By Jennifer Farnsworth
Between the parties, shopping, wrapping, and all the other endless activities that fill up the holiday season, preparing a meal, whether for just your family or a gathering, can be a daunting task.
Some people leave it to the professionals who cater holiday meals.
Restaurants in and around Saratoga have many options to meet people’s holiday needs. Restaurant owners recommended planning ahead as much as possible, especially when hosting an event.
Cathy Hamilton of Putnam Market in Saratoga Springs, said they ask for three days’ notice for most catering, although there are a few things they can do in a last-minute scenario.
“Our catering menu has platters for groups both small and large. Often our customers have family favorites and use us to fill in the other sides, from shrimp platters to cheese platters. All of our food is made from scratch here in the store, so it tastes like homemade. It is also designed to be easy to heat, serve and eat,” said Hamilton.
She said the holidays are their busiest time of year, so knowing ahead of time helps them to be able to cater to their patrons.
“We do more catering for Christmas and New Year’s than any other time of year,” said Hamilton.
You can find a complete menu at putnammarket.com/catering.
“We love the holidays,” said Mazzone Hospitality marketing coordinator Samantha Pitkin. “They’re a time to relax and enjoy the good company of family and friends. Unfortunately, the joy of the holidays can be ruined by all the stress, pressure, and time that cooking a big meal requires.”
Mazzone offers four convenient catering options from turkey to pork loin, beef tenderloin to prime rib. Their goal, Pitkin said, is to help people spend less time in the kitchen and more time celebrating. All dinners come with sides packaged up, ready to reheat and serve.
Pitkin said they see all sorts of clients ordering packages, whether it is for a small family gathering to a large group.
“Everyone from hosts looking to pick-up a complete meal, to guests looking to contribute to the festivities or have leftovers of their own. We make it possible for people to sit back, and enjoy the holidays stress-free with friends and family. They can order now and check another thing off their to-do list. We do see a growing trend in having your holidays catered. It’s always nice to spend time making memories rather than making food,” said Pitkin.
Mazzone Hospitality offers platters of hors d’oeuvres, desserts, entrees, and more, that can all be ordered. There is a complete listing of their holiday at home dinner packages at mazzonehospitality.com/holiday#holiday-at-home.
Pitkin said people can order online anytime between now and Dec. 21, and pick up their order on Dec. 23 or 24. They recommend ordering by Dec. 16 to ensure peace of mind far in advance of a holiday party.
WOW Restaurants Inc. is the parent company to four local restaurants, BWP located on Weibel Avenue in Saratoga Springs, Wheatfield’s Restaurant in Saratoga Springs, Wheatfield’s Bistro in Clifton Park, and 2 West Bar & Grille in Saratoga Springs. WOW offers off-site catering from all of their locations, including a private space at both the Wheatfields and West Bar & Grille.
Tasha Marie, catering and events director for WOW, said 2 West, located a mile from Broadway, offers ample parking and a large open space for parties, which also includes a large screen television for PowerPoint use, private movies, photos and more.
“This is a great place for a private event. We can accommodate most numbers in attendance but the private space room is very comfortable at around 65 or less,” she said.
Marie said their Mingle Party is a popular option with appetizers, antipasta and more. She suggested people book for 15 people or more as soon as possible in order to get the date they want They do try to accommodate last minute party needs.
“Whether it is on site in our private spaces or off site, we take care of everything You just enjoy the party. Having more time with your family and friends is so important nowadays,” she said.
Marie said they are finding more and more people are eating less at restaurants during the holidays and choosing to have small and large parties catered That side of the business is definitely growing. They continue to book family celebrations, bridal showers, baby showers, rehearsal dinners, anniversaries and birthday celebrations. They are also catering outside functions like school sports banquets and company parties.
“We have set catering menus for both on site and off However, we are happy to custom create a menu for any party,” said Marie.
For more information visit 2westbarandgrille.com.