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How to Design the Perfect Private Events Menu

What comes to mind first when you think about the last private party you attended? The majority would say the menu. Food is essential to every event and while guests mingle and socialize, it's enjoyable to sip a cocktail and have a bite to eat. They say memories are made around the dinner table but what's just as memorable is what's being served on the table. People will talk about the food (good and bad); so here are 5 reasons to put some thought into what you serve at your next gathering.

1. Food sets the tone: Consider the style of event you are hosting. Is it a company happy hour or a family sit-down dinner? Is the intention to mix and mingle or relax and catch-up? If cocktail-hour style is the vibe, bite sized food stations or butlered hors d' oeuvres are recommended. If the event is formal, a served 3-course dinner or a buffet might be more appropriate. Fun fact: As a guest at any event at our venue, you receive the same menu quality, ingredients, and preparation as the diners at our award winning restaurant, "the farmer's daughter." Check out just a few of our beautifully plated options from our expansive menu.

2. The menu controls the time and the time controls the menu: If your event is in the AM, you're guests will be craving items from Normandy Farm's famous brunch buffet! Now is the fun part. Choose from the standard continental menu or make it interactive with a champagne wall welcome, live action stations, donut wall, bacon bar, and much more. Lunch and dinner menus can be interchangeable, but if you're incorporating speakers, dancing, or entertainment, be sure the menu choices fit the timeline.

3. Food is the supporting actor to the theme: As you are planning your event, it's important to consider what type of food you would like to serve. If you're hosting a baby shower, you might choose tea sandwiches and gourmet cupcakes. An "around the world" theme might consist of chef attended sushi, pasta, or taco stations. A mitzvah might offer a cotton candy station, popcorn stand, and pretzels to-go. A company happy hour might add a craft beer tasting. If you're thinking outside the box, ask our sales managers about the vast menu enhancements that we offer.

4. Presentation is what we take pride in: You eat with your eyes first. Like Executive Pastry Chef Sam Nahhas always says, the main goal is for guests to say "Wow" with every plate. You'll notice intricate plating, carefully placed ingredients, and elegantly designed displays. Each item is prepared properly and our chefs and managers consider colors, flavors, aromas (and today's trends) to create appealing and gratifying presentations.

5. Dietary and lifestyle needs are accommodated: The team at Normandy Farm is proud of recently producing a gluten-free wedding event menu that wowed the bride, the groom and their families and guests with dishes like crispy skin salmon with citrus sauce, Cabernet (not aged in wheat-glued barrels) braised beef short ribs and wild mushroom risotto. We adhere to the challenge of taking on menus that are allergy-sensitive, food-tolerant and even lifestyle-specific (vegan, vegetarian, low-sodium, weight-loss). Executive Chef Abu's 7-year-old daughter has many typical food allergies and is well aware of the health issues involved, so he remains diligent of guests’ requirement.

Contact our professional team if you want to learn more about creating the perfect menu for your next event. Email us today at


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