Catering season is in full swing, with spring celebrations and milestone events like graduation parties. Edina has some of the most renowned caterers in the Twin Cities. Full-service caterers can facilitate every party detail from setup to cleanup and culinary choices range from award-winning pizza to fresh seafood and artisan cheese plates. No matter what your preferences may be, a local caterer can accommodate your party. And with food preparation in capable hands, you’ll have more time to spend with your guests.
From full-service parties to delivery to in-house private dining, Crave has a full menu of catering options. Want a formal sit-down dinner or casual interactive food service? How about sushi, scrumptious desserts or elegant entrées? Take your pick. A willingness to go above and beyond makes this a one-stop shop for every catering need. For informal graduation parties, consider a build-your-own hamburger or a mini sliders station. For the finish, the staff pastry chef can create a customized cake to match school colors. Crave can cater just about any special event, including large-scale galas, weddings, office get-togethers, at-home dinner groups and more. Full service events are usually planned a few months out or at least a few weeks ahead, but can sometimes be done with just three days’ notice (though two weeks is preferred). “We try to make it easy,” says Sara Paciotti, director of catering and special events. Muse Minneapolis Event Center, 8500 Normandale Lake Blvd. Ste. 1180, Bloomington.; 952.562.5620 ext.102.
Name an event type and D’Amico has probably catered it—graduation parties, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, fundraisers, corporate meetings and more. For 22 years, this award-winning caterer has done Twin Cities events big and small. Experienced staff refer clients to reliable sources for the details like décor and floral arrangements, venue selection, entertainment and equipment rentals. Food options go beyond the Italian cuisine served in its D’Amico & Sons storefront locations and include delectable items like mini butter burgers, braised short ribs with balsamic glaze and halibut with leek fondue just to name a few favorites. “Because of the D’Amico name, people often think we only do Italian food, but we are continually custom designing menus. We have catered food from Ireland, India, Brazil, Malaysia, Turkey, Canada, Mexico, Egypt, the Caribbean and countless other countries,” says Linda Adam, director of catering sales. While at least two weeks’ notice is best, two days can work, depending on the event. (Weddings often require more than one year of lead time.) Food and beverage minimums vary with location, day and month of the event. 275 Market St. Ste. 117; 612.238.4444.
FRANCE 44 CHEESE SHOP
Party platters make a good catering choice for graduation get-togethers and other events where guests mingle. Besides, what would a celebration be without a little cheese? With a world-class selection and expert cheesemongers on staff, France 44 makes cheese an art form. Go gourmet with combinations like cheesemonger’s choice, American artisan, English farmhouse, Midwestern showcase and the Fromagophile. Everything from simple pairings to elaborate tiered presentation platters are custom made with an attention to detail that fits the style of your occasion. Hors d’oeuvres, entrées and desserts are handcrafted from fresh, top-quality ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible. The France 44 kitchen also turns out delightfully delicious coffee-break nibbles, lunches, finger foods, kid-friendly classics and snacks. Minimums range from $20, with a two-day notice requested for catering orders. 4351 France Ave. S.; 612.278.4422.
LUNDS AND BYERLY’S CATERING
The seasoned staff at Lunds and Byerly’s Catering can outfit your graduation party and other events. Customized menus are made to order for just about any theme. Pick from a full lineup of appetizers, entrées and desserts; because many products from Lunds and Byerlys grocery stores can be catered, the possibilities are virtually limitless. What are a few top picks? Hearty, cream-thickened wild rice soup studded with chunks of ham, chewy wild rice and snappy slivered almonds. And for a delightfully decadent dessert, try killer brownie bites layered with gooey butter-rich caramel and crispy pecans. The all-time customer favorite? Cherry chicken pasta made with strands of gemelli pasta and a mix of diced celery, fresh onion and chicken breast covered in a creamy dressing with a sprinkle of crunchy walnuts and tangy dried cherries. Pricing varies with menu and number of people to be served. Please allow at least 48 hours for preparation. 3777 Park Center Blvd.; 952.897.9800.
MCCORMICK & SCHMICK’S SEAFOOD & STEAKS
Seafood might have star status, but there is no shortage of other fantastic food at McCormick & Schmick’s. Elegantly tiered cakes, aged steaks, picture-perfect garnishes and red-carpet service set the stage for extraordinary events. Thanks to the artistry of executive chef Scott Thole, dishes have a polished presentation with a definite wow factor; picture popular favorites like bacon-wrapped scallops, traditional crab cakes and shrimp kisses. Seasonal fish features like halibut and Copper River salmon make fine entrées for your celebration. The desserts are almost too stunning to eat. In addition to indoor banquet rooms, events can be held on two beautiful outdoor patios. Minimum charges vary with the day of the week and lead times vary depending on the size of event. 3203 Galleria, Edina Westin Galleria Hotel, 952.920.1142.
It’s no secret that pizza is a crowd-pleaser, especially for teenagers. So why not serve pizza at your graduation party? Not a traditional caterer, Mozza Mia excels at party platters of wood-fired wonders like pepperoni or classic fresh mozzarella capped with a feathering of fresh basil. Or consider other popular foods like Sicilian garlic bread served with a rich black-olive tapenade, lemon chicken pan-seared with a lemon butter sauce and dotted with capers nested on angel hair pasta, and Caesar salad cloaked in house-made dressing with frills of fresh shaved pecorino cheese and crisp breadsticks made of pizza dough. Don’t forget the dolce (dessert). A fresh assortment of chocolate chip cookes and other bars makes a sweet finish. Mozza Mia catering is more high-touch than regular home delivery; a phone consultation is involved because quantities are larger than a regular family meal and catering needs can be more complex. A few days notice is nice (but not necessarily required) for most items, with a $30 minimum for all catering orders. A partnership with Bite Squad assures smooth, timely delivery service. 3910 W. 50th St.; 952.288.2882.
Pinstripes offers a complete menu of “strikingly good food” complemented by a sporty mix of entertainment options. The bistro does in-house and off-site full-service catering for business and social events. Three ballrooms, two meeting rooms plus indoor game areas form a huge space that can accommodate almost any preference, while bowling and bocce games can provide entertainment that works as an ice-breaker. For the menu, you can stick with favorites such as maple-glazed salmon with fluffy organic red quinoa, fresh tomato, avocado and cucumber peppered with mint; braised short ribs with a delicate wine reduction sauce, roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes; or the pear salad with gorgonzola crumbles, craisins, candied pine nuts on arugula and Bibb lettuce splashed with pear vinaigrette. Always made from scratch, menus can be customized to fit client preferences. Pinstripes is fully licensed to serve liquor off-site. Lead time varies by the day of the week and time of year with a $50 minimum for delivery. 3849 Gallagher Drive; 952.835.6440.
It seems everyone is eating healthier these days, and graduation parties can easily fit this trend. Whole Foods offers a full catering menu, with many items featuring organic and local ingredients, all expertly presented. The in-house bakery can make graduation cakes to order, “and they do a fantastic job,” says Rachelle Petersen, marketing and community relations specialist. Catering favorites include crème brulée French toast with whipped cream, berries and real maple syrup, crostinis with pear and gorgonzola cheese, roast beef with horseradish crème fraîche or wild mushrooms with fresh thyme. The sandwich wrap platter with choices of grilled vegetables, Sonoma chicken salad or a California club is also popular. “We aim to provide nutritious but yummy food, so we work with fresh, delicious ingredients to provide a healthy product that is flavorful and beautiful,” says Petersen. At least two days lead time is required for large orders. There is no minimum order size. 7401 France Ave. S.; 952.830.3500.