Food is something that's always been important to Mr. Jet and me - we both grew up with parents who could REALLY cook and love to try new recipes and funky restaurants in our area.  (I even used to "mentor" some of my friends who were learning how to cook on their own - NO, you can not substitute vanilla pudding for plain yogurt.)  Needless to say, we would not accept crap banquet wedding food.
One of the major reasons Mr. Jet and I chose Bittersweet Farm was for their menu.  Since they're a restaurant operating year-round for the public as well as for private events, we were confident in their ability to help us create a really great menu for our wedding guests.  For a per plate price, they offer:

- Homemade Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter (uh-mazing) or Homemade Corn Bread with Red Pepper Jam - We opted for the rolls and butter since the corn bread was an upcharge we couldn't justify.
- A Mesclun Green salad with Balsamic Dressing or Caesar Salad - Mesclun Salad for us, a lighter option and more accessible to everyone.
- Award-Winning Clam Chowder or Seasonal Soup - We didn't add a soup course since we're doing the Chowder as a passed appetizer.
- Choice of 2-3 entrees for guests to choose from - This was a tough choice, but we chose the Roasted Pork Loin with Cranberry Glaze and Apple-Raisin Stuffing, Baked Stuffed Sole with Lobster Crabmeat Stuffing and Cardinal Sauce, and for the vegetarians in the crowd, the Mushroom Ravioli with a Sherry-Asparagus Cream Sauce.  Okay, I am literally dreaming of these meals.
- Cake Service with Coffee - I can't believe venues will charge you for cake-cutting - that's crazy!

In addition to that, Mr. Jet and I will be offering the following:

- A Stationery Cheese and Cracker Display
- Passed Appetizers: A Clam Cake/Clam Chowder Shooter  - So freaking amazeballs, I can't even deal.  If you've never had a Clam Cake, you are missing out!, Bacon Wrapped Local Scallops with Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce and Spanikopita (mmm, feta).
- Our Wedding Cake, obvs.
- A Late-Night Snack - This was something I asked our coordinator, Corrie, about at our first meeting.  Bittersweet didn't have an official menu for this, but since many brides over the past few years have been asking about it - they were well-versed on the subject and could pretty much give us anything we thought of!  I turned down Mr. Jet's suggestion of "Beef Tongue Tacos" and we settled on Angus Sliders and French Fries.  All that dancing and drinking will definitely get people in the mood for tiny burger and cups of fries!

We did our tasting a few months ago, and since the restaurant was open to the public and we were seating in a dark area near the fireplace, flash photography probably would've been a bad idea!  Plus, Mr. Jet, FFIL Jet and I were SO hungry that nothing lasted long enough anyway.

I can't wait to share all that good food with everyone!  

Here's a sneak peek of the passed appetizers - Images via Bittersweet Farm (photos by Holly Haddad Photography):
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Bacon Wrapped Scallops.
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Spanikopita.
 
 
Cake wasn't something at the forefront of my mind for a little while.  I'm more of a salty snacker and dreams of tiny cups of french fries or a late-night taco bar made me happier than cake.  

An engaged friend and I went to a local bridal fair to check out vendors together, however I was more enticed by the free food and champagne and the giveaways than the actual vendors.  I had most of my vendors booked at that point, so I wasn't really giving all the vendors a fair shot if I'm being honest.  It wasn't until I spotted a gorgeous cake in the corner that I even gave any of the tables my direct eye contact.  I met Meredith from Artisan Bake Shop and was immediately intrigued by this phenomenon known as "spackled buttercream":
The rest of the cake vendors at the fair seemed way too early 1990's for my liking. Think something like this:
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Image via Scratch Baker
Meredith's table was neatly designed and organized.  Her portfolio was modern and clean.  Not to mention her samples tasted like a little angel dropped red velvet cake squares directly from heaven and onto my plate.

I took her card and spent some time on her website after the fair.  I prayed to the wedding Gods that she would be within our measly $500 budget and e-mailed her soon after to set up a tasting appointment.  

Mr. Jet and I met with her at her home and detached barn/industrial kitchen/small bakery storefront/office.  She runs quite the operation out there in the woods of Rochester, MA!  

Meredith was friendly and informative without being pushy.  She listed all of our options on laminated cards (genius!) and let us taste some of the best sweets that have ever crossed my lips.

Some of the outstanding flavors for us were:

Red Velvet Cake
Chocolate Cake
Vanilla Cake
Lemon Cake

Almond Buttercream Filling
Bailey's Buttercream Filling
Peanut Butter Filling
Fresh Strawberry Purée Buttercream Filling

She also sketched out the ridiculous ideas that came from my head perfectly.  

"Spackled buttercream...kind of looks like a tree?...not too frilly...roundish...maybe a flower or two...rustic-modern...I don't really know what that means either..."

Her rendition of whatever that was was exactly as I pictured in my mushy brain!

The time had come to talk pricing.  Dun dun dun....

SHE FIT THE BUDGET, GUYS!
We chatted for awhile about budgetary concerns and how we can get what we want, while staying in our $500 range.  

For basic cake flavors, Meredith offers Chocolate and Vanilla.  For basic outer frosting and in-between layers, she offers Chocolate and Vanilla Buttercream.  Anything else would come with a reasonable upcharge.  To stay in budget, Mark and I decided to go with alternating layers of Chocolate and Vanilla cake from the basic list and upped it for the in-between with the Fresh Strawberry Purée Buttercream.  The cake itself will be frosted outside with Vanilla Buttercream.  This way, we could afford one of the fillings from the higher priced menu, while not blowing the budget!  She allowed us to mix and match any way we wanted.

Another way we kept the cost down was to have a "presentation cake" out for everyone to see that will feed about 60 people while having a large sheet cake hidden in the kitchen to be cut and served with the presentation cake.  No one will ever know!  (Unless you read this blog...)  This cut down on the per piece cost that Meredith charges by.

Needless to say, we were VERY happy after leaving that vendor meeting and we booked her that night!  Here are some more of her creations to make you swoon: 


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Image via Artisan Bake Shop / Photo by Elin Photography