There is nothing that I love more than getting together with friends and enjoying a great meal. It’s even better when it’s an amazing restaurant like Blu Island Bistro. I wanted to have an event for our Venice Foodies to be able to get together and make some new friends while enjoying some of the best dishes that Venice has to offer. I was so grateful to Kim for reaching out and offering to not just host an event for the Venice Foodies, but to have an exclusive DINNER event!
Private Dinner at Blu Island Bistro
Blu Island Bistro is typically only open for breakfast and lunch, although in the past they were almost infamous for their dinners. Now, dinner entrees are reserved for special events and catering. If you are looking for catering in Venice, this is definitely a spot to consider.
The Main Event
The menu for this event was absolutely delicious. Chef Alan is a culinary mastermind and the dishes he put together were a great representation of his best flavors. This event was set up with fantastic live chef stations, which kept the buffet line moving in a fun way. It also brought in another local chef and a friend of Chef Alan’s, Chef Tony from Suncoast Cafe!
We are big fans of Chef Tony as well, Suncoast Cafe in Venice is one of our favorite breakfast spots!
To start our meal off, the salad offered was their signature “Blu Salad”. This is on their regular menu at lunchtime, and happens to be one of my favorite dishes on their menu. Naturally, it was the first dish I grabbed. It starts with fresh greens, juicy berries, craisins, pecans and finishes with a sweet strawberry balsamic dressing. The balance of flavors with the sweetness and freshness of the produce is the perfect recipe for a healthy indulgence. If you are dining in there during the week, I recommend adding on a piece of grilled chicken breast to add a delicious protein boost.
The Reuben Bar
Chef Chad was a delight as he prepared the mini Reuben sandwiches at his live chef station. I often end up with a soggy sandwich when they are prepared for an event in advance, so I appreciated that each sandwich was assembled as guests were moving through the line.
The rye bread was grilled to golden crispy perfection with just the right balance of saurkraut to corned beef ratio. The Russian dressing gave it the sauce factor that I was craving without causing the bread to soften or to just be a source of dripping mess. This wasn’t the only sandwich to tempt us however, the Reuben was only the beginning.
The Whiskey BLT Bar
The whiskey bacon is a dish typically served on their weekly menu. Thick slabs of pork belly fried up to have crispy edges and then drenched in a sweet whiskey infused glaze. It is my husband’s absolute favorite dish on the menu. For this event, they took it to a whole different level by turning it into a BLT slider. Grilled brioche buns with thick slabs of juicy tomatoes and a crisp hunk of iceberg lettuce paired well with the crunch and sweetness of the bacon. Chef Miranda expertly built sandwiches just like the Reuben bar so that everyone received a perfect slider.
Shooters, Scallops and Tacos
The next few stations were small bites, but still packed with flavor. The shooter and scallop station had so much flavor packed into such tiny bites. A plastic shot glass filled with fresh shrimp in a perfect gazpacho-tequila combination… and then a little spoon with a cucumber and dill salsa topped with a blackened scallop… YUM!
Everyone loves a good taco station and this was no exception. Fresh mahi-mahi and my favorite grilled chicken with cilantro-lime slaw and pico de gallo… I opted to have it without the soft tortilla shell, and still it had an abundance of flavor.
Lollipop Lamb Chop Station
The final entree on the menu, Lamb chops. Tender, New Zealand lamb chops expertly cut into lollipop style portions and cooked to tender perfection with a savory feta-herb crust, it was easily a main dish worth waiting for. My husband, Jason, happens to love lamb. Unfortunately, it’s not something I serve often at home so he ended up going back at least twice for more!
Banana Foster and Ice Cream Station
No meal is complete without a sweet bite and this evening was no different! The flames were rising at the Bananas Foster station as Chef James from Sysco helped out to serve caramelized bananas served hot over a scoop of simply delicious vanilla ice cream.
Need Catering in Venice?
As you can see from how incredible our event went, Blu Island Bistro is an incredible choice when you need catering in Venice. They offer dinner events but also catered dishes for other locations! In fact, during Thanksgiving, they are very popular for their full dinners!
Contact Blu Island Bistro for all of your catering needs, or stop by for a delicious meal anytime!
Blu Island Bistro is located at 625 S Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL 34285
Phone: (941) 485-8200
Thanks to Ms. Tula Watt, for sharing these incredible photos from the event!