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A Prix Fixe Mother's Day

Braveheart Black Angus Beef Prime Rib for Mother's DayMother’s Day is the biggest day for dining out of the year.  Also one of the most challenging if you happen to be running a restaurant.  With lots of customers looking to celebrate mom, a full menu might not be practical for the day, especially when you’re trying to push multiple seatings through the dining room.

Serving buffet style is often a fallback option, but you end up losing valuable tables while some remaining tables may have a less than stellar experience as lines form uncomfortably close to them.  Then there’s the inevitable—as the day wears on and your staff wears out, stained linens and increasingly neglected chaffing dishes ruin the experience for the later diners.  Plus, who really wants to make Mom wait in line for food on her day?

One way to take the pressure off of your staff, and keep the tables turning over, is to offer a prix fixe.  Several courses, each with a couple of different options, something that is easily prepped in advance and just needs a quick plating to get it out of the window and onto the table.

The first course should be something simple, yet elegant, like a chilled slipper lobster tail or a couple of extra large, chilled Bay Winds shrimp.  Mix it up for mom and instead of the usual cocktail sauce, serve it up with a creamy Scandinavian Remoulade (see recipe below), pairing the mild sweetness of the shellfish with tangy relish and a hint of mustard. Garnish with a touch of domestic caviar for a little added saltiness and wow factor.

Follow it up with a fresh seasonal salad, perhaps with a light vinaigrette.  Village Garden Raspberry Vinaigrette or Sweet Poppy Seed showcases fresh flavors that appeal to moms of all ages.

Then, to finish, a beautifully marbled slice of Braveheart Black Angus Beef Prime Rib cooked low and slow to allow the flavorful fats to fully saturate the meat while keeping the rib from overcooking (see additional tips for preparing prime rib below). A couple of pats of butter and fresh sprigs of rosemary can help elevate the flavors.  Serving sides family-style—roasted spring asparagus and fingerling potatoes, can also speed up plating time while helping to foster a feeling of familial engagement at the table.

Finish the meal by letting us do the cooking with our good-as-homemade Sweet Encore desserts. You might want to swap the title, but our Better Than Your Momma’s Chocolate Cake will impress any chocolate lover with two layers of rich chocolate cake covered in decadent chocolate icing and finished with luxurious chocolate shavings for more flavor and eye appeal. Think mom might like a fruity option? Add Orange Creamsicle Cake or Princess Pineapple Cake to your menu.

Now, that all this about prix fixe menus is not to say a couple of well-planned stations in the dining room can’t help alleviate some pressure from your kitchen or bar.  A well maintained dessert table—self serve or picked up by the wait staff—can decrease congestion and bottlenecks in the kitchen with the benefit of creating buzz among guests with a sweet tooth. Choose any of our Sweet Encore cakes or pies, and add options like Sweet Encore Lemon Bars, Individual White Chocolate Lava Cakes and Individual Meyer Lemon Cakes for sweet treats that are easy to grab without much mess.

You can even help drive up the check average with a well-placed mimosa bar utilizing exotic juices like mango or passion fruit to make Mom’s special day even more memorable.

Simplifying the menu for the kitchen and selecting dishes that are easily and quickly plated can help avoid costly kitchen backups, which can limit table turnover with dire consequences.  Mother’s Day might be only one very busy day but, if done right, it’s a great opportunity to impress new guests who might return for the rest of the year.

MorMor’s Danish Remoulade
1 Cup West Creek Sweet Relish
1 Cup West Creek Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Mustard Powder
1 teaspoon West Creek Sugar

Wrap relish in cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible, discard liquid.  Mix all ingredients together.  Seal in a container and refrigerate for at least two hours to allow flavors to combine fully.  Serve with chilled seafood, battered fish, french fries.

 

Prime Rib Cooking Tips

  • Allow meat to come to room temperature before cooking.
  • Season well with salt and pepper while the meat is losing its chill.
  • Place in pan with fat cap up, cover with aromatics like fresh rosemary or crushed garlic.
  • Dot with pats of butter to intensify flavors and juiciness.
  • Cook in 250F oven; an 8-10 pound roast should be ready in 6 hours. Use a thermometer to check.
  • Blast in a 500F convection oven the last 10 minutes to caramelize properly.
  • Let rest at least 15 minutes before carving.