Dinner Buffet Catering Menu

The buffet catering menu provides quick and easy service for any size of event. Flexibility is a huge benefit. By offering a well-balanced menu, you don’t have to worry if it will cover every guests’ preference. It’s also a smart budget choice when it comes to serving costs (fewer staff are needed for execution) and offers a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

Similar to the reception catering menu, the buffet catering menu can be suitable for any kind of event. It works great for internal corporate parties, casual weddings and family celebrations – like birthdays, anniversaries and showers. It can also work for bigger corporate events, networking events and expos, or for large events where different groups will be served at different times. Consider your audience and their comfort with the service as well as their expectations for the calibre of the event.

Dinner Buffet Catering Menu Items(click through different sections)

  • Cold Selection
    BLT Cakes
    double smoked bacon, pickled roma, arugula cream
    Cranberry and Brie Bites
    candied walnuts, rosemary
    Prosciutto and Figs
    with mascarpone cheese on a designer spoon
    House Made Smoked Salmon
    on a caper bisquit with lemon aioli
    Antipasto Sticks
    grilled squash ribbons, prosciutto, mozzarella
    Tandoori Chicken
    on an indian crisp with tempura jalapeño
    Pecking Duck
    rolled in sweet pancakes, chives, hoisin glaze
    crispy polenta bites
    arugula olive tapenade, ninja radish
    Tequila Prawns
    pineapple carpaccio
    Open Face Italian Crisps (selection of 3)
    - roasted tomato | goat cheese, basil chiffonade
    - porchetta | spiced tomato jelly, squash
    - crispy procuitto | brie cheese, grilled asparagus
    - charcuterie | genoa, ricotta, gem tomato, artichokes
    - Italian chicken | spiced hummus, olive tapenade
    Crispy Toasts (selection of 3)
    - Italian | prosciutto, radish, mascarpone ricotta, pistachio
    - avocado | grilled vegetables, asiago
    - caponata | goat cheese, green onions
    - wild mushrooms | carmelized ramps, feta mousse
    - chicken caprese | balsamic droplets
    Loaded Baked Potato Squares
    sour cream, cheddar, chives
    Caramelized Onion Tartlettes
    chive, crème fraîche
    Chipotle Chicken Cubes
    green onion, pepper
    Hot Selection
    Chicken Arancini
    smoked tomato jam
    Sweet Corn Chicken Pakora
    raita sauce
    Lemongrass Chicken Satay
    peanut dipping sauce
    Chicken, Beef or Vegetarian Gyoza
    with japanese dipping sauce
    Bourbon Beef
    horseradish gin cocktail
    Mini Shepherd’s Pie
    savoury ground beef and vegetables in a light pastry shell, topped with mashed potatoes
    Tandoori Salmon Skewers
    mango chutney
    Honey Sriracha Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
    lemon pepper ranch
    Crispy Shrimp Tempura
    bang bang sauce
    Indo-Asián Lamb Satay
    asián masala glaze
    Zucchini Pakora
    indian-style vegetable fritters with yogurt dip
    Chicken, Beef or Vegetarian Samosas
    mango balsamic chutney
    Chicken, Beef or Vegetarian Spring Rolls
    vegetables julienne in a spring roll wrapper, sweet chili sauce
    BBQ Vegan Meatballs
    with caramelized onions
    Jalapeño Mushroom Poppers
    with chives
  • Salad Selection
    Caesar Salad
    hearts of romaine, herbed croutons, grated grana padano, classic garlic caesar dressing
    Tossed Harvest Greens | choice of two dressings
    baby greens, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, roasted pecans, watermelon radish with swiss shallot dressing | apple cider vinaigrette | white balsamic vinaigrette | orange vinaigrette
    Farmers Market Greens
    Organic field greens, cucumbers, grape tomatoes
    Strawberry Spinach Salad
    with strawberries, cucumber, goat cheese, pickled red onions, black pepper balsamic vinaigrette
    Ancient Grain salad
    Ancient grains, sweet potato, carrots, onions, dried figs
    Roasted Cauliflower Salad
    roasted cauliflower, flat leaf italian parsley, chickpeas, red onion, garlic, lemon tahini dressing
    Greek Pasta Salad
    tri-coloured rotini pasta, red and green peppers, cucumber, red onions, olives and feta in a lemon organo dressing
    Roasted Red Potato and Green Bean Salad
    baby roasted red potatoes, french green beans, diced red onion, fresh thyme leaves, grainy mustard vinaigrette
    Trio of Beet Salad
    red beets, golden beets, striped beet julienne, white onion, pears, grapefruit, pink peppercorn vinaigrette
    Asparagus Caprese Salad
    baby gem tomato, bocconcini, asparagus, garlic, fresh basil, white balsamic dressing
    Spicy Kale and Black Bean Couscous Salad
    couscous, roasted corn, black beans, red onion, chili lime dressing
    Southern Cobb Salad
    Mixed greens, egg, white onion, bacon, grilled corn, tomato
    Crunchy Asian Cashew Quinoa Salad
