This caterer has been a mainstay at Boston’s classiest affairs since 1989, for good reason: Its food is all over the map, in the best way. Proper salmon with dill? Taco buffet? Pork-belly sliders? There are no fixed menus or cookie-cutter ideas here; the only limit is your imagination. Best of all, the team behind East Meets West doesn’t stop with menu planning: With such deep industry ties, they’ll recommend just the right DJ, florist, and venue to suit your vision. eastmeetswestcatering.com.
Great food and extraordinary attention to creating a party's ambience (brightly colored linens, gorgeous flower arrangements) make Calla Lily a winner. Sample the food in advance at the Calla Lily Cafe. 92-94 Kirkland St., Cambridge, MA .
Too busy to whip up a dazzling meal for your next dinner party? Just call Kate’s Table. An alum of some of the city’s top restaurants, chef Kate Papaleoni and her team prep dishes in small batches before artfully displaying them in a curated collection of vessels and custom display pieces. And if you want to pretend you did it all yourself, they also offer a drop-off service. katestable.com.
Turning out memorable meals in private homes—which often means tight quarters and picky palates—is a task that could sap any chef's muse. No surprise the catering arm of the vaunted L'Espalier/Sel de la Terre group is more than up to the challenge. Planning a small fete, we laid out the hurdles: seafood allergies, vegan diets, decorating don'ts. Au Soleil fired back with scads of ideas, including using petits fours as favors and dressing the table with bouquets of our favorite blooms. From intimate dinners to 600-person galas, this event-maker handles every gathering with aplomb. 148 Hampden St., Boston, MA 2119, ausoleilcatering.com.
What do you do when you’re craving that #beachlife but can’t get on a plane? You start searching for a home across the bridge. As legions of the region’s newly minted WFHers began a mass exodus down Route 6 last spring and summer, house prices skyrocketed, leaving those who didn’t find their slice of paradise early in the pandemic in the dust. Our advice if you’re still desperately scanning Zillow this summer? Beg your friends for an invitation (or blow up a kiddie pool in your landlocked backyard).
If God is indeed in the details, Au Soleil must be nigh holy. The operation gets every last request right, and often adds a few flourishes of its own. That might mean having bartenders shake up pitch-perfect cocktails to order. Or creating entrées that play up your favorite ingredients, or that reflect the seasonal bounty at chef-owner Frank McClelland's Apple Street Farm. Whatever occasion you're having catered, you can count on the eats being divine. 148 Hampden St., Boston, MA 2119, ausoleilcatering.com.
This full-service company can handle everything from bar mitzvahs to barbecues to prepared dinners for families of four. And while the menus have plenty to swoon over—passed apps like mini latkes with smoked salmon and chive crema, or entrées like fig-glazed lamb sirloin—it's what goes on behind the scenes that captured our heart. Started by East Coast Grill and Evoo alum Robert Harris, Season to Taste is one of the greenest companies around, delivering drop-off meals by bike, sourcing primo ingredients from New England farms and stores, and composting to reduce waste. If anyone can make a feast for 100 feel virtuous, it's them. 2447 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 2140, seasontotastecatering.com.
We'll let Jasper White's former assistant chef make and deliver dinner to our house anytime. Can dining at home get any better than this? 256 Marginal St., East Boston, MA .
Caterer Dan Mathieu grazes the country seeking the newest food trends and launches the best from his fragrant kitchens in the South End. Who can forget his catering at the drag party at Roxy where "Dolly Parton" passed out cornpone and "Natalie Wood" served up fish sticks? 312 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA .
With its whimsical presentation and extraordinary attention to detail, Calla Lilly reinvents hors d'oeuvres. You'll find the usual suspects (crab cakes and California rolls), but the twist is in the remoulades and dipping sauces. Portobella mushroom quesadillas, mini-popovers, and lobster cakes with citrus salsa are served on platters with exotic floral arrangements. 92 Krikland St., Cambridge, MA .
Since he took over, three years ago, Cordon Bleu-trained Tom Brooks has remade the company and its bill of fare from scratch—including an Italian cheese torta that is never forgotten by those who taste it. 120 Washington Street, Somerville, MA .
The initials stand for East Meets West, and this caterer melds the best cooking of both worlds. Boston and Nantucket, MA
Sure, the food's great. But most important, these guys really know how to throw a party! 508 Medford St., Somerville, MA .
Some couples just aren't black-type-on-ecru people. Enter Rugg Road, a shop chock-full of carefully chosen papers and paper accessories far more unique than formal. Distinctive options abound, including hand-pressed floral papers, silvery-hued sheets, and gampi paper made from a plant found in the mountains of Japan. The process of custom-designing your own invitation can be daunting, so the staff will assist at every step of the way, from helping to select the perfect font to cutting your paper to just the right size for laser printing. 105 Charles St., Boston, MA ruggroadpaper.com/.
When the only thing the family can agree on is not to sweat over a hot stove, 10-time winner Bakers' Best has got something to satisfy every craving: Dieting Dad will love the grilled vegetable, hummus, and cucumber wrap. Mom will savor the crab cakes with spicy rémoulade on the side. And the kids will fight—good-naturedly, of cours—over who gets second helpings of the cream cheese brownies. 27 Lincoln St., Newton Highlands, MA 2461, bakersbestcatering.com.