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Food and Cakes

Lamb and Duck for the Reception Dinner?

Hi all- my fiance and I are planning a sit-down dinner for our wedding reception in late November (the day before Thanksgiving, actually) and are going to offer our guests two options for their entree.  My fiance and I are kind of "foodies" and both love lamb and duck, which I think would be perfect to offer as our two options because 1) those aren't things that people usually just make for themselves so they're more of a "treat"/feel more special, 2) from what I understand they are some of the easiest meats to prepare for a large crowd because they stay juicy and don't dry out like chicken and many cuts of beef do, and 3) they seem to fit the general vibe of a late-fall wedding.  So I'm really pumped about these options but my fiance is a little concerned that these options will be considered too adventurous for our guests, who admittedly (on his side at least) are not necessarily adventurous eaters.  What do y'all think, are these options just too "out there"?? 
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Re: Lamb and Duck for the Reception Dinner?

  • I'd love that, but it really does depend on your crowd. If your crowd isn't adventurous eaters, you'll need at least one option to please them. I'd say, do lamb OR duck, along with something non-adventurous like chicken or beef. Unless you can do 3 options :).
  • I wouldn't want either option. I've never had duck so I'm not going to choose to try it for the first time as a plated meal and risk hating it and then starve the rest of the night. I have had lamb. I have had lamb I liked and lamb that I couldn't stand (depends on the cut) so I wouldn't be that eager to get it as plated meal for the same reason as the duck. Is there a vegetarian option?
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  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi all- my fiance and I are planning a sit-down dinner for our wedding reception in late November (the day before Thanksgiving, actually) and are going to offer our guests two options for their entree.  My fiance and I are kind of "foodies" and both love lamb and duck, which I think would be perfect to offer as our two options because 1) those aren't things that people usually just make for themselves so they're more of a "treat"/feel more special, 2) from what I understand they are some of the easiest meats to prepare for a large crowd because they stay juicy and don't dry out like chicken and many cuts of beef do, and 3) they seem to fit the general vibe of a late-fall wedding.  So I'm really pumped about these options but my fiance is a little concerned that these options will be considered too adventurous for our guests, who admittedly (on his side at least) are not necessarily adventurous eaters.  What do y'all think, are these options just too "out there"?? 

    Add a vegetarian option and you're all set!
    chibiyui
  • I am a fairly adventurous eater, but I would never choose either of those as an entree at a wedding. I would prefer a chicken or beef option, knowing I'd enjoy it. I would probably eat ahead of time if those were the choices , or plan on ducking out early to get something else (and feel bad about wasting food!) FI wouldn't touch either of of those with a ten foot pole. I guess I'm only adventurously buffets or on cruise ships where the food is included and you can always get something else if you don't like your first choice.
    MesmrEwe
  • My SIL & BIL did the foodies meal option for her reception - then complained ever since because people left early... And everyone else complained during our planning to say "don't use who (SIL) did - we only left early because we were hungry!"... I wasn't there to know one way or the other how SIL's wedding was. I've had both - and it's really all in how they're made! With the duck, my concern would be making sure it's hot/crispy at service. With the lamb, my concern is simply - it's lamb! It's one of those "you either you love it or you hate it foods - there's no like"... Also, there are a lot of people who will freak out because lamb is best served rare, and again, it's a do it right or it's a nasty disaster. How to have a foodie's meal with the duck and lamb while catering to your meat and potatoes guest palates... Have a first course of soup of Creamy Duck Wild Rice soup.. Then serve Lamb-BQ's for the main course.. For years I had these and it wasn't until the year we made them that I learned it was actually lamb, and all it was, was pressure cooked legs to the point they fell apart then a little BBQ sauce on a bun - and the lamb taste wasn't there. Obviously it is your choice, just choose your cuts wisely to also reflect the preferences of your guests.
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  • Lamb and Duck are two really game kind of meats, maybe you should not have such strong flavors together. Try one strong and one mild. The humble Chicken is always a welcome option.
    NYCMercedes
  • Neither lamb or duck are really popular in the US, and as PP noted, both are pretty gamey. You might be better off choosing one and then doing chicken for your second entree. 
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I'd be excited to have the duck entree, cause I really like duck, but there aren't that many places I can go and get it. I do agree you might be better off having one adventurous course, something a little more common and a vegetrairian option.
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  • This is a know-your-crowd kind of thing. I'd love those options, but I know I'm in the minority. Generally for events with lots of people, I'd say go with crowd-pleasers. 