    quinoa, cashews, roma tomatoes, red cabbage, red onion, green onion, cucumber, ginger peanut vinaigrette
    Quinoa Kale Apple Salad
    herbed quinoa, kale, apples, slivered almonds, shallots, apricots with raspberry dressing
    Beef, Lamb, Pork
    Apple Cider Wild Boar Pork rack
    whiskey apple compote
    Garlic Butter Roasted Beef Sirloin
    wild mushroom brunoise sauce
    Slow Cooker Braised Beef Short Rib
    red wine cranberry demi
    Thyme Roasted Leg of Lamb
    roasted salsa verde crust
    Rosemary and Black Garlic Prime Rib
    yellow birch syrup demi
    Herb Crusted Beef Tenderloin
    horseradish demi
    Seafood
    Mediterranean Baked Salmon Filet
    lemon, olive oil and garlic
    Fennel and Root Beer Sablefish Filet
    shitake mushroom cream sauce
    Stuffed Sole Filet
    spinach and feta stuffed sole filet with a buttered crumb crust, with a lemon spinach cream sauce
    Chili Lime Seabass
    white wine tomato basil sauce
    Vegetarian *Vegan
    Moroccan Spiced Stuffed Squash
    cous cous and vegetable stuffed squash and tahini cream sauce
    Honey Garlic Baked Crispy Cauliflower
    baked crispy cauliflower, lentil stew, roasted vegetables
    *Vegan Lentil Salisbury Steak
    smoked soy mushroom sauce
    *Mediterranean Rice Stuffed Tomatoes
    White and wild rice, lentils, green onions, beefsteak tomato
    Poultry
    Free-Range Citrus Rubbed Chicken Breast
    lemon rind garlic cream sauce
    Italian Marinated Chicken Breast
    ginger garlic jus
    Stuffed Turkey Breast
    seasoned lean turkey breast with dried fruit and bread stuffing, wrapped in sweet apple wood smoked bacon, served with sage jus and cranberry chutney
    Frangelico Roasted Chicken
    wild mushroom pan jus
    Baked French Onion Chicken
    cognac braised onions, swiss cheese
    Spinach, Asparagus Stuffed Chicken
    wilted creamy spinach and asparagus with a grilled pepper skillet sauce
    BBQ Cherry Duck Breast
    madeira glaze
    Starch Selection
    Melting Sweet Potato with Fine Herbs
    Spiced Rice Pilaf with Herbs
    Mashed Roasted Yukon Gold Garlic Potatoes
    Herb and Lemon Roasted Potatoes
    Roasted Garlic and Tomato Lentils
    Loaded Mashed Potato Croquettes
    | add $1.00 per person
    Potatoes au Gratin
    | add $1.00 per person
    Starch
    | add $3.00 per person
    Vegetable Selection
    Option 1
    poplar bluff maple dijon roasted trio of carrots
    Option 2
    grilled vegetables with brown butter balsamic glaze
    Option 3
    chopped ratatouille baked with spiced tomato and garlic
    Option 4
    Mediterranean seasonal vegetables and mushrooms
    Desert Selection
    Multi-Tiered Display of Great Events Sweet Endings
    tortes, mousse dessert cups, assorted french pastries
    Seasonal Fresh Fruit Tray
    Arabica Coffee, Decaf and Fine Teas
    Desert Upgrades
    Canadian Cheese Board
    dried fruit, grapes, crackers
    French Macarons
    House Made Hazelnut Truffles
    Assorted Gourmet Cookies
    Chocolate Fountain Rental | optional
    Lollipop Parade
    cheesecake and brownie lollipops, dipped with dark and white chocolate
    Mini Créme Brûlée
    french vanilla | dark chocolate
    Gourmet Cupcakes
    lemon ginger, pecan caramel, double chocolate, strawberry
    Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
    Chocolate Fondue
    choice of dark, milk or white chocolate. served with an array of fresh seasonal fruit, pineapple, strawberries, bananas, melon and biscottis (minimum 30 guests)
  • One Selection From
    Deluxe Cold Cut Tray
    make your own sandwiches from our selection of fancy sliced meats and cheeses, black forest ham, roast sirloin of beef, genoa salami, smoked turkey, grilled sliced chicken breast, swiss emmental, and canadian cheddar cheese, assorted breads and rolls, lettuce, tomato, pickle spears and condiments
    Mini Cocktail Buns
    parma ham | shaved sirloin of beef | smoked salmon | double cream brie | black forest ham with swiss emmental | smoked chicken | good-nature vegetarian
    Baja Rolls
    carne asada | red onion, tomato, quinoa, queso, cilantro, chili sour cream
    spicy thai chicken | quinoa, carrots, purple cabbage, red curry peanut sauce
    fiesta shrimp | field greens, black beans, corn, avocado, cheddar, lime vinaigrette
    hummus market veggie | red pepper hummus, avocado, spinach, cucumber, quinoa, fresh basil
    Two Selections From
    Market Dips
    creamy dill dip | white bean dip | cheddar bacon ranch | baked pita chips and raincoast crisps
    Balsamic Caprese Bruschetta
    chopped fresh roma tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic and lemon juice with toasted slices of baguette
    Homemade Potato Chips
    with spicy ketchup and onion dip
    Market Fresh Vegetable Display
    with fine herb sauce for dipping
    Canadian Cheese Board
    a variety of canadian cheeses with dried fruit, grapes and gourmet crackers
    Fresh Selected Fruit Tray in Season

