Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wedding Eats: Gloriosa Tasting

Not surprisingly, I agonized over picking out just the right menu for my wedding. I write a food blog, so people have pretty high expectations, right? My caterer, Gloriosa, wasn't really a choice since they are the required vendor at Serenbe, so I was crossing my fingers that their food would be up to par. Great googly moogly - these people can cook!

Since most of my guests are coming from far flung, non-Southern locales, I thought it would be fun to take advantage of our countryside location and do a Southern family style feast. For my tasting, I got to sample nearly all of them. I left stuffed like a pig but happy as a clam because it was all so delicious!

The heirloom tomato salad (which to be honest I'm still concerned about as a not-very-seasonal option for November) was heavenly. The tomatos were so perfect and fresh and the sweet red onions were a great addition to an otherwise simple, farm-fresh dish. Why can't all tomatoes taste this good? I grew up hating tomatos, and it was only recently that I realized that real tomatoes, you know the kind that aren't out of season and mass produced, are amazing.

The second tomato preparation - fried green tomatoes - was in fact better than usual versions of the dish. More often than not, the breading seems to separate out from the tomato and you're left with soggy breading and a limp tomato. These, however, held together beautifully. The panko crust was crispy and the tomato appealingly firm. These FGT actually had some substance, and they were made all the better by the chunky remoulade and goat cheese. I knew I should pace myself, but it was hard not to eat it all!

Even better was the fried chicken. What says Southern feast better than a crispy chicken breast? I loved the heavenly browned, crisp skin and the meat was tender and juicy. It was made all the more interesting by a pear relish, although, it wasn't even necessary since the meat was so flavorful. The other entree, a pork tenderloin with caramelized apple and Vidalia onion compote wasn't nearly as interesting but still very good. It's just that it's hard to compete with the awesome fried chicken - with only so much room in my stomach I opted for more of the former!

I'm not usually a huge mac and cheese fan. Generally it seems to be kind of a bland, goopy mess. But man oh man was this stuff amazing. The white truffle oil (which I'd eat on everything if I could) gave an earthy depth to the dish, and the wonderfully crusty top layer was addictive. I'm allegedly avoiding carbs these days, but I wouldn't be human if I could resist this mac!

All in all, everything we tasted was a winner. Gloriosa clearly knows how to prepare some good food, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they can do with the rest of my big day! Sigh...if only I could have taken home the rest of that mac 'n was a crime to waste any of it!



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