    If you really want to have at least one as an option, you could do lamb and chicken or beef and duck.

    Whatever you do, though, you need to add a vegetarian option.
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think it is always a good idea to have a main stream option, a vegetarian option and then an "out there" option.  This way, those that aren't adventurous can have their chicken, those that are can have their lamb or duck and then those that don't eat meat can have their eggplant parm or veggie lasagna.

    OP, just remember that just because you and your FI are "foodies" doesn't mean that your entire guest list is as well.

    emanon321
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited August 2014
    I'm not sure how many people you are having, but in general the more people you have the more mainstream your menu needs to be. What I suggest is using your apps for cocktail hour (if you are having one) for your more adventurous foods. You can easily have lamb and/or duck hors d'oeuvres. They are a great way to induce people to foods they might not normally eat.----------------------- 

     If you are having a choice of foods for the main meal make at least one mainstream choice. ---------------------------------------------------- 

    Again, not sure how many people you are having but lamb is not the best protein for large banquets. Especially if you are running late. Unless you are having table-side ordering I would not use lamb. It has to be served at the prefect time and is not as forgiving as other proteins.---------------------------------------------------------------- 

     I think beef and duck (along with a veggie dish) would be a good compromise. Use lamb as an hors d'oeuvre.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    MesmrEwesnippet17
  • Just another point about the lamb and duck - both are meats that are generally never served above medium when done as a stand-alone cut of meat, and most picky eaters I know (and I come from a family full of them) would also balk at having any amount of pink in their meat, in addition to just the obstacle of it being not beef or chicken.

    I'm probably the most adventurous eater out of my family and friends, but I really only like lamb or duck prepared in certain methods.  I've gotten my mother to be a little more adventurous and we were out at a restaurant and she said "I've always felt I should try duck", so she ordered the duck.  She ate about a third of it, shrugged her shoulders, and said "The idea of it was better than the reality.  I'm glad I tried it once, but once was enough." Then we ended up having to get a second dinner somewhere since she didn't eat all that much of her duck entree.

    Have a lamb and/or duck appetizer option to satisfy your foodie nature and mainstream the actual meal or at least one of the options.  Being the most adventurous in my group, I probably would say "What the hell, I'd never make lamb or duck on my own" and pick it, but I guarantee I'm the only in my group who would think that way and everyone else would pick the mainstream option (and I might even pick the mainstream option if I liked the sides and the composition of the dish as a whole more) or check out early to grab food elsewhere if lamb and duck were the only options.
  • I would be so excited and impressed if I were to attend a wedding and these were my options. I would want to order both.

    You can't please everyone. We are having a really nice mexican buffet, in Southern California of all places, and are STILL getting questions about it. "Are you sure everyone is going to like chili verde? Maybe you should just serve chicken." Siiiiggghhhh.

  • My family would starve, I can only think of one person that would eat lamb or duck. I think it would be best to pick one of those, and then offer beef or chicken as the other main. 

    Think about it-would you rather have these two options so you two can eat, but watch a whole bunch of food go to waste because no one will eat it? Or eat something more"typical" but know your guests are full and happy?
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    MesmrEwe
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    jenijoyk said:

    I would be so excited and impressed if I were to attend a wedding and these were my options. I would want to order both.

    You can't please everyone. We are having a really nice mexican buffet, in Southern California of all places, and are STILL getting questions about it. "Are you sure everyone is going to like chili verde? Maybe you should just serve chicken." Siiiiggghhhh.

    to be fair I will not eat chili verde.   Jalapeno or any pepper for that matter means I will not touch the dish.  I do not touch beans either.    Have some weird irrational freak out if they are even on my plate.  I know it's irrational, but it doesn't change the fact I do not want them anywhere near my plate.

