Do you have a special event coming up? Whether you’re planning to host a family reunion, office retreat, summer party for friends, wedding, fundraiser or just needing a vacation from the kitchen, why not hire a local caterer? From a small, simple, affordable buffet to a seated, gold-plated dinner there are plenty of caterers and providers ready to answer your call.
On Block Island there are several categories. Some are full-service from start to finish – preparation, delivery, set-up, service, and clean-up. They can include all the extras: music, port-a-potties, bonfires….. all of it.
To stretch the topic a bit, other establishments will prepare the food and pack it up for you to pick up and enjoy at your chosen location. It’s sort of a higher level of take-out and, again a huge time-saver.
For either type you’re free of the cooking and able to relax and enjoy your guests instead. It’s good food without the fuss.
Aldo’s Bakery (401-466-2198) will deliver their food to hotels, B & B’s, even boats at any time of day. Their specialty is bridal parties, breakfasts and ice cream sundae bars. Their breads and pastries can be made in different sizes to fit the occasion and size of the group. They deliver wedding cakes free of charge.
The Beachead’s (401-466-2249) services offer the full range of foods — family barbeques to weddings — with a flexible catering menu to accommodate any style or budget. Co-owner Becky Clark said, “We will work with you to bring your vision to life.” The Beachead can manage large events as well as “private chef services in your home."
Kimberly’s (401-487-9663), in their new restaurant on Ocean Avenue, has the equipment and staff to accommodate any number of people at any location — and will tailor the event to fit the budget. Their catering menu offers a wide range of choices from simple backyard barbeques of hot dogs and hamburgers — to lobster boils, beef tenderloin, fresh Block Island swordfish or a raw bar. They have the equipment (tents, tables, chairs, etc.), certified bartenders, and, a friendly, all-island staff.
The Manisses Restaurant (401-466-2421), along with the Narragansett Inn, offers to serve you anywhere on the Island — whether it’s on a beach, under a shady tree in your own backyard or a more traditional venue. They, too, can be full-service and have the equipment and staff for large parties with plenty of choices of their delicious appetizers, entrees, desserts and wines.
Stepping over to another category of local food providers, there are those who — with a bit of notice — will pack up your selections (on ice) for you to pick up. They are each top restaurants in their own right.
Finn’s Fish Market (401-466-2102) has a variety of fresh seafood. They will pack up lobster boils containing 1 ¼ pound lobsters (or larger, if you prefer), steamers, sausage wrapped with flounder filets, and ears of corn. Tins serve 2 to 4 people and depending on the size of the crowd — you can order as many as you need. When it’s time to eat, owner Debbie Howarth said, “You simply add water, poke holes in the top and follow the directions." They are kept cold and then cooked on the grill, a stovetop or a campfire. Finn’s Market needs at least 24 hours’ notice.
Poor People’s Pub and Luca’s Farmstead Market (401-466-8533) — under the same management — will pack up almost anything they have on their menu for you to pick up — baked goods, sandwiches, desserts, fruits, soft drinks, etc. Items can be made-to-order for a group with only a few days’ notice.
Another good option is the Ferry Wharf Fish Market (401-782-8088) over on the Pt. Judith side — right next to the Interstate Navigation dock. Recently voted the “Best Fish Market in South County”, Ferry Wharf will pack up any of their full line of seafood (live lobsters, swordfish, steamers, tuna, shrimp, etc.), put it on ice and ship it over on the ferry to Block Island for you to pick up. Ferry Wharf employs all local fishermen.
So, are you ready to entertain? Sit back. There’s plenty of help out there.