Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Holiday Menus, New Year's Eve

Elegant Holiday Cocktail or Dinner Party

5622325575_53de65b427_zWhen you want to go all out for the holidays, we recommend you greet your guests with a glass of champagne! Below is a menu of traditional party favorites that are sure to impress. For a Holiday Cocktail Party, we recommend up to ten passed and/or stationary appetizers (depending upon the size of your crowd and duration of your party, see Cocktail Party tips here). If its a Holiday Dinner Party, 3-5 appetizers are best, while all your guests arrive and gather, followed by a sit-down dinner (see sample dinner menu below)

Foie Gras Poached Apple Salsa Verde
Foie Gras / Green Apple / Handmade Corn Masa Shell/ Salsa Verde


Scallop Spoons
Scallops / Burnt Chipotle-Agave Salsa


Ceviche Tasting:

Scallops /Habanero /kumquat / sweet potato / smoked sea salt


Chef’s choice of white fish / Aji Amarillo /pineapple /vanilla/tomatillo

Arabesque: tuna / soy /citrus / Chile Verde / sesame seeds

Elegant Holiday Cocktail Party

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Deviled Eggs / Caviar / House-cured Tequila Gravlax

caviar smoked salmon egg


Pelotita / Cranberry-Chipotle Chutney

Goat cheese Amuse Bouche.jpg

Cranberry-stuffed Brazil nut-crusted Napa Valley Goat Cheese


Salmon Three-ways: House-cured Tequila Cilantro Gravlax / Salmon Rillette/ Salmon Roe w/ Cowgirl Creamery Creme Fraiche

Salmon 3 ways edited
Salmon 3-ways: Salmon Roe/ Tequila-cured Salmon/Salmon Rillettes


Albondigitos: mini lamb meatballs / Sherry cream sauce / pea purée

Albondigos Peruvian


Haitian New Year’s Eve Soup: savory pumpkin soup / beef broth / scotch bonnet chile


Classic or Kale Caesar prepared tableside/ black-pepper-and-salt-cured egg yolk

Caesar Salt Cured York


SURF & TURF LARGE PLATES (or choose just one)

select a “surf” course from the following)


BourbonRoasted Lobster / herbed butter / succotash

Camarones con Naranja y Tequila y Chile Roja 

 shrimp/ garlic / orange peel /chiles del arbol / flambéed with tequila


Sous Vide Filet Mignon (4 oz. for Surf ‘n Turf Menu, 6 oz. for “turf” only)

served with

Truffled Potatoes


Rack of Lamb / Roasted Root Vegetables

Pecan-crusted Wild Salmon

Pecan-crusted Salmon edited


Spiced Cranberry Sorbet / Pistachio Dust

Fig Sorbet


Chocolate Flourless Torte

choc chipotle bundt

soaked with agave and rum

Cocktail Party, featured

How much food do I need to serve for a Cocktail Party?

When planning food for a cocktail party, how much to serve is determined by the length of your event. (For our Bar Menu, click here). Assuming there is not main course or dinner to follow, you should figure 5-7 nibbles per guest for the first couple of hours, then 4-5 nibbles for the next couple of hours and if your event goes longer, just 3 or so bites during the final hours. You may want to switch from savory to sweet bites towards the end of your event.

If you decide to go with “Small Plates“, which are heavier than traditional appetizers, or a combination of both appetizers and small plates, you should count each small plate like you would two appetizers. We are here to help you with planning, so don’t feel you have to manage all this on your own. I am happy to suggest exactly what items and how much is optimal. Remember, some guests may want to enjoy more than one serving of a particular appetizer… I can guide you based on my experience and your guests dietary preferences.

Below is a sample menu for 35 guests for a five-hour event.