      Although I'm sure there will be something on the buffet I would eat.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • KahlylaKahlyla Moncton, NB member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited August 2014
    I love them both, but I know not everyone feels the same way. Actually, at a recent wedding, lamb was one of the options (chicken was another, plus a vegetarian option I believe), and while I pretty much always love lamb, it wasn't the best cut. The cooking was good, the cut was not. I still loved the flavour, but... So lamb can be tricky, even for fans of it. There are a lot of different cut options and they're not all created equal. Duck probably wouldn't be as tricky to get right as long as it was prepared well. You could dry it out of course, but you can't really start with a bad cut of poultry. eta: I had paragraphs, blast it all...
    image
  • Duck literally tastes almost identical to chicken.  I think it's pretty safe.  I'm not sure if lamb would dry out like some PPs said- we had a lamb carving station and I ate some halfway through serving time and it was perfectly juicy and medium rare to medium.  I'm shocked people here wouldn't like duck. It tastes like chicken.  Try it PPs
    MesmrEwealeighc3futurecptkirk
  • crackktheskyycrackktheskyy Stars Hollow member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Hi all- my fiance and I are planning a sit-down dinner for our wedding reception in late November (the day before Thanksgiving, actually) and are going to offer our guests two options for their entree.  My fiance and I are kind of "foodies" and both love lamb and duck, which I think would be perfect to offer as our two options because 1) those aren't things that people usually just make for themselves so they're more of a "treat"/feel more special, 2) from what I understand they are some of the easiest meats to prepare for a large crowd because they stay juicy and don't dry out like chicken and many cuts of beef do, and 3) they seem to fit the general vibe of a late-fall wedding.  So I'm really pumped about these options but my fiance is a little concerned that these options will be considered too adventurous for our guests, who admittedly (on his side at least) are not necessarily adventurous eaters.  What do y'all think, are these options just too "out there"?? 
    So I would totally love this, but I know that for the sake of others, it isn't a great idea. We actually originally wanted to serve rack of lamb, duck breast, chilean sea bass, and vegetable napoleon but we decided on bacon wrapped filet instead of the lamb because we know so many friends and family are big steak lovers. We weren't so sure about the lamb. 

    I would do either lamb and chicken or duck and filet. That way you have one poultry option and one red meat option either way.
    image
  • Duck literally tastes almost identical to chicken.  I think it's pretty safe.  I'm not sure if lamb would dry out like some PPs said- we had a lamb carving station and I ate some halfway through serving time and it was perfectly juicy and medium rare to medium.  I'm shocked people here wouldn't like duck. It tastes like chicken.  Try it PPs
    Except for the part where it can be gamier than chicken and can be ridiculously fatty if you don't properly render out the fat and is usually served medium, which squicks out a lot of people to see pink in any kind of poultry and means it has a little chewier texture.  At best, it would be more akin to dark meat chicken and you would be surprised and how many people only eat white meat and won't touch dark meat (crazy, I know - I LOVE dark meat and it surprises me every time when there's always a bunch of dark meat leftover whenever I'm in a group setting where chicken is served).
    tammym1001SachaBee
  • Thanks for so much input y'all!  I few notes:

    1. This is probably going to be a reception of about 60-70 people, for those wondering about the size of this affair.

    2. From what I understood, both duck and lamb are much easier to serve to a large crowd because they are naturally fattier thank both chicken and most cuts of beef and therefore less likely to be overcooked and dry.  Others on here seem to think it might be more difficult to serve to a large crowd- can y'all elaborate more on how that works?

    3. I should have mentioned initially that there will be moderate to heavy passed hors d'oeuvres during the cocktail hour- so hypothetically someone who knows they will absolutely hate both dinner options could choose to fill up on those and not go hungry the whole night.  Does that make a difference do you think?

    4. Also should have mentioned there will be a vegetarian option, I just don't know what it is yet!  But that will be available- is it acceptable to do lamb, duck, and a vegetarian option?  I know most people won't necessarily be excited about the veggie option but it is there...

    5. I am dead-set against chicken- I have never had chicken at a wedding that was more than "decent" and I don't have enough faith in our chef to trust him to break that streak.  So if I choose to combine an "adventurous" option with a more mainstream option, it will be duck and beef.  

