Hello! I am currently in the process of picking a caterer for my NYC wedding. Right now I have it down to two caterers: Marcey Brownstein Catering and Real Food Catering
I think I am leaning more towards Real Food because of the owner, Yen. She was so easy to talk to over the phone. After providing a proposal based on another wedding around the same size at our wedding venue (which included everything except for alcohol costs, the rental was an estimate, also they included tax!!! – something caterers sometimes skip so you don’t realize the cost). When we spoke, she asked me if I felt okay with it. I assumed she meant about food and began to talk about what other things I’d like to add. She essentially said: Yes, that was fine and they could make whatever I wanted – and I BELIEVE THEM – but she had been asking about the price.
We had a discussion about costs and what’s most important to Yen, a good fit with the clients and wanting to help create a very special day in our lives and in our families. Yeah, she got me sold on her haha! Real Food’s proposal will come with a separate day-of-coordinator, and they cover up to 7 vendor meals at no cost.
Since they do so many weddings at our venue, she mentioned there was one coming up in about 2 weeks, and we could come early to see her and meet other staff, see how they work, and try all the food to be served at the cocktail hour. I brought my Fiance and my parents and it was GREAT. Yen’s staff talked with us and answered questions about how to best use the space and about the services they provide.
I don’t normally eat seafood on my own, the fishy salty taste and texture makes me feel sick. I think about 1/2 or more of the food I tried was seafood and it was AMAZING!!! So delicious, it made me realize I do love seafood so long as it is prepared correctly and paired with the right flavors.
Real Food was also 100% recommended by our DJ, he said he loves working with them. He had a positive attitude towards Marcey Brownstein as well, but seemed happier about us mentioning Real Food.
Marcey Brownstein was a bit more expensive, but they also seem really great. When we spoke with Leslie, she immediately asked us about what we loved to eat, gave great ideas for cocktail hour food and for our seated dinner. Her ideas for his and her cocktails were spot on for the both of us, I was thinking she somehow knew us! Maybe we also like typical cocktails for men/women…who knows. Leslie said she could provide day of coordination but for more detailed things (like transportation and coming to the hotel when we get ready) is something outside what she can do. Vendor meals are not included but she did say they don’t charge for the venue staff because they know them well and work at this venue often.
Leslie also let us know that a tasting would cost $175 per person. This is waived if you decide to work with them. This is really turning me off from them. We met Leslie in person and she said we’d get to have some things to eat, so we expected some little food to get an idea of what they do. We got there and there were plates of meats, cheeses, fruits and some tea time treats like scones.
I don’t feel comfortable doing a $175 person tasting with my parents. They’re paying for everything…and while I do know tastings usually cost money, this is A LOT. My Fiance and I could pay for this ourselves but I don’t think this tasting could really be worth that much. I’ve never had a meal where my food alone (not sure if drinks are included) cost almost $200.
I feel like I am getting a better value with Real Food, as of now. I know either one can create things I will want and could do specialty cocktails. I just felt more of a connection and warmth from Yen. I feel like I’m a bit more biased though.
Good luck to you on your search!