Do you love having outdoor celebrations with family and friends, but dread having to spend the entire day at the hot, smoky grill? If you answered “yes and yes”, then Capriotti’s has the perfect solution! Capriotti’s Catering offers several Grilling Menu Options for your next gathering, plus our friendly Staff will do all the grilling! In addition to our delicious grilling options listed below, we’ve thrown in 7 handy tips we use when grilling for our customers!

  • Get it hot. Always remember to preheat your grill 15 to 20 minutes before you start cooking. If you’re cooking on high, the grill should be 400-450°F, 350-400°F for medium-high, 300-350°F for medium and 250-300°F for low heat. When the grill is heated correctly, the food will sear immediately when placed on the grill and keep the inside moist.
  • Keep it clean. After preheating the grill, use a long handled grill brush to clean off any residue or charred pieces left from previous grillings. And to make it easier for next time, scrape the grill as soon as you’re done grilling.
  • Oil the rack. To prevent food from sticking, oil the hot grill rack by holding a vegetable oil soaked paper towel with tongs and rubbing it over the rack. And remember, NEVER use cooking spray on a hot grill!
  • Food safety is always a top priority at Capriotti’s. Avoid cross contamination by using separate plates, cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods. Remember to keep foods refrigerated while it’s marinating, and always throw out the extra marinade…don’t use it for basting.
  • Is it ready? All too often, you may be tempted to cut open the meat or chicken while it’s cooking to see if it’s done, resulting in all the juices escaping. The best way to know if it is fully cooked is to check the items internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Chicken should register 165°F, Steak at 145°F, Ground Beef should be well done at a minimum of 160°F and Pork at 145°F
  • Flare-ups happen. When fat drips onto the heat below, it catches fire and causes flames to char the outside of your food, while the inside is still raw. The best ways to reduce flare-ups are to select leaner cuts of meat, trim excess fat and remove the skin from your chicken. It’s also a good idea to keep a squirt bottle of water near the grill to douse any unexpected flare-ups.
  • Let it rest. To allow the juices to redistribute evenly, once all items have reached the recommended internal temperatures, place finished meats and chicken on a clean platter, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes to rest. Then, enjoy!

At Capriotti’s Catering we offer our Sizzlin Grillin Menu, our Picnic Menu and our Steak Grilling Menu with options to add on even more deliciously grilled items. So when you’re ready to throw that big party, invite the guests, sit back with a cold beverage and let Capriotti’s do the grilling!

Amidst all the items on your “Wedding To Do List”, choosing the wedding venue is always at the top of that list.  Where do you begin? Cortney and Bri, the Wedding Coordinators at Capriotti’s Palazzo in McAdoo, offer 5 helpful tips to selecting the wedding venue that is perfect for your style.

Tip #1 – Tour the Venue – Are you in awe of the wedding venue when you drive up or when you step inside the front doors?

Tip #2 – Be Flexible – (it’s not just meant for yoga class!).  Unless you are steadfast with a particular date, being flexible opens up more opportunities to host your wedding at the venue of your choice.

Tip #3 – Color Scheme – A neutral colored venue allows your wedding theme to pop!

Tip #4 – On Site Ceremonies – Will Mother Nature cooperate? Make sure the venue will be able to accommodate your outdoor wedding in a covered area or indoors in case of bad weather.

Tip #5 – The Food – Hot, Hot, Hot! Don’t settle for the venue that plates your dinners in advance and keeps it in a warmer…the food should be plated and served hot to each of your guests when your dinner hour begins.

With so many decisions to make, rely on our Wedding Coordinators at Capriotti’s to answer your wedding venue questions; and let us help you check off one of the items on that Wedding To Do List!

 

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Date

Congratulations on your Engagement! At Capriotti’s Palazzo, we know what an exciting time it is as the wedding planning process begins!  Too many times that excitement gets diffused by all the stress and details that come along with planning for your big day! But don’t worry, it’s easy to get started.  Just take a deep breath and get yourself organized. The best place to start is in choosing a date for your wedding. To select your perfect date, there are a few questions you may want to think about:

  1. Is there a specific date or month that is memorable to you and your fiancé?
  2. Is there a time of year or season you both prefer?
  3. Is there a specific local wedding venue where you would like to hold your wedding reception?

