldly day trip, visit Keahiakawelo, also known as Garden of the Gods, to view centuries-old rock towers and lunarlike landscapes. Or start your new life together with a stop at Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock), named for a legend based on two lovers.


Mirbeau Inn & Spa
, Skaneateles, New York


Located 4½ hours northwest of New York City in the Finger Lakes wine region, this 34-room country inn exudes French charm and romance.

Its Impressionist-style landscaping and ponds recall Monet's garden at Giverny, providing a postcard-pretty setting for outdoor ceremonies, photo backdrops and tented receptions with minimal decor.

For larger parties, the top ceremony site, overlooking the garden, is aptly named the Monet Deck.

Farm-to-table food: Farm-driven ingredients — such as local beef from Birdsall Beef, produce from Monarch Farms and lettuces from Finger Lakes Fresh — rule wedding menus. Local farms, such as Fresh Herbs of Fabius, Strawberry Fields and Aqua Vitae, are also represented.

The inn's resident sommelier incorporates local wineries such as Ravines Wine Cellars, where guided wine tastings (paired with chocolate or cheese) can be arranged for groups for as little as $6 per person.

The inn also offers cooking or mixology lessons for group bonding.

Local culture: It would be a crime to come to Mirbeau and not take advantage of the beautiful spa. Arrive early to enjoy the mineral plunge pools and hot tub on the Aqua Terrace before indulging in a cabernet body scrub or honey-and-wine body wrap.


Park Hyatt Washington
, Washington, D.C.


At Park Hyatt Washington, couples work closely with the hotel's in-house wedding planner, Michael Deltette, from the booking phase to the last bite. For out-of-town guests, the 216-room hotel's fancy West End Georgetown location is ideal for exploring nearby historic sites such as the White House and Smithsonian museums, or wandering the shops and restaurants in Georgetown.

Best part: The hotel hosts only one wedding per day, so couples never have to share the spotlight.

Farm-to-table food: Regional ingredients mirroring the cuisine of the hotel's celebrated restaurant, Blue Duck Tavern, are showcased in menus at rehearsal dinners and formal ballroom receptions.

Executive chef Sebastien Archambault sources items — such as eggs from a cooperative of Amish farms in Pennsylvania — directly from regional purveyors and artisans. Additionally, menus detail where every ingredient is raised or caught before it made its way to the plate.

Local culture: The catering team will work to create custom menus that incorporate the couple's culture, style or favorite family recipes. In addition, this is the Capital City's only luxury hotel with a kosher kitchen, making it a popular pick for Jewish ceremonies.


W Austin, Austin, Texas

Since W Austin opened in 2010 in the city's 2ND Street District, a trendy hub for restaurants, nightlife and boutiques, the 251-room hotel has been steps ahead of the farm-to-table trend, fusing Austin's vibrant personality with a commitment to socially responsible food.

Located within steps of the snaking Colorado River, the hotel is a close walk to the city's famous hike and bike trail and not far from a swim at Barton Springs.

Farm-to-table food: On-premise restaurant TRACE plans its special-event menus around seasonal apps and dishes, such as a Boggy Creek Farm heirloom tomato with jumbo lump crab and shaved celery salad, or locally caught striped bass.

W Austin also touts an on-staff forager who works with area farmers, artisans and purveyors to source the very best (and in typical Austin fashion, most unique) local ingredients, including handmade cheeses and hard-to-find hot sauces. Even cooler: The property recently installed a rooftop bee apiary to cultivate honey for use in its dishes, desserts, cocktails, spa treatments and wedding favors.

Exchange vows on the terrace, and round out the culinary experience with local spirits (Tito's Handmade Vodka) or Texas Hill Country wines and beers (Real Ale Brewing Co.).

Local culture: The adjacent Austin City Limits Live venue, among the largest available in town, can accommodate seated dinners for up to 600. Austin is famous for its rich music scene, and an unlimited number of talented local acts can be booked for wedding entertainment, playing styles from blues to classic country covers.


Rancho Pescadero, Todos Santos, Mexico

Want the sun and fun for which Mexico is known, but at a calm, secluded destination? Rancho Pescadero, located north of Cabo San Lucas in the small town of Todos Santos, delivers everything sun-seeking couples want for their wedding — from tangy margaritas and photo-worthy sunsets to migrating whales and top-notch service.

We love the unpretentious vibe and minimalist-hip decor at this 26-room oceanfront spot, but please leave the kids at home; it's 18 and over only.

Farm-to-table food: Produce, such as baby heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro and beets, is harvested daily from the hotel's organic garden. Depending on the season, locally caught fish, including red snapper, mahimahi and amberjack, are options. (Loaner fishing rods are available at the front desk if you want to catch some yourself.)

Dishes such as parrotfish ceviche shots with guajillo salt, as well as roasted red snapper with talla sauce, rice and black beans (served with house tequila) reflect the colorful take on local cuisine.

Local culture: Cute alert! The beach in front of the ranch is home to a turtle hatchery. During winter months, guests can volunteer to help release the baby turtles back into the sea.




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