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December 28, 2008

An Argentinian wedding, with beef tenderloin

wedding2.jpgIn 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. 

First course 

Assortment of seafoods (which included shrimp, salmon mousse, caviar and various smoked fish) 

Main course 

Beef tenderloin (huge) with duxelles and a Malbec sauce with potatoes Anna 


Alvear signature cake (fabulous) 

Coffee and petit fours

Wedding cake

Dessert stations

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. 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 3:24 PM | | Comments (10)


Sounds fabulous. I know I like to end my evening with a veal sandwich.

But how many disco balls does one need to liven up the place?

It's like a joke: What's the vegetarian option at an Argentinian wedding? This is like that great scene in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" in which the hostess learns that the intended groom is a vegetarian and decides she will "just cook lamb."

That room looks like what Martin's West wishes it was.

You haven't said if Ms Gailor is along, and how she is dealing with the menu. From here it sounds wonderful.

Beef tenderloin is without a doubt, my favorite cut of beef. But, I think even if I passed on the hor d'oeuvres, I'd be too full from the seafood course to eat meat and potatoes.

How late was "end of the evening veal sandwich station"? Did anyone seem to eating everything, EL?

I'm guessing the point is to get so drunk you don't realize you are full?

That sound so good. My father would be in heaven, and he would have eaten the hors d'oeuvres and all of the main courses. His nickname at the all you can eat's is 7 plates.

At a wedding I was once a bridesmaid in, I was absolutely starving by the time the service was over and we got to the reception hall. When we went from room 1 with the open bars and people carried hor d'oeuvres to room 2 with "stations", I thought that was the main meal. Which was fine with me because no one enjoys small bites and hor d'oeuvres like I do. I stuffed myself on tiny tenderloin sandwiches, and bagels with lox and cream cheese and omeletes stuffed with sour cream and caviar until I thought I'd burst! Only to have the surprise of room 3 where the "formal" sit down meal of prime rib was to take place. I couldn't even eat my salad! I hated missing out on perfectly cooked aged prime rib!

But, I must say the purple gown with the giant bows on each hip and poofy sleeves, I kinda hated more! You know the look, like give me a staff and some sheep and Bo Peep is in the house!

I used to refuse to be a bridesmaid unless I got to wear a tux. I'm convinced that bridesmaid dresses were designed by the bastard offspring of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and Coco Channel, raised by Divine.

Joyce, a photo of Purple Peep absolutely must go up on Facebook.

Lissa - that combination is really very scary.

I've been in a number of weddings and I only was able to use one dress again. The rest went to the Goodwill for recycling.

Joyce - I want to see the Purple Peep picture, too.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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