Many couples have found the best way to ease the anxiety of picking their date is to have some flexibility. Often they have a particular date in mind and get easily frustrated trying to coordinate that steadfast date with their ceremony and wedding reception venues. With flexibility, you open yourself up to:

  1. More options at the wedding reception venue you prefer
  2. Possible cost savings on choosing a Friday or Sunday with your venue, wedding vendors, and hotels
  3. Added incentives for booking on a Saturday during a less busy time of year

So relax and think about your options.  Make a list of what is extremely important to you and what areas you are more flexible with.  Do you prefer a spring or summer wedding or are you set on the month of May only? Does a Saturday work best or are you able to take advantage of Friday night wedding reception savings? Do you plan on honeymooning in the Caribbean and want to avoid the stormy months or take advantage of travel discounts during the off-season?  These are just a few of the questions you and your partner should talk about before actually choosing your wedding date.  Of course, Capriotti’s is always available to answer your wedding reception questions. And remember, no matter what day you choose, it will be the perfect date for your wedding!

It seems that from generation to generation, weddings all followed so many of the same traditions from ceremony to reception.  In fact when I got married 25 years ago (wow 25 years…how can that be possible when I state my actual age as 39 to anyone who asks??!), I went with many of the traditions my mother and grandmother had followed.  Sure, I had all sorts of Bridal Magazines and the Yearly Newspaper Bridal Supplement for the “latest bridal trends”, but I didn’t have what the millennial couples have today…constant access to new trends, Pinterest, social media opinions and input, and the desire to make it the day they want, not the day everyone else thinks it should be! Hats (or veils) off to this new generation!

Couples today are looking to provide a quality experience for not only themselves but for their dearest friends and families who will attend their wedding. They have a very different approach to the wedding planning process.  The focus of the entire event (now starting from the engagement party to the Wedding Weekend) is based on sharing the things they love as a couple with their guests, including the food and drinks they enjoy to the entertainment and all the little details in between.

A recent survey revealed some of the top details that grab guests’ attention and some of the details that just go unnoticed!

Top Ceremony Details Guests are paying the most attention to:

  • Bride’s and Bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Bride’s entrance
  • Look on groom’s face when bride enters
  • Couple’s vows
  • Decor and setting of the ceremony 

Top Ceremony Details Guests are paying the least attention to:

  • Ceremony Readings
  • Recessional
  • Groom’s attire
  • Wedding programs
  • Other guests (people-watching)

Top Reception Details Guests are noticing:

  • Decor and Setting of Reception Location
  • Couple’s Entrance and First Dance
  • The Food
  • Bar or Specialty Drinks/Bars
  • Music and Entertainment (photo booths, magic mirrors, etc.)

Top Reception Details Guests value least:

  • Escort cards
  • Extra amenities (flip-flops, toiletries)
  • Favors
  • Bouquet or garter toss
  • Couple’s Grand Exit

The first impression Millennials want their guests to have may start with the engagement venue.  Dressing up, dancing and visiting new places are their top priorities. And interestingly enough, the main focus of the Reception now is the Food.  Back in the day, everyone expected the typical overcooked chicken or dry piece of meat smothered in gravy. Today’s couples are paying particular attention to the quality and presentation of their dinners, many of them having Tastings months in advance.  The Reception is becoming more of a dinner party type of feel with exceptional foods and specialty bars.

Speaking of the Reception, the Weddings Reception Venues come in all shapes and sizes, indoors or out, from traditional ballrooms that are now being custom decorated by couples to their tastes to old mansions, barns and ultra modern restaurants.  As a wedding venue, Capriotti’s focus is on listening to the style of wedding a couple wants and what their priorities are by getting creative with new ideas rather than suggesting all the usual traditional “wedding must-haves”.  Putting their time and budget on the items they are excited about will make for a much more meaningful day!

Although the list of important and least important details from surveyed guests may hold some value, the millennial couple is still pursuing the wedding they envision and are certainly not pressured into following such traditions as doing “the bridal money dance” at their reception that had been done for generations. As the decades have gone by, people do value tradition; but in my opinion, there is always time to create a new tradition or perhaps just a once and done fantastic feature!

Hello from Capriotti's

Tommy takes a few minutes to talk about how we handle our Wedding Appointments and the many options available to make your Reception unique.  We look forward to seeing you at Capriotti’s where our goal is to exceed your expectations of our venue, service, and food.  We’re available 7 days a week for appointments in order to accommodate your busy schedule and are happy to speak with you via a phone consultation or meet with you personally as often as necessary to make you feel comfortable with the entire planning process.   We want to make sure your Wedding Reception is exactly as you had planned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bride-To-Be’s Top 10 Things to Do During a Blizzard

According to the calendar, Spring is less than a week away! But, according to the view outside my window, it looks like we are stuck in a winter wonderland that one would expect to see in January! Has mother nature gone into stand up comedy?

