LIVINGSTON, NJ — After hosting a highly successful indoor fine-dining experience in December, The Crystal Plaza in Livingston is continuing its newly established dining series on Sunday with a Dazzle & Dine Valentine’s Day event.
At 6 p.m. only on Feb. 14, a limited number of couples will have the opportunity to celebrate their love at The Crystal Plaza’s newly renovated space while being treated to a five-course luxe tasting menu designed by the venue’s expert culinary team as well as live entertainment. Although current capacity restrictions allow for up to 150 people inside the venue’s famous ballroom, reservations for this event has been limited to 80 people in order to create an even more comfortable and romantic atmosphere for all guests.
“As great as it is that people recognize us for our food, we don’t really get to show off our true abilities and how great our chef is during weddings,” said Max Janoff, director of sales for the family-owned business. “The response so far has been that not only do people want to be a part of it because it is so unique, but a lot of our clients are also saying that it’s a really cool experience to be able to go back [to The Crystal Plaza] without being the center of attention and to really experience the food. The dining series will act as a sort of showcase where we can really show off the intricacies of our menu and how experienced we are with our catering.”
Like many local businesses, The Crystal Plaza was forced to furlough its employees early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. When furloughing employees for a second time became a possibility due to postponed events in the fall, Janoff and his family approached the chefs, who “came up with a couple of ideas that made a lot of sense and really got the wheels turning.”
According to Janoff, the first indoor dining event was such a success that he expects it to become commonplace at The Crystal Plaza in addition to other unique services such as creating themed to-go boxes like the DIY Short Rib Slider Kits recently offered to area residents for the Super Bowl.
“The best part about this is that we're going to do it so infrequently,” said Janoff. “Ideally, in a non-COVID world, we would probably do something like this quarterly; but throughout however long this lasts, I could see it happening maybe every other month.”
He also noted that the dining series provides the culinary team with an opportunity to be creative with the menu.
“The idea is to never have the same menu twice,” he said. “So we will try to integrate new ideas that we might put on the wedding menus and also, more importantly, do some really creative dishes that you can't really execute for weddings. For instance, foie gras is something that's a delicacy that you can’t really offer for 200 people, so being able to put some of that into our menu is something that I’m excited about that I think people would like to see.
“The demographic we're really pushing for is all the people that would want to go to Manhattan. At first, they weren’t able to go, and now that they can, the reservations in Manhattan at 25% [capacity] are harder to get as well. So we're trying to capture the people who either don't feel comfortable going into the city or who want that city experience.”
For $150 per person, not including beverages and gratuity, Valentine’s Day dinner guests will enjoy their all-inclusive meal with robust COVID-19 avoidance measures in place, including socially distanced indoor seating arrangements; gloved and masked staff members; health checks for all staff members; and thorough pre-event sanitization.
“We’re following everything when it comes to cleanliness and staffing requirements, such as face guards and all that; but more importantly, for the dining experience, we’re allowed to have 150 people in the ballroom, but we're not doing that,” said Janoff. “We’re cutting that in half 80 people and laid it out in the room in a way that’s comfortable but not awkward because we’ll fill the spaces with beautiful décor.”
The space will also be filled with music from Total Entertainment, a longtime partner of The Crystal Plaza Group’s and a well-known DJ company throughout the tri-state area.
“They’ve been a loyal partner to us for a very long time, and this will allow them to showcase that they're able to do a more intimate dining experience,” said Janoff. “There are some really interesting things that they can contribute to this without it being a nightclub setting, which is something that they’re trying to portray and something that we've been seeing them do for so long. We want our clients to see it as well.”
The menu for Sunday’s event can be seen in the photos above. Guests with dietary restrictions and requests will be accommodated with advanced notice to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a reservation for the upcoming event at The Crystal Plaza, CLICK HERE.
Parking will be available on site. For more information, call The Crystal Plaza at 973-992-8100.
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