The ground may still be covered in snow here in Boston, but we at The Catered Affair are turning our minds towards warmer thoughts already. Inside our offices, it’s about time to plan corporate summer outings and parties, and we’re having a great time developing light, delicious, warm-weather menus that take advantage of Boston’s bounty of seafood and fresh produce during the warmer months.
If you’re planning a summer corporate outing in Boston, we’ve got some amazing menu ideas for you to consider. This is the time to take advantage of Boston’s beautiful warm weather to cook or grill outside for your event and to keep the menu light and refreshing. Popular ideas for the summer include lobster or clam bakes, menus that showcase fresh seafood in a variety of ways, fun party menus with finger foods, casual presentations and yummy cold desserts. Here are some of our tips for creating a festive environment and delicious menu at your warm-weather corporate outing this summer.
- Cool and Refresh: When it comes to summer beverages, think about what quenches thirst on a hot day. We love to strategically place galvanized tubs full of ice and lemonade, iced tea, bottled water and other refreshers. Bottled beer also goes great in this presentation.
- Think Light: No one wants to be weighed down with heavy appetizers on a warm day. We love to do light, festive starters that can be served cold or room tempurature and have a fresh flavor to them. Some of our favorites include Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Spicy Cucumber Dipping Sauce, displays of Fresh Crudites with unexpected Sesame-Sage and Orange-Basil Dipping Sauces and crowd-pleasing Chicken Quesadillas with Pico de Gallo and Guacamole.
- Pump Up the BBQ: Grilling outdoors is a time-honored summer tradition. For a corporate outing or summer event, dress up the traditional BBQ by adding seafood chowder starters, passed in glass mugs shortly before the buffet opens, and include dressed-up down-home sides like Herb Garden Red Bilss Potato Salad, Confetti Coleslaw and Corn Muffins alongside your traditional bread options.
- Everybody Loves a Lobster: When planning an outdoor party in New England, you can’t go wrong with this fresh-caught crustacean. Say “lobster” and the crowd goes crazy. Simple Steamed Lobsters with Drawn Butter are always a hit, but how about making the entire event lobster-themed? Show off the bounty of the season with menu items like:
- Lobster Salad with Lightly Curried Mango Dressing
- Native Lobster and Maine Crab Cakes with Citrus Vinaigrette
- Timbale of Lobster Salad with a Lobster Claw, Microgreens, Creme Fraiche and Summer Herbs
- Grilled Lobster Salad with Jicama, Green Apples and Forest Mushrooms, Roasted Leek Vinaigrette
- Pastina Risotto with Maine Lobster, Pea Tendrils and Saffron
- Lobster Ravioli on Celeriac Puree with Roasted Chantarelles
- Get Playful: Something about summer makes everyone think of their childhood. Bring those feelings back with mini versions of everyone’s favorite childhood comfort favorites from ballparks and fairs. Keeping the portions small means that even the heavier options will be well-received. Some of our favorites include:
- Hot Pretzels in Parchment with Yellow Mustard
- Mini Cheeseburgers and Fries in Paper Cones, served alongside Mini Milkshakes
- Tiny Brown Paper Bags filled with Crispy Chicken Fingers and Containers of Dipping Sauces
- Indulge in Desserts: Summer events are the perfect time to incoporate light-as-air desserts, fresh berries and fruit and opportunities to create your own combinations. Some of the dessert options we love are:
- Make Your Own Shortcake Bar: Cream biscuits with an array of fresh berries, sliced nectarines and plums served alongside double vanilla ice cream, raspberry sorbet and loads of whipped cream
- Ice Cream Bon Bons in a variety of flavors
- Make Your Own Sundae Bar: Chocolate, vanilla and coffee ice cream served alongside your choice of jimmies, hot fudge sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, M&M’s, chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped nuts and maraschino cherries
- Beautiful Seasonal Fresh Fruits & Berries with Raspberry Dipping Sauce
So warm up that grill and dust off that snow. It’s still cold outside, but it’s time to start thinking summer parties and corporate outings. If you’re planning a corporate event in Boston or Massachusetts this summer, contact The Catered Affair for New England’s most unique corporate outing menus and ideas.