We were invited to the Ultimate Summer Experience hosted by BMW & Tasting Table this past June (we know...a little late on the recap, but better late than never!) at The Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor, NJ. From the time we arrived, until the time we left, we were blown away by the ambiance, the food & the overall experience.
Upon arriving, we were welcomed by summery mocktails including Açai Mojitos & Mango Mules; the perfect start to the evening! After registering, you were given a wristband if you were planning to test drive the BMW's, if not, you were free to enjoy the signature cocktails, rosé & other offered drinks. We decided to test one of the BMW's (at the request of my husband) and I'm so glad we did. It was a fun experience test driving the car and seeing the sites in Stone Harbor.
Once we came back to The Reeds, we removed our bands & headed to enjoy the passed appetizers & rosé (it is rosé season!) but not before stopping to admire the beautiful decor the event staff at venue had envisioned and brought to life! It felt as though we were attending a wedding - the white flowers decorated the tables and were accompanied by different drift wood accents and votive candles. It was a beautiful set up & we were able to grab a few photos. Great inspiration for anyone planning a summer wedding by the shore!
We snuck in a few appetizers, but not too many as to not fill up before dinner! There was a little something for everyone: pigs in a blanket, lobster mac & cheese, shrimp tacos & compressed watermelon with feta & balsamic.
As we watched the sun go down over the bay, the festivities really started up. For you Top Chef lovers, season 11 winner Nicholas Elmi was in attendance and teaching us all about shucking oysters, clams, scallops & even sea urchin. For those who were not into rolling up their sleeves, Chef Elmi shucked and shared. Still hooked on the sea urchin? We were too until we tried it! With a hint of sea salt & vinegar, we were pleasantly surprised by the texture and taste...so much so we went back for one more taste before diving into the main courses.
While we learned how to shuck our own seafood, the clams, lobsters, shrimp, corn bread and more were being brought out. It took more than 4 staff members to bring out the overwhelming amount of seafood!
After enjoying all of the food prepared by the staff at The Reeds, we relaxed by the fire pits while dessert began to be set up. You could say we were eager to get to the table, it was a s'mores bar! They thought of everything - not only could we create the traditional graham cracker, marshmallow & milk chocolate treat, they also brought out dark chocolate bars, cookies & cream chocolate bars, cookies & a variety of other summer sweets.
We were blown away by the presentation, the food & of course being able to spend some time getting to know Nicholas Elmi of Laurel and ITV in Passyunk in Philadelphia, and his newest project coming soon to Old City, Royal Boucherie. We're excited to visit there as soon as it opens which is slated for September of this year.
Thank you Tasting Table, BMW, Chef Elmi & The Reeds at Shelter Haven for hosting such an elaborate event, it was a great night in a beautiful location! Can't wait to visit again soon!