Destination Wedding: Beloit -
I guess you could say that my husband and I had a pretty Beloity wedding. Rehearsal dinner at The Cheese People of Beloit, ceremony in Riverside Park, reception at Bushel & Peck’s, hotel block booked at the Beloit Inn. I’d say that we’re lucky that so many of our favorite places are right next to each other!
Our life together revolves around food. He loves to cook, making us dinners of strawberry risotto and sweet potato curry (my favorite is his homemade pizza). I love to photograph the food he cooks, often to choruses of, “The food is getting cold!” When we go out, it is usually to dinner.
Naturally, when planning the wedding, we showcased the food. Our closest friends and family were coming to town, and we wanted to give them meals to remember.
First Stop: Cheese
Most of our guests were coming to Beloit from states away. So, as a thank you for traveling, we invited them all to The Cheese People of Beloit for the rehearsal dinner.
This is where we began our food tour of Beloit: hors d’oeuvres, starring seven varieties of cheese. As I made my way around the room, I was frequently called aside to be asked, “Is that BASIL in the cheese?” or “What’s the cheese with the purple rind?”
Dessert was mini pints of Jeni’s ice cream, from a small Ohio ice cream maker that has gained a nationwide following. Jeni’s uses only excellent ingredients and creates interesting flavors like Whiskey & Pecans and Goat Cheese with Red Cherries. My favorite flavor is Dark Chocolate and I was delighted to have the whole container to myself!
Next Stop: Dinner
We’d sat down months in advance to handpick the menu for our wedding reception at Bushel and Peck’s. We had a four course meal highlighting seasonal foods from local farms. The beef tongue in the second course? That was my husband’s request to have “something strange.” And we had a good response—people who tried it, liked it!
My husband has often said that appetizers tend to be the best thing on the menu. They provide less food for the money than main courses, which gives the chef a chance to use a few good ingredients to make something especially delicious or interesting. We’ve found this to be true at many restaurants, and tonight was no different. My favorite part of the meal was one of the appetizers, and I would have happily eaten those tiny potato pancakes with smoked salmon, exclusively.
Last Stop: Dessert
Until dessert. The only person we could imagine making our wedding cake was our friend Rose (former owner/baker of the Sweetie Pie Bakeshop in Belvidere). She declined. To make a big, towering wedding cake takes a lot of preservatives, she told us, and wouldn’t taste as good. But she would be happy to make us a regular sized wedding cake, and a dessert table with a half dozen types of mini desserts. What did we think?
Well, if Rose Orbison says that a big wedding cake isn’t a good idea, then it just isn’t a good idea.
And what was a good idea? Lemon meringue tarts, carrot cake cupcakes, Door County cherry cheesecake, tiramisu cake with chocolate pirouettes. My favorite use of my power as the bride was to tiptoe over to the dessert table while it was still photos-only and have Rose pass me a pre-dinner brownie bite. It tasted like an explosion of chocolate!
As a Beloit foodie, I’m incredibly excited to hear that Rose will be the baker for Café Fromage, a new coffee shop opening in downtown Beloit this fall! I’m a little concerned, however, about having such easy access to those amazing brownies . . .
Because we love this town. Its gems are places where the people work 50+ hours a week because they care about what they are doing. The places where people learn your name and that you prefer your chocolate scones heated up, and let you order something that isn’t on the menu. Where our mechanic’s shop doesn’t even have its name on the building, but we know that he’ll tell us honestly that, “You’re better off putting your money into a new car than paying me to fix this one.”
Our honeymoon was a three day weekend at the Beloit Inn. It’s our favorite vacation spot: it has all the perks. Jacuzzi in the room, riverfront views, room service. Plus when my husband forgets his lavender tie for the wedding, I can run home to get it for him. And instead of missing our traditional Sunday brunch of bagel & lox, it’s only a walk down the block to Bushel & Peck’s.