An Argentinian wedding, with beef tenderloin
In another era, every detail of a wedding this grand would be reported in the newspaper, from a description of the bride's dress and the flowers in her bouquet to the names of the most prominent guests. In the internet age, I find myself being careful to keep things anonymous without any real reason, except that it seems like an invasion of privacy not to.
The wedding, which started last night at 8:30 p.m. and ended at dawn, as Argentinian weddings do, was held in the Nuestra Senora del Pilar church, at the Recoleta Cemetery. (More about it later.) Everyone then walked to the Alvear Palace Hotel, where the reception was held. ...
I snuck in and took a photo of the ballroom in advance, but the picture doesn't convey the elegance of the room. (The bride added the disco balls to make it livelier for dancing later.)
I had learned my lesson the two nights before, so I didn't touch any of the hors d'oeuvres being passed around before dinner. I also only had one glass of champagne, even though it was harder to get a glass of water than champagne during the reception. I turned down the foie gras mousse canapes, the savory creme brulees served with tiny spoons, the fried shrimp on a stick, the cheese puffs, the lomo empanadas and more other treats than I can remember.
I did laugh when the crab balls came out in honor of the bride's hometown, even though they didn't look like any crab balls a Marylander would recognize. And because the bride's mother is from the deep South, the carving station was ham served with little biscuits. Those two must be a first for the Alvear Palace kitchen.
I was glad I'd restrained myself when I sat down at my table and read the dinner menu, which I'll try to reproduce in its entirety. (I seem to have misplaced mine, although I thought I stuck it in my purse.)
It's like a joke: What's the vegetarian option at an Argentinian wedding?
Answer: A quarter-pound instead of a half-pound of beef tenderloin.
Assortment of seafoods (which included shrimp, salmon mousse, caviar and various smoked fish)
Beef tenderloin (huge) with duxelles and a Malbec sauce with potatoes Anna
Alvear signature cake (fabulous)
Coffee and petit fours
End of the evening
Veal sandwich station
In case you weren't counting, those were four different courses of desserts spread out over the evening.