1. Beef Bourguignon Meatballs
Bite-sized versions of this French Classic
with just a souçon of Bourguignon sauce
served in a Chinese spoon


2. Pan Bagnat (Provençal) Mini -sliders
Gourmet albacore tuna with minced artichoke heart and Niçoise olives and a thin hard-boiled egg slice


Chicken Antipasto Sliders

Chicken salad with Italian Slaw with fennel and capers, topped with olives and pepperocini


3. Mushroom Duxelle Tart
Minced mushrooms sautéed in a butter-Port wine reduction in delicate puff pastry shells topped with Parmagiano Reggiano

4. Shrimp Scampi Crostini
Shrimp at sautéed in smoky bacon dripping and served on crostini of multi-grain bread seasoned with rosemary


5. Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Empanadas ‡
Hand pies, filled with puree of sweet potatoes and Napa Valley goat cheese with just a hint of chile, scallions and pecans


6. Carne Tartara de Chiapas (top photo)
Filet Mignon, diced and marinated until cooked in lime juice
with chopped onion, tomato and guajillo chiles topped with Queso Anejo

photo 2 (3)


Traditional Steak Tartare*


7. Brazil Nut-crusted Pelotita

Napa Valley goat cheese filled with Black Mission fig. Served with Pear-Tamarind-Ginger Chutney

photo 1 (4)

8. Eggplant Rolls‡
Chinese eggplant, seasoned and grilled, then wrapped around a thick slice of mozzarella, roasted sweet red pepper and fresh basil, served on a skewer

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9. Mexican Crab Cakes with 3 Peppers
Sweet red and yellow peppers plus mild Poblanos. Served with a chipotle aoili or Salsa Verde

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10. Chilled Avocado Soup Shots

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11. Coconut-Mango Ceviche*
Made with chef’s choice of locally-sourced white fish. Marinated in lime juice and coconut milk, with a hint of jalepeño.

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12. Endive Wraps with Salmon, Caviar and Cowgirl Creamery Crème Fraiche

photo 4

Sweet Bites


13. Profiteroles
14. Mango Bread Pudding Cups

* These items are served raw or undercooked, or contain (or may contain) raw or undercooked ingredients. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.

Appetizers, Cocktail Party


Planning a Cocktail Party, a happy hour before dinner is served or looking for an appetizer course a part of a formal seated dinner…

Crudite Station

Crudite and Anchioade

Grilled Calamari

Mexican Cheese & Meat Tray: Grilled Chile-Lime Nopalitos /
Ate de Membrillo / Cecina

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Grilled Calamari Citrus Chile




antipasto-artichoke-hearts-small-peppersCheesemonger’s Board

Cheesemonger's Plate

 Mini-Tlacoyos: nopalito (green), blue corn and achiote (orange) masas and broccoli / Queso Oaxaca and Sweet Potato / Goat Cheese fillings with Poblano Aioli

Tlacoyos After

Seared Scallops / Burnt Chipotle Salsa

Bacon-wrapped Scallops

Bacon-wrapped Scallop Spoons

Agua Chile


Pineapple / Jicama / Cucumber / Chile-peanut sprinkles  G  

beets & baby mozz

Mexican Crab Cakes G  

poblano / sweet red & yellow peppers / jalepeños / chipotle aioli

Deviled Eggs


Bruschetta Skewers G  

Baby Mozzarella / Napa Valley Olive Oil / Basil / Balsamic Reduction

Grilled Shrimp Scampi Crostini

Shrimp Scampi App

Endive Wraps G  

Meyer Lemon-dill House-cured Salmon / Cowgirl Creamery Creme Fraiche / Dill

Endive Wrap

Warm Mushroom Salad G  

Fontina Polenta Bites G  

Roasted Tomato Marinara / Grilled Italian Sausage (also available as a vegetarian offering) ‡


Pelotitas: Brazil-nut Crusted Napa Valley Goat Cheese

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filled with Mission Black Fig / fig-chipotle chutney‡ G

Black and Blue Crostini

Carmelized Onions/ Blue Cheese / Filet Mignon

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Prosciutto-wrapped Grilled Asparagus w/shaved Parmagiano Reggiano G  

Carne Tartara de Chiapas G  

4505 Meats beef marinated in lime juice with chopped onion, tomato and guajillo chile topped with Queso Anejo

Melon Bites – sweet, ripe cantaloupe wedges with a hint of chile and lime, wrapped in Iberica ham thinly-sliced

Ceviche Tasting Station

Ceviche Tasting

Chilled Avocado Soup Shooter G  

Guacamole con Totopos  G  

choose Basic, Apple-Tequila or Pineapple Cucumber ‡


Elote con Queso Cotija G  

corn bites with chile, lime, coated with grated Mexican cheese (seasonal) ‡


Bruschetta de Camote G  

 sweet potato bruschetta topped with chipotle roasted pecan strudel and goat cheese crumble ‡