    6. I totally agree with BlueBirdMB above- I was so surprised that anyone would be opposed to duck!  I mean I get that it has a slightly different taste than chicken (which is obviously why I prefer it), but it's still poultry so I assumed it was pretty safe...

    Anyway thanks for the responses and keep the opinions coming in light of this additional info that I probably should have provided upfront (my bad y'all)!
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Thanks for so much input y'all!  I few notes:

    1. This is probably going to be a reception of about 60-70 people, for those wondering about the size of this affair.

    2. From what I understood, both duck and lamb are much easier to serve to a large crowd because they are naturally fattier thank both chicken and most cuts of beef and therefore less likely to be overcooked and dry.  Others on here seem to think it might be more difficult to serve to a large crowd- can y'all elaborate more on how that works?        My DH is a chef and he talks people out of lamb as an entree because it's just not popular to the masses.  It's just not a good fit for a wedding type event.   Wine dinner with a bunch of foodies?  Sure.   Weddings, not so much due to all the pickiness and food restrictions.

    The fact it's served med-rare turns a lot of people off.  Some people do not like to eat little boo peep either.   

    Your catered can tell you more if they can feed that many people lamb at once.  Some kitchens are big enough it's not as much of a problem as smaller kitchen.   One problem is good lamb needs to be served med-rare.    When cooking lamb for 60 people it's hard to get the lamb out to the guests at the right temp.   One pre-dinner speech going over by 5 minutes can throw everything off.  An overcooked lamb is noticeably bad compared to an overcooked beef. 


    3. I should have mentioned initially that there will be moderate to heavy passed hors d'oeuvres during the cocktail hour- so hypothetically someone who knows they will absolutely hate both dinner options could choose to fill up on those and not go hungry the whole night.  Does that make a difference do you think?   Not to me.   As the host you should pick a meal your guests are going to like.  Not just what you and your FI wants.   That is why I suggested picking one of the 2 options and making the other more mainstream.  You still get to have the lamb or duck, your picky eaters get something they want.   Win for everyone.

    4. Also should have mentioned there will be a vegetarian option, I just don't know what it is yet!  But that will be available- is it acceptable to do lamb, duck, and a vegetarian option?  I know most people won't necessarily be excited about the veggie option but it is there... It is, but not something I would do.   Making sure my guests like what they are eating was important to me.     For example, I had a huge raw bar at my cocktail party.  I do not eat that kind of stuff.   I also picked a crab cake for one of the entrees even thought I'm not a big crab cake person.   I know my guests would like those options so that is why I picked them.  I still had other options I was excited about.  

    5. I am dead-set against chicken- I have never had chicken at a wedding that was more than "decent" and I don't have enough faith in our chef to trust him to break that streak.  So if I choose to combine an "adventurous" option with a more mainstream option, it will be duck and beef.   I think that is a great compromise.

    6. I totally agree with BlueBirdMB above- I was so surprised that anyone would be opposed to duck!  I mean I get that it has a slightly different taste than chicken (which is obviously why I prefer it), but it's still poultry so I assumed it was pretty safe...  I eat chicken, but not too much of a duck fan.  DH makes these awesome duck apps I like.  As a whole meal I'm not a fan.  A duck app would be prefect for me.   Different strokes for different folks.   Some people just are not as adventurous as others.  

    Anyway thanks for the responses and keep the opinions coming in light of this additional info that I probably should have provided upfront (my bad y'all)!
    When hosting any event there are ways to balance your likes and the likes/needs of your guests.   You will not eat both entrees anyway, so why not pick the one you would like more?  Then the other more mainstream for potential picky guests.

    GL






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Oh sorry one last thing- my family are the ones paying for this reception and they like the lamb and duck idea!  I know people always want to know where the money is coming from in these types of situations.
    MesmrEwe
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited August 2014
    In this case, I'm not sure where the money is coming from is necessarily relevant unless your parents are all "We must have lamb and duck and we're pulling the money if you offer anything else."  Then it might be relevant. 

