Please Pass the Potatoes! Family style service at your next event

Family Style Dining Collage Text

Are you looking to create a unique atmosphere at your next event? Consider serving a family style meal. This style of service has been gaining popularity for the past few years, and for good reason; it creates a more casual, interactive atmosphere that brings people together.

A family style dinner is less formal than a plated meal and more elegant than a traditional buffet with large platters delivered to each table and guests serving themselves.

“Events have more energy and fun when you bring out a big platter of food to share,” says Jamie Maolen, chef de cuisine at Sea Change Restaurant in this recent food trends article in Minnesota Meetings and Events.

Speaking of trends, a recent article on The Huffington Post predicts family style will be the most popular wedding food trend in 2014. You can learn the three reasons why here.

Fun, rustic food presentations lend themselves perfectly to this style of service and provide a great alternative to traditional plated or buffet style services. The following is an example of a delicious family style dinner menu by the Chef at Meydenbauer Center.

Sample Family Style Dinner Menu

First Course
Grilled artisan romaine, garlic croutons, parmesan crisps served with herb garlic dressing and fresh bread

Main Course
Spit roasted Cascade Farms game hen
Bacon wrapped Northwest trout with lemon parsley beurre blanc
Served with
Herb roasted fingerling potatoes with pancetta & sage
Grilled asparagus & glazed heirloom carrots

Dessert Course
House made Tiramisu served with freshly brewed Starbucks Coffee

What do you think about family style food service?  Make sure to check out our “family style dining” Pinterest board to find inspiration for your next event!


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The Theatre at Meydenbauer Welcomes Tea for Ruby by Evergreen City Ballet

Tea for RubyThe Theatre at Meydenbauer in Downtown Bellevue is pleased to welcome the Evergreen City Ballet presentation of Tea for Ruby on the weekend of March 15-16.

The whole family will enjoy this charming world-premiere ballet adapted from the New York Times best-selling picture book by Fancy Nancy illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser and author Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York.

What’s the Story Behind the Ballet?

In this all new ballet, a young girl named Ruby has a difficult time learning proper manners. Much to her surprise she receives an invitation to tea time with the queen. Ruby is now determined to perfect her manners in order to impress the queen. Will she manage to polish her poise in time for tea at the grand palace?

Kids Can Meet the Characters

Not only will attendees get to enjoy the world premiere of the Tea for Ruby ballet, but children will also get the opportunity afterward to go on stage with favorite characters like Ruby or Fancy Nancy to get their photo taken and see the costumes and set up close.

Event Details

Run time for Tea for Ruby is a little over an hour, which is perfect for little ones and the performance includes an intermission. Tickets are $27 for adults and $15 for children or students (including ticket service fees) and can be purchased here. The schedule of performances is as follows:

Saturday, March 15 – 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 16 – 10 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

For more information on this performance, please email

iebmsevergreenballetsmAbout the Evergreen City Ballet

The Evergreen City Ballet was founded in 1994. They offer professional quality ballet training as well as a performance company. Evergreen offers a variety of classes including ballet technique, pointe, variations, jazz, modern, improvisation, composition and Pilates, in addition to seminars on nutrition, costuming and production, and dance history.

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Spring is Packed with Fundraisers at Meydenbauer Center

Meydenbauer_fundraising postSpring is just around the corner for Washington, which marks the beginning of a major fundraising cycle at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center!

While fundraisers take place at our spacious facility year-round, spring and fall tend to be the most popular times for nonprofits to host these events.

Upcoming Fundraising Events

In the next four months, Meydenbauer Center will host 20 fundraising events ranging from breakfasts and luncheons to gala celebrity auctions, and we look forward to helping make each one a memorable affair.

We are proud to welcome back events like the annual YWCA Inspire Luncheon, which expects about 1,200 guests. We’re also excited to welcome the Detlef Schrempf Foundation’s 21st Annual Celebrity Gala and Auction as well as local housing group Imagine Housing who will have their 2014 Benefit Auction and Dinner.

How Much Is Raised at These Fundraisers?

In 2013 alone, more than $8.3 million was raised at Meydenbauer Center by fundraising organizations.

In the the 15 years since we started tracking this information, Meydenbauer Center hosted more than 130 nonprofit groups who have held fundraisers and other community celebrations that have raised more than $102 million. These groups support a range of needs including education as well as housing and feeding those in need. Others raise funds for youth programs, healthcare, literacy, and animal welfare.

These include groups such as Hopelink which has grown its Reaching Out Luncheon from a group of 380 raising $70K to an event attended by over 1,800 and raising more than $1 million. Other long-time groups that have grown their impact and footprint over the years include YWCA, Youth Eastside Services, Bellevue Schools Foundation, and many more.

Why Choose Meydenbauer

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When you book your benefit at Meydenbauer Center, you can be confident that it will be fabulous! Meydenbauer has a long history of successful partnerships with many of the region’s charitable organizations.

Here are a few reasons why they continue to return year after year:

  • Our Center Hall is one of the largest spaces on the Eastside and provides ample space for silent and live auction components.
  • Our expert staff works with your team to coordinate all of the details, and we offer an auction package that brings together the most requested services such as volunteer meals, technology and audiovisual resources.
  • We offer outstanding cuisine inspired by the Northwest and delivered with impeccable style and service.
  • Meydenbauer is centrally located and easily accessible for auction patrons throughout the Puget Sound region.

Why Are There More Fundraisers in the Spring and Fall?

Nonprofits often plan their fundraising events in the spring and fall because the timing keeps them away from conflicts with major holidays and because event patrons are less likely to be out of town on vacation. In addition, Google recently released a research study highlighting when donors are most likely to give to organizations, explained the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Google discovered that people were more likely to donate during September, and many event planners have this in mind when planning fall fundraisers.

Find Out More

Planning a fundraiser for your organization? You can find out more about our services here. You can also visit the event calendar on our website to stay in the know on which fundraisers are coming to Meydenbauer in coming months.

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