The Red Store has been closed since shortly after our wedding and we wanted to share our experience with potential diners as the new season begins. We were married at Cape May Point State Park last fall and asked chef Lucas Manteca if we could hold our reception at his restaurant during the break between lunch and dinner service. We wanted something both elegant and sophisticated but laid back and fun--not sit down, but with seating; finger food, but filling as if our guests had a full meal; raw, cooked, AND vegan; and he not only agreed but worked with us to change up some of his regular entrees to become small bites. Think about the wonderful shrimp and grits with strawberry jalapeño jam from Sunday night B-B-Que turned into grilled shrimp on toasted polenta (with that killer jam), or the disgustingly rich and amazingly flavorful baked egg casserole with lobster and blue cheese--my husband likes neither blue cheese nor lobster but appreciates this dish for its amazing balance-- transformed into deviled eggs. I'd recount each offering, but that would make for a rather lengthy review. Let's just say that Lucas was a lot of fun to work with and he readily accommodated our requests as we figured out our needs and created a great menu.
Helping us with the set up and structure of the event was the charming maitre d', Ed. He thoughtfully considered the space at the venue to evaluate alternatives in case of rain and made certain we had our wine and flowers on site and that all was in order before and during the event. He kept an eye out to be certain our vegan friend had enough alternatives, my husband got his red meat (empanadas and waygu beef tartare) and our guests were happy. The weather was stunning on our wedding day and we used the back patio, which overlooks the beautiful Cape May Point circle, as the main seating area. TRS set up an extravagant crudités/cheese station at the restaurant's front entrance to welcome our guests as they arrived and enjoyed the passed Cape May Salts, Yum. And Geoffrey, who often provides a techno funk like sound at TRS meals helped everybody get down a bit and groove to the tunes. Really fine.
Chef Michel Gras created a beautiful, multi-layer, carrot/red velvet cake; pretty to look at but better to taste. Moreover, he made cats' tongue and chocolate chip cookies for our post wedding get together. While the cake and cookies were great, my favorite (and that of some of our guests who were hoarding them) was a confection we had first tried at TRS' New Year's Eve party in 2012--we call it a coconut bomb--coconut cream surrounded by intense, thick, rich dark chocolate. Unbelievable.
Chef Lucas worked his magic and his team more than delivered; the chef, servers, and front house team were fantastic. We, along with all of our guests, were thrilled by the culinary imagination, professionalism, good humor and care they brought to our wedding. If you are considering holding an event at The Red Store, don't give it a second thought. Just book it. You and your guests will be more than pleased. Thank you, Lucas, Michel, Ed, Geoffrey and everyone for helping to make our wedding so special.
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