Don’t let all this snow bring you down…put a positive spin on your snow day!  For Brides-To-Be, it’s the perfect day to cross off a few items that may be lingering on their Wedding List. So bring it on, Mother Nature…we’ve got a whole list of fun “Bride Items” to do to make it through this storm.

  1. Crank the music! If you’re still deciding on whether to have a DJ or band and which one to choose, go onto You Tube or a music site like ReverbNation and check out the locals.  You can spend the entire day listening to band after band to narrow down your choices.
  2. Dance the Day Away – Planning an epic first dance?  A snow day is a good day to stay in your sweats and come up with the dance moves to your favorite, sentimental songs.  Throw in some wine or beer and your fiancee may just be on board with you!
  3. Finalize Your Guest List – Sure you’re excited about your wedding, but give some careful thought and consideration on who you realistically want to invite (and how many guests you can afford to invite).  Even though the girl at the coffee shop is super nice and gets your order right every time, don’t feel compelled to have to invite her to your wedding.
  4. Order Your Invitations or Write Them Out – Picking out the invitation that portrays your style and the theme of your wedding can take hours.  A snow day is an excellent, uninterrupted day to take on that task!  If you’re ready to address them, set up an assembly line on your table and enlist the help of your family or a few friends….if they can get there!
  5. Do Your Seating Chart – The calm of the snow falling should put you in a peaceful state of mind.  Take some time and start arranging your seating chart.  The sense of accomplishment of having tackled this difficult and dreadful job, will allow you to enjoy the upcoming spring weather without having to carve out time to do the seating chart when you’d rather be out for a run.
  6. Re-Arrange Your Seating Chart – Everyone knows the seating chart is never complete after the first attempt (or 2nd or 3rd)! So if your seating chart is already done, go back and take a second look and make sure that persnickety Aunt Patty isn’t sitting next to careless Cousin Sue to avoid Wedding Day drama!
  7. Honeymoon Shop – Who doesn’t love to do a little online shopping??? Nothing is better than picking out clothes for a sunny destination in the middle of a blizzard. It will certainly make the storm seem less horrific.
  8. Complete your Bridal Registry – Most stores now allow you to choose your Bridal Registry online instead of spending hours dredging through a store with a clip board.  Sit back in your PJ’s and start clicking!
  9. Buy Bridesmaid and Groomsmen Gifts – There are so many sites available with unique ideas to show your appreciation for your Bridal Party. Sites like Pinterest, Etsy and beau-coup are full of ideas and gift options for your Bridesmaids. For the guys, CigarBox  has a great selection of Cigars and Cigar Gift Packs and ManCrates is loaded with gifts from personalized growlers to travel and everything you can imagine in between.
  10. Write Your Vows – Snuggle up on the sofa and let your sentiments flow onto paper (or laptop).  Watching the snow fall while writing your vows will give you a feeling of serenity without all the pressure of rushing to come up with vows on the night of your rehearsal.

Before you know it, the storm will have passed and spring will have sprung!  If you are recently engaged and just starting to plan, give us a call at Capriotti’s.  We have packages available for every budget and style. And keep in mind that Cortney, our Wedding Planner, is always available to answer questions and give suggestions to our Brides…no matter what the weather! 

Don’t Be Fooled By Imitators

While “Imitation is the highest form of Flattery” it isn’t always to the benefit of the consumer.  Everybody loves a bargain, but you have to know which offers are a great deal and which will leave you empty and disappointed. When it comes to bigger, more important purchases such as booking a wedding reception, you certainly don’t want to compromise your special event for inferior service!  Many times imitators will promote their product as the same or better than the original to gain the business only to disappoint. Take the venue’s reviews into consideration with a grain of salt…are the reviews legitimate?  More importantly, talk to people who have used the venue and ask them some questions:

  • Was the venue ready when they entered?  Were the tables set properly with matching silverware?
  • Were the linens clean with no spots or holes? Were the colors they wanted for their linens included in the package pricing or was it an additional charge?
  • Were salads served fresh or were they sitting on the tables when their guests arrived for the cocktail hour?
  • Was the food hot and served in a timely manner or did dinner service take too long and postpone the dancing time?
  • Was the food high quality and delicious or did they settle for low quality, unappealing food?
  • Were the portions adequate? If it was homestyle or buffet, were serving bowls kept filled?
  • Was the bar appropriately staffed and equipped with premium liquor?  Were there enough fully stocked bars and bartenders to accommodate the number of guests?
  • Was the venue clean and were the bathrooms attended to throughout the event?
  • Was there enough staff present for serving and clearing the tables?
  • Was the coffee served to their guests at their tables or did they have to walk across the room to get their own hot coffee?
  • Was there an Event Coordinator with them all day to make sure the reception flowed smoothly?
  • And, most importantly, would they recommend the venue to family and friends?

