*In my defense I had this post outlined for a while. Then life became hectic and my job and health (as I had a fever and cold) took precedence and then . . . well . . . better late than never, yeah?
Turning a New Leaf: Off-Premise Go Green for Earth Day!
“Wait?! What happened to Off-Menu? What is this Lokahi Event Services? I really liked the name ‘Off-Menu!”
This is the text message I got from someone as I sent out the e-mails and Facebook invites for Off-Menu’s Off-Premise Event. I responded, “It’s still the same company and Lokahi Event Services is just handling the Evites.” I had to assuage worries and fears that this was not a diluting of services and we would still be treated to an excellent night of food and fun locales. The changing of the invitations was merely Off-Menu turning a new page, as it’s sister companies were ready to make their debut at an Off-Premise Event.
The coordination among companies Royal Part Rentals, Pacific Aisles, and Event Essentials Hawaii with Off-Menu Catering went spectacularly. It is hard to tell in terms of food, which event the Roaring 20s Great Gatsby or Go Green, which was better. Indeed, the food was sumptuous and I wish the night would not end for both events. However, event planning wise Go Green definitely had kicked it up a notch. From the decor, to the servers plating dishes at the same time, to being able to explain the food, and then clean-up and presentation, all the value need in an event services was there in spades.
The Property: The Bayer Estate
Do you watch Hawaii Five-O? Then you know this house. Prominently featured in the hit show this property is the McGarrett house. As gorgeous and peaceful as it looks on the show, it really is that in real life. The chairs that sit on the lawn and lazily stare out to ocean and sunset makes you want to just lounge there all afternoon. The property’s garden and house a nod to years gone by and a relaxing time of Honolulu. Indeed, you wanted and ocean property that was rich, but chill, quaint, but pristine then this would be the house.
The Lokahi Event Services group added nice touches to the event such as when we arrived we picked up cups that were actually old mason jars, the containers for sangria and lemonade were the old crack seed kind, and finally the name holders on the table were planted basil seeds to take home in bio-degradable pots. All in the name of green, all in the same of detail, all in the name of the service and style of Lokahi Event Services.
The Food: Green? Yes. Tasty? Most Definitely!
Enough of business and ambiance. It’s time to get to the real deal: the food. Organic, fresh, and local, those were the themes of the night and Chefs Doug Lum and William Bruhl of Green Cuisine delivered. From the appetizers to the dessert the chefs took us on a tour of what Hawaii could produce and what they could do with it. It was fun and organic, and a fantastic meal from start to finish. I think some would criticize that the meal seemed small, but that would only be the case if you missed out on the trio of amazing appetizers. In my book quality will always beat quantity when it comes to a special dinner affair. You rather remember the evening with friends, food, and the fun rather than complaining how bad was (no matter how much of it there was), but to each their own.
The Passed Hors D’Oeuvres: Three of Them!
First up was the Sesame – Ahi Tartare. This delightful light dish was served in a Crisp Wonton Spoon. The ahi was fleshy and fresh, nice whole chunks that had a light dipping of sesame and at the tail end of your bite, a nice crunch.
I then had the opportunity of grabbing a Barbecued Pizzette with Mission Fig and Goat Cheese. The pizzette was very comforting and wholesome, round, with earthy, savory, and sweet flavors. It had the following ingredients: Black Mission Fig-Apple Banana Chutney, Smoked Black Forrest Bacon, Granny Smith Apple and Goat Cheese. The combination of Goat Cheese with the Fig really made this a mouth-watering dish.
Finally, I loved this last appetizer. I really enjoy the play on comfort food, and the Demitasse of Tomato Bisque with Cave–Aged Gruyere Sandwich was a definite hit with me. I feel bad for who I was talking to at the time because the glutton in me took over and I proceeded to eat the sandwich, dipping it in the cup of bisque . . . the cup which my conversation mate was holding. My only criticism of this dish is logistics and not on taste. During a stand-up cocktail hour situation having a cup and a sandwich makes for hard eating, but that doesn’t mean I won’t eat it again. Definitely would do that, as the creamy bisque with the saltiness of the gruyere was enough to remember sitting on couches and staring out on cold rainy fall days during college.
Salad Course: Up Country Baby Romaine
I really enjoyed the Up Country Baby Romaine Salad with the Parmesan Basket, Judd’s Garlic Dressing, and Spiked Croutons. It was definitely fun and playful with salad deconstruction. However, I really did like the taste of the Parmesan basket, but I feel like the problem with it is the basket could get soggy from the dressing and rather than being crisp it would be chewy. Overall, good solid dish, but it really was a ramping up to the main course.
Demi Courses: Boneless Short Rib, Chive-Orzo Risotto and Pan-Seared Diver Scallop
These courses were plated together and made for a very surfy and turfy play on the taste buds. The Veal Red Wine-Veal reduction definitely made the veal hearty and the red wine and thickness of the sauce was great as it oozed over the Chive-Orzo Risotto. Both together very heavy, but after consuming a few bites of that I had to dive into the scallop, which had been neglected due to my lust of meat. The Pan-Seared Diver Scallop with Spring Cipolini and Pearl Onion Fondue, Maui Onion Sabayon was perfectly cooked; the scallop had that right consistency that you look for in scallops and seasoning was perfectly matched to the flesh of the scallop. Together the veal and scallop definitely had all the elements of earth and sea, and the only sad part was the meal was coming to an end.
Dessert Course: Mocha Pot de Crème
Fortunately the end was the Cafe Mocha Crème with Caramelized Sugar Crust, and a Chocolate Cigar. I was first dismayed at how tiny the cup was as I was like this is not enough to soothe my sweet tooth. However, there was a lot of taste packed into that cup. Dense and chocolaty, the mocha was definitely brought out and it was like creamy dream on my taste buds. Sadly, and embarrassingly, I was fortunate to have two of these desserts due to a fellow guest’s sharing . . . now wait a minute why is that sad?! Because I wanted a third.
Thank you Off-Menu for keeping the Off-Premise themes going strong. Thank you to Chefs Doug Lum and William Bruhl of Green Cuisine for a most definite green, but tasty evening. Thank you to the staff of Lokahi Event Services, which includes the companies of Royal Part Rentals, Pacific Aisles, and Event Essentials Hawaii.
Oh well my stomach and taste buds will just have to wait until next time! Anyway, to all of you, my readers and followers, I hope to see you and share a plate with you at “Dinner At the Movies.”