Recommended by 97