Imitation in all services and products is common and sometimes acceptable.  You may choose the “bargain item” for various reasons and be perfectly happy with it.  Bargain bags, detergents, or potato chips can easily be replaced if you are not satisfied.  However, choosing the “imitation” for your special event is something that can’t be re-done if it doesn’t turn out as you expected. As a catering company, Capriotti’s is often faced with imitation of our Menu’s, Fundraising Items, Promotions, and Wedding Reception packages.  Although we are flattered, it sometimes leads to confusion with potential customers.  Products by the same name or description may be perceived to be as delicious as ours or services may be perceived to be as professional; but, we often hear about customer’s dissatisfaction when being duped by the imitators .  We have created and updated our very own menus for over 25 years to ensure you always get the best we have to offer. Realistically, we can’t reach everyone personally, but we can let our reputation speak for itself! We welcome any questions about our products and processes and even offer our customers a tour of our clean and efficient kitchen! We look forward to seeing you at Capriotti’s!

It's Fundraiser Time

It’s that time of year again and sports teams, groups, and organizations are busy planning fundraisers.  If you are looking to raise money for your Group, check out the tips below on selecting and running a successful fundraiser.

Purpose – Does everyone know the purpose of the Fundraiser, besides raising money of course? Inform your participants how the money will be used.  Instead of saying we are raising money for the basketball team, direct your sellers to say, “we are raising money to get new uniforms for our team”.

The Chairperson & Committee – Choosing a chairperson and committee that are organized and dedicated to the cause is your best bet!  Don’t select the kind hearted person who is overwhelmed and involved in so many activities that they are only giving a small percentage to each cause.  To run a smooth and financially successful event, select a leader who will be the direct communicator with the fundraising company and has top notch organizational skills.

Fundraising Goal – Set a goal for each participant or your group as a whole. Base it on the number of items sold or a specific dollar amount; and set the goal high enough to push people to succeed, but not too lofty as to discourage sellers.  Have a friendly competition by organizing teams to encourage teamwork and push the participants to reach their goals.  You can even offer an incentive for those that achieve it.

Choosing a Fundraiser – How much time will your group have to spend showing items, gathering, submitting, picking up and delivering orders?  If the members of your group are pressed for time, as most are, choose a fundraiser that can be done over the phone, by text messages, or through social media.  You also need to think about the group that will be selling your items. If you are heading up a boys soccer team, the enthusiasm to sell candles may not be quite as strong as selling pizzas!

Profits – How profitable are the items? Some fundraisers offer a flat rate for dollar amount sold while other fundraisers offer a profit for each individual item, making some items better sellers and more profitable.

Ease of Ordering – Recommend that all sellers collect the money at time of ordering to eliminate being stuck with product.  If possible, set up an online ordering page. This streamlines the process for those who are computer savvy and prefer buying online.

Delivery- Will you have to pick up, sort, and distribute the fundraiser or is it delivered to you, pre-packaged? This is a detail you want to know ahead of time so you can make arrangements for the proper amount of help on delivery day.

Form a List – each member of your group should make a list of potential buyers.  Compile a list of family, friends, co-workers, businesses, and even exercise partners.  Think creatively!

So the bottom line is when you are ready to choose your Fundraiser, select one that is easy to sell with quality products.  At Capriotti’s, we offer our Food Fundraiser which includes a variety of our delicious products, delivered to your location.  The profits range from $1.00 to $6.00 per item, and you can sell as little or as much as you want.  If you would like more information on the Fundraiser at Capriotti’s, please contact us at 570-929-7200. Happy Fundraising!

Wedding Bliss On A Budget

Wedding Receptions come in all shapes and sizes! You don’t have to break the bank in order to have the perfect wedding…after all, the day is ultimately about you and your fiancee celebrating your love with family and friends.  There are plenty of ways to pinch pennies without compromising the elegance of your wedding day.  Here are a few tips to trim the fat.