Buffet Catering Menu Setup

Your event can be formally seated at round or long tables, or you can offer soft seating, like loungey sofas and cocktail tables, depending on the items you select. The food can be served by waiters (perhaps if items are limited) or guests can serve themselves. A chef-attended carving station can be added for a special touch.

When setting the room, the plates should always be stacked on the buffet lines with the food. Although many planners think it’s a nice look to put plates on guest tables and announce that they should bring the plates with them to the buffet, many guests will miss the announcement or forget. On the other hand, the choice is yours whether to set the flatware at the place settings or wrap them in linen or paper napkins and stack them in a basket at the end of the buffet line.

Designing the Buffet Catering Menu

Mitigating long waits at the buffet line is paramount, especially with larger events. Set double-sided tables at multiple locations to get guests through quickly. Adding a game conducted by a humorous emcee–in which tables contend for their place in line–takes the edge off the wait.

You should carefully track guests’ food allergies and inform about the meals’ ingredients. The best way to do so is to print food signs that will be displayed right beside each item. If a guest has very specific dietary considerations, it may be best to request a separately prepared plate from the caterer.

Because buffet menus aim to satisfy a large number of tastes, it’s best to choose items that are generic, like chicken, salmon and roast beef. Stay away from eclectic items like lamb, game or shellfish unless your group is quite large and these are secondary options. Not everyone you invite will be a foodie!

The buffet menu grants the opportunity to offer a wide or limited number of items. Be careful not to offer too many choices with a smaller crowd, as this may mean you will run out of one item before all the guests are served. This is less of a worry with larger crowds, but could mean leftover food. A good balance of variety and quality should be discussed with the chef or sales rep prior to your selections.

How to offer variety with your buffet menu

Choose your proteins for the main dish:

  • one meat
  • one seafood
  • one vegetarian item
Choose at least one salad:

  • a leaf salad (Caesar or mixed greens)
  • a grain salad (quinoa or bean)
  • a chunky vegetable salad (Greek or potato)
  • etc.
Choose 2-3 side items:

  • one or two types of vegetables
  • a starch
  • etc.

Add a dessert display.

Alternatives to the Dinner Buffet Catering Menu

There are several alternatives to the Dinner Buffet Catering Menu, based on the event type, the allocated budget, the event facilities, table setup and number of guests. Please find several alternative menus below. Keep in mind that our catering experts are ready to assist you along the process of designing the menu for your event. Feel free to contact us at any point and we will be happy to help you!

Please check our Plated Dinner Catering Menu for a plated dinner setup. It may be a better option for events where guests are seated at the tables and when the number of guests is well known in advance. It can either minimize the food serving time or integrate the food serving into the event’s agenda (e.g. Fundraising Dinner).

Also check our Reception Catering Menu if you prefer the food to be served on platters or chef stations. It may be a better option for events where sitting options are limited or when the number of guests is flexible. It may also work better for events in which the food is complementary to the agenda (e.g. hors d’oeuvres during a networking event) or serves as a cocktail hour preceding a formal dinner.

Additionally, we are proud to offer one of the top quality BBQ catering services in Calgary through our Rare Cut division. Check the amazing BBQ Catering Menu selection and prepare for a most-entertaining and unique culinary show!

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