The spring and summer season brings so many reasons to celebrate (beyond warm, sunny weather), including Mother's Day, Father's Day, graduations, showers, and much more. Whether you prefer firing up the grill and cooking the meal yourself or would rather prepared foods from someone who does all the work for you, one thing is for sure: the importance of finding fresh ingredients to serve up on your delicious platter. Bergen County is home to a variety of food markets that offer DIY and DIFY (do it for you) options, and we rounded up some top picks in time for the celebratory season.
To start, head to B&M Market, which recently moved locations into an expansive space in Park Ridge. The full-service gourmet market has a number of prepared meals like grilled salmon and stuffed kobe meatballs, appetizers like crab cakes, and sides including green beans that can easily be packed up and reheated to make your work easier. If you prefer grilling during the warmer months, grab one of their seasoned steaks or award-winning burgers to please your crowd.
This go-to Pascack Valley spot also gave us a first look at its customizable Mother's Day menu, which includes all the "Pickings for Mom." Choose from a seafood cocktail of shrimp, crab, and lobster tail; brunch items like a Spinach or Bacon Crustless Quiche; and mouthwatering entrees like the B&M Veal Chop Parmesan or Creamy Bourbon Chicken Marsala. If you're hosting and prefer doing the cooking yourself, let B&M prep for you with Chicken Marinades, Lollipop Lamb Chops, and more.
At Peppercorn Events, a custom catering spot that opened grab and go storefront The Grocery in River Vale in the summer of 2021, menus are available with entrees, sides, desserts, and more. Right now, you can get Mother's Day-ready with delicious prepared foods that include Porcini Risotto Balls, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Tri Colored carrots, Caramel Baked French Toast for a brunch option, Mini Raspberry Tarts, and so much more.
And while the caterer's menu is deliciously appropriate for all ages, they conveniently have a crowd-pleasing kids menu to keep everyone happy. Find breaded chicken strips, quesadillas, mac and cheese, and pigs in a blanket to satisfy your kids taste buds, while you stick to the gourmet stuff.
If you prefer an Italian take on your special occasion menu, head to Morano's Gourmet Market in Ramsey. The full-service catering spot has a menu filled with Italian specialties and go-tos including a Grilled Vegetable and Fresh Mozzarella Platter, a customizable sandwich buffet, hors d'oeuvres like Mushrooms stuffed with Prosciutto, plus an extensive range of meat and pasta entrees. You can also head to the storefront to sample some of their daily specialties to create the catering menu of your dreams.
Want to stroll and shop? Market Basket, with two locations in Wyckoff and Franklin Lakes, has endless offerings for every taste. The store's meat, seafood, deli, and gourmet-to-go departments offer up fresh finds and prepared foods like imported pasta, chicken and steak marinated in garlic soy, and vegetable salads that serve as the perfect sides. If you'd rather someone do the work for you, browse their huge catering menu that includes breakfast buffets, hot and cold lunches and dinners, or even full dinner party menus that leave virtually no work for you.
In fact, Market Basket makes hosting so easy that it also has a bar, coffee, beverages, and even paper goods set-up available so all you have to do is provide the space. You can top your celebration off with the homemade pre-scooped ice cream or other sweet desserts like Italian cookie trays or carved watermelon.