Have a Flexible Wedding Date – Once you are engaged, it is very exciting and many couples will immediately choose a date for their wedding.  If possible, don’t be steadfast on one particular date.  Enter into your planning with a range of dates that could work for you and your fiancee.  Flexibility gives you the opportunity to hold your reception at a location that might be out of your price range or unavailable for a Saturday wedding.  Most popular reception halls offer discounts for booking on an “off-peak” day or “off-peak” time of year.  You can still get the experience of a beautiful venue and delicious food by choosing a Friday or Sunday. Often times, there are also discounts available for choosing a date in the late fall or winter, even if you do choose a Saturday!

The Endless Guest List- Although you would love to celebrate your special day with everyone you know, you can probably cut back on the list and invite those who are closest to you.  Although your hairdresser may see you every 5 weeks and share in your trials and tribulations during shop gossip, don’t feel obligated to invite them to the wedding!  The same goes for those cousins you haven’t seen since you were 5 years old!  Inviting only those closest to you will make your day more meaningful, not to mention saving you a ton of cash! By cutting out as few as 10 guests, you can save up to $1,000 or more on the catering, invitations, centerpieces, and favors. 

Choose a Reputable Venue- Although it may seem cheaper to rent an off-site location or have the wedding at your home, keep in mind the cost of all the rental items you will need: tables, chairs, linens, bar, plus a caterer, bartender, and staff for set up, serving, and clean up.  You may even need to rent a tent, dishes, glassware, and additional restrooms.  If you choose a reputable, ready to go venue, all these items are included in the cost per plate.  Weigh out your costs before choosing whether you will host your event at an offsite location or at a full service venue.

Say I do at the Venue – If you are not set on a church wedding, having your ceremony at the reception venue saves money in various areas such as transportation costs, double venue fees, music, and flowers. Having everyone at one location offers an easy transition from ceremony to reception.  Your DJ or band can play your wedding music and you can use your ceremony flowers to decorate different tables at the reception, such as your cake table or gift table.  The flowers can be seamlessly transferred by the venue staff during cocktail hour.

Morning, Noon, or Night – Holding a reception earlier in the day may allow you to save money on the menu and the cocktails.  Consider a brunch reception with pastries as appetizers and upscale breakfast foods as your main course.  For drinks, serve a Bloody Mary Bar, Mimosa Fountain or Wine Spritzers.  If you are paying on consumption, your bar bill will be half of an evening reception.  For those venues that include the bar, work with your caterer on requesting a limited, less expensive bar.

Choosing your Dinner Option – Although a plated dinner sounds more formal and expensive, it is a cheaper alternative to a “stations” reception and most likely comparable to a family style serving.  A buffet may be the least expensive; however, consider your guest list before having your grandma or tipsy guests walk across the room with a plate full of food…the savings may not be worth the potential food disaster!

Put a twist on your menu – Instead of serving a gourmet meal, which most guests will only eat a portion of because they are not a fan of arugula, quinoa, or bearnaise sauce for example, stick to the comfort foods.  The latest trend is to serve traditional foods such as mac and cheese or BBQ chicken on a pretty platter.  Your guests will be relieved to eat food they actually recognize and your meal will convey a feeling of fun, rather than fussy!

Tis the season – Choose your menu based on the season.  Don’t serve fruits and vegetables that are out of season in your area.  Not only will the flavor be less than satisfying, but the sour taste left in your mouth of the over priced items will leave you wishing you had chosen a different menu.

Bar Bill – If you can, you may want to opt out of the premium open bar and serve guests wine, beer, and a signature cocktail.  They will still be able to enjoy “free drinks” without breaking your budget.  Some venues include the Premium Bar in your package; if that’s the case, stick to the hours contracted and don’t be swayed to extend the bar by that fun-loving best man!

Toasting the Bride and Groom – At any gathering, guests raise the glass of whatever they are drinking to toast the occasion.  The same can be true at a wedding, eliminating the need to serve champagne for a toast if it is an additional charge at your venue. Most people don’t enjoy champagne and may just take a sip to join in the toast.  Think of the savings if you weren’t throwing out all those half-finished glasses of champagne! Of course, having champagne in the wedding couples’ glasses may be a tradition you would like to keep.

Even if you have the money to spend, saving a few dollars here and there will be a great boost to your newly wed piggy bank! At Capriotti’s we offer Special Packages for Friday and Sunday Weddings for those couples who would like first-class service at a savings. You don’t have to compromise your wedding bliss just because you are on a budget. There are affordable options for everyone at our venue.  No matter what your budget, our outstanding team will pay attention to every detail for your special day, whether it’s a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday!