Last Thursday Don and I had the pleasure of celebrating our wedding anniversary at the launch party for Pasion Catering. The name might not be familiar yet, but you probably know owner/Chef Rafael Palomino (pictured) from his Center Valley restaurant Pacifico in The Promenade Shops. From what I sampled, Pasion Catering, previously operating out of Port Chester, NY, will be as successful as his five restaurants in Connecticut, New York and in Lehigh Valley, PA.

The event was held at Pacifico on their second level which overlooks the dining room but can be closed off for private parties and meetings. We were greeted, offered drinks, and directed to a table full of plantain, yucca and malanga chips displayed on banana leaves featuring Palomino's freshly made guacamole. Arguably the best I've ever tasted.

Next, a steady stream of servers butlering hors d'oeuvres breezed through the crowd. I thought it would be easy to name everything I experienced, but with 38 selections on Pasion Catering's Nuevo Latino menu and another 27 on the American Fare list, I'm having trouble remembering it all. Some highlights:

  • The miniature lamb chop was amazing.
  • I loved the tuna tartar served with purple potato, papaya and mint salsa, yum!
  • And my favorite "I'll never make this at home" selection was the sauteed foie gras on sweet arepa. Wow!

Chef Palomino is author of four cookbooks and graciously gave his guests a signed copy of "Fiesta Latina, Fabulous Food for Sizzling Parties." I may try a recipe or two but if I really want to throw a great party, I'm calling Rafael!

Have you tried any of Rafael's cuisine at Pacifico?