One of the perks to being one of Princeton University’s chairmen’s daughters is getting to host parties. I have an old soul, I know. I love hosting classy parties with deconstructed spring rolls for hors d’oeuvres served by men in vests on a large silver platter for a room full of intellectuals in a historical building such as the Prospect House, but my favorite part is choosing the food.
Preparing for this year’s finance department’s party, I was burdened with the task of choosing who should cater for us. This is the first party my father is officially hosting as chairman and it is held at our own home, so we want to make a good impression.
In my head, I went through all the past Princeton University parties I’ve been through and the good eats I’ve had while at them. I remember the food quite clearly since it was my only source of entertainment at a party where I was usually less than half the age of the second youngest person there. I remember parties catered by Shanghai Park, D’Angelo’s, Olives, McCaffery’s, and Main Street. Shanghai Park is nice and cheap, but it does not come with service and the food can be a greasy mess at a black tie event. D’Angelo’s has excellent platters of salumi (Italian cured meat) and assortments of cheeses and the desserts are absolutely perfect, but the main dishes tend to be sandwiches, which once again do not really fit the event we are planning. Olives is another great place with lots of finger foods such as cheese, pita, hummus, and cookies, but also a sandwich type catering company.
The places I have listed are all absolutely amazing catering options and some of my favorite places to grab a meal, but none of them are the perfect match for this event. I narrowed down my choices to McCaffery’s and Main Street. Main Street has catered many Princeton University events with delicious shish kabobs, marinated seafood dishes, homemade dips, southwestern inspired foods, and decadent desserts all at a very reasonable price. They seemed pretty perfect for our party, especially since we don’t live too far from them. However, I wanted to see what McCaffery’s had to offer. I then learned that Mcaffery’s was so much more than your average supermarket. I found out McCaffery’s caters everything from sushi to southern comfort food, and a gigantic salmon dish that costs $70. Their bakery has never let me down in the past, and their salads are far from boring, I just don’t know if our family’s first event of the year is good for experimentation.
So it looks like I have more thinking to do, but now you know a little more about catering options in Princeton for your next event.
If anyone else has a suggestion, let me know.