    But the reception is a thank you to your guests, not a showcase for your hobbies.  Sure, you incorporate some personal touches that reflect your personality, but if you KNOW a large subsection of your guest list (his family) wouldn't be comfortable with either of those options, then why would you knowingly alienate them when you're supposed to be thanking them?

    I mean, I get it - I love food and am the most adventurous eater in my family.  But when I invite them to dinner, I'm not going to put out an Indian buffet knowing that most of them are going to be really uncomfortable with it.  I might put an appetizer or two out that is Indian themed and try to slowly introduce it to them (and know in the end I'm going to have a bunch leftover because maybe only half will try a bite to be polite), and then I'm going to make things I know they'll enjoy because they are guests in my home and I want them to be comfortable and enjoy their company.
  • Oh definitely my family isn't insisting on lamb and duck... it would be their preference but they have been great about being flexible with us throughout this planning process, considering they are basically paying for the whole wedding. I just wanted to cover all my bases in terms of providing all the information I could think of after I did such a bad job of it in my initial post. I guess the issue here isn't that I KNOW my future in-laws wouldn't be thrilled with this choice... it's just a possibility based on their typical eating tendencies. No one has ever explicitly expressed disliking lamb and duck, but it's not like we've gone around polling people either. So I was more just getting a feeling of if y'all think in general the majority of a group of about 60-70 people would find something to enjoy between a lamb, duck, and veggie option. Obviously you can't please everyone- even if I did chicken, beef, and a veggie option I know at least one person would probably not be thrilled with the selection... so we're just shooting for a significant majority here.
  • Many posters have mentioned that lamb and duck are not served well done. I did not know that, so it's something for me to keep in mind. I'm pregnant. Doctors advise pregnant women to only eat meat, eggs and fish that are fully cooked to reduce the risk of food borne illness. So if you have any pregnant guests they probably aren't going to want either of those options or are going to be sending it back to be cooked further. Honestly, until I read this post if I got medium duck I would send it back assuming the kitchen had screwed up because everything I know about poultry is that it must be fully cooked.
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  • One thought no one mentioned - what about serving those options at the rehearsal dinner and going "over the top" foodie meal since it'll be a smaller group? Silly as it sounds - I raised lamb (hence the "ewe" in my SN), but serving it to a group, especially a large one, is just so tricky!
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Oh sorry one last thing- my family are the ones paying for this reception and they like the lamb and duck idea!  I know people always want to know where the money is coming from in these types of situations.
    Bottom line is you asked what we thought and we told you.  You can now take that information and do what you want with it.   

     Your own FI is a little nervous with the idea knowing his own family.  No sure why you want to risk the chance of having 2 non-mainstream meals when there is a possibility that there will be guests who will not be that adventurous?

    My own DH is a fine dining chef.   A lot of our guests were also fine dining chefs, sommeliers, F&B people .  These guys have worked with the best of the best and they themselves been featured in magazines and on TV.  Based on experience at our wedding we had more of a mainstream entree.  We had the fun adventurous stuff for the cocktail hour.  

    It was a nice balance with something for everyone.  No one had to settle so to speak.  6 years later we are still approached about our food choices.  I fell like that is a good sign we did things right.    

    GL






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    southernbelle0915
  • lyndausvi said:

     

    Bottom line is you asked what we thought and we told you.  You can now take that information and do what you want with it.   


     Your own FI is a little nervous with the idea knowing his own family.  No sure why you want to risk the chance of having 2 non-mainstream meals when there is a possibility that there will be guests who will not be that adventurous?

    My own DH is a fine dining chef.   A lot of our guests were also fine dining chefs, sommeliers, F&B people .  These guys have worked with the best of the best and they themselves been featured in magazines and on TV.  Based on experience at our wedding we had more of a mainstream entree.  We had the fun adventurous stuff for the cocktail hour.  

    It was a nice balance with something for everyone.  No one had to settle so to speak.  6 years later we are still approached about our food choices.  I fell like that is a good sign we did things right.    

    GL

    One thought along those lines - all of my chef friends - including my TV type friends - "Nothing succeeds more than the simple done well!".  Doesn't matter the item, a true foodie is focused on doing homage to the beast or plant who gave its all and is prepared to perfection.  And how true - DH & I went to a banquet dinner at a restaurant - the steak was so well seasoned and prepared that there wasn't the need to pick up the salt shaker.  That's success!

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    southernbelle0915lyndausvi
  • lyndausvi said:
    Oh sorry one last thing- my family are the ones paying for this reception and they like the lamb and duck idea!  I know people always want to know where the money is coming from in these types of situations.
    Bottom line is you asked what we thought and we told you.  You can now take that information and do what you want with it.   

     Your own FI is a little nervous with the idea knowing his own family.  No sure why you want to risk the chance of having 2 non-mainstream meals when there is a possibility that there will be guests who will not be that adventurous?

    My own DH is a fine dining chef.   A lot of our guests were also fine dining chefs, sommeliers, F&B people .  These guys have worked with the best of the best and they themselves been featured in magazines and on TV.  Based on experience at our wedding we had more of a mainstream entree.  We had the fun adventurous stuff for the cocktail hour.  

    It was a nice balance with something for everyone.  No one had to settle so to speak.  6 years later we are still approached about our food choices.  I fell like that is a good sign we did things right.    

    GL
    Oh and I absolutely appreciate the input, no need to get snippy about it :P!  I was just providing additional info in case that made a difference.  

    I guess my take is that there is no meal that will please everyone, so I was trying to determine if serving these options was any riskier than serving anything else.  It seems like, though most people here personally like those two entrees, they know many other who would not.  I like the idea of doing lamb for the one of the cocktail hour options and duck and beef for the entrees.  
  • Thanks for so much input y'all!  I few notes:

    1. This is probably going to be a reception of about 60-70 people, for those wondering about the size of this affair.

    2. From what I understood, both duck and lamb are much easier to serve to a large crowd because they are naturally fattier thank both chicken and most cuts of beef and therefore less likely to be overcooked and dry.  Others on here seem to think it might be more difficult to serve to a large crowd- can y'all elaborate more on how that works? Lamb and duck require special preparation. It's harder to mess up chicken or beef, which is why it's great for large groups. Duck, in particular, is often served seared or, at most, medium rare. That's tricky for a big group and generally not a crowd pleaser.

    3. I should have mentioned initially that there will be moderate to heavy passed hors d'oeuvres during the cocktail hour- so hypothetically someone who knows they will absolutely hate both dinner options could choose to fill up on those and not go hungry the whole night.  Does that make a difference do you think?I think it makes a bit of difference but not enough to change my mind that you should tweak your menu a bit. The reason is because people will "save room" for dinner. Then if they don't like dinner, they're hungry and apps aren't available anymore.

    4. Also should have mentioned there will be a vegetarian option, I just don't know what it is yet!  But that will be available- is it acceptable to do lamb, duck, and a vegetarian option?  I know most people won't necessarily be excited about the veggie option but it is there... Good! I'd probably ask your caterer to do a pasta with veggies. Picky eaters can eat around the veggies if they're really that picky...

    5. I am dead-set against chicken- I have never had chicken at a wedding that was more than "decent" and I don't have enough faith in our chef to trust him to break that streak.  So if I choose to combine an "adventurous" option with a more mainstream option, it will be duck and beef.  With you here. We didn't serve chicken at our wedding either. I really like the option of duck and beef + your vegetarian option.

    6. I totally agree with BlueBirdMB above- I was so surprised that anyone would be opposed to duck!  I mean I get that it has a slightly different taste than chicken (which is obviously why I prefer it), but it's still poultry so I assumed it was pretty safe... I think if you told someone it was chicken, they wouldn't blink an eye. But say it's duck and some people automatically don't want it... Whatever. I think even outside the fact that it's not a "mainstream" protein, people are thrown off by the preparation. 

    Anyway thanks for the responses and keep the opinions coming in light of this additional info that I probably should have provided upfront (my bad y'all)!
    My vote still goes to beef and duck + vegetarian option. 

    I'm an adventurous eater and will try anything. But a lot of people are more picky than you'd think, unfortunately. I know if I go hungry at a wedding (for me, it's because the food is terrible, not because I won't try it), I leave early. I'm just worried if you go with lamb and duck, people will be hungry and leave early.
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