Couples' Sweet 16 Twice as nice
Nashauna Drummond, Lifestyle Editor
You only turn 16 once, so last weekend when Couples Negril and Couples Swept Away celebrated that milestone, it was a feast for the ages.
The gastronomic treat began on Friday night at Couples Swept Away. Dubbed 'A Rustic Tale', the Aura Lounge, where the night began with cocktails, was paradise. From hot and cold hors d'oeuvres to a chips-and-dip spot and a sushi station, there was something for everyone. To wash everything down, there were various libation stations - a champagne bar, 'Rustic' full bar, and a 'Faerie' bar. Whatever you wanted, they had it.
But that was just the beginning. Couples Resorts' Executive Chef Stefan Spath and Couples Swept Away Executive Chef Angelo Konidis and their teams had the main event laid out at The Palms. It boasted a cold seafood station with the likes of smoked salmon with capers and dill, oysters in shells, king crab claws, all with a variety of condiments. There was a hot seafood station with on-the-spot cooking of crab cakes, fried calamari, seafood jambalaya and grilled lobster, with the most divine garlic butter sauce.
Guests also enjoyed blackened crusted tenderloin, pimento-smoked pork loin and rosemary garlic roasted leg of lamb. There was a cured meat and antipasto station, a salad bar and a fruit-and-cheese station.
Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, it did. There was a tent devoted entirely to desserts. Yes, desserts from every nation and sweet persuasion. The abundance was enough to make your head spin.
On Saturday night, Couples Negril stepped up to the plate. Guests mingled in the beautifully decorated lobby sipping on servings from a Mojito, margarita or standard bar, while snacking on treats from a live-cooking station, which offered a choice of Merlot-stewed rabbit on truffle mushroom risotto with oven-dried rosemary cherry tomatoes, or parmigiano reggiano. Others opted for the oyster station.
Many were eager to head down to the main pool deck for the feast that awaited.
Now what's a birthday without a birthday cake? And in the main dining area surrounded by an infinite number of assortments were two giant cakes that towered to the ceiling. Crème brûlée, cheesecakes in all forms and shapes, double-berry cupcakes, banana nut cupcake, panna cotta, and chocolate coffee mousse. If it's sinfully sweet, it was there.
You could start at the soup and bread station with a delicious warm bowl of lobster bisque or dive right into the Caesar salad station or the cold-seafood station. But if you are a true carnivore, then you had unlimited choices - roasted beef, barbecue spare ribs, roasted lamb, beef Wellington, or you could take it easy at the live pasta station.
Spath and executive chef at Couples Negril, André Campbell, and his team pulled off a gastronomic coup of unspeakable proportions. With a packed house, it was remarkable that each dish was prepared to perfection and the quantity had no bearing on the quality. The weekend was one of toe-curling goodness.