Mike left yesterday, just before we were able to have our tasting in Pacifica with the Toast Catering company. My brother and Teresa were so sweet and came with me on the tasting. In my brother's words, it would just be depressing to have to go on my own. Well, they were great and helped me ask good questions after what was an immensely satisfying (brain-muddling) meal.
I picked up my brother after work and headed over to San Mateo to pick Teresa up from her mom's house. We made the long, slow drive (damn you, traffic! Northern California is getting increasingly crowded and it's driving me crazy!) up to Pacifica and found that Toast is just a few doors down from my brother/Teresa's caterer! Anyway, we walked in early, met the warm owner Jim, and looked at various settings and tableware. After making brief small chat and providing some wine and refreshments, Jim began laying out the feast. We started with some hors d'oeuvres (below: pesto stuffed mushrooms and crab cakes with lemon meyer aioli).
Then we had the following, right to left and top to bottom by rows: filet mignon on crostini with caramelized onions and horseradish cream (maybe my second favorite hors d'oeuvre), truffled risotto balls with vodka marina sauce and panko crumbs (Teresa's favorite), and double-cream-brie with sautéed Fuji apple in a puff pastry (I told everyone that this is actually kind of a Mike-and-me dessert --- he absolutely loves apple pie, and I love brie with Fuji apples, so this would be a neat after-party treat for the guests on their way out, maybe with fried chicken and waffles / syrup, or with vanilla ice cream?). Then we started on the appetizers! We had this great garden salad with candied pecans, cranberries, homemade italian dressing and bleu cheese (which was strangely tasty, because usually I don't like bleu cheese but it was perfect on this salad because it wasn't too strong or overpowering). We had corvina with lemon beurre blanc, portebello mushroom napoleons, and sauteed julienned vegetables. Our main course included potatoes au gratin with aged cheddar (I'm a little obsessed with this one), cheese tortellini with a creamy pesto sauce, roasted prime rib with horseradish cream, and I can't remembe exactly what was in the stuffed chicken dish but I know I really liked it!
And honestly, it was just great, really amazing service. I think if the rest of the staff is anything like Jim, it will be great. Whew. It was amazing and hugely filling. I took two extra plates home! I am still looking at one or two more caterers, but gosh it was hard not just to jump up (or waddle, because I was so full) and hire him on the spot. I wonder if the menu is TOO rich and heavy? Thoughts?
[Special thanks to my brother for taking all these food photos and documenting each dish while my tastebuds were overcome with joy!]
Anyway, I took my brother and Teresa home and made the lonely drive back to my place. It felt extra empty because Barley was staying at my grandmother's (because I was gone far too late), and because Mike had just been there with me earlier that morning. Sigh. Come back, Mike! Let's do more tastings together! Think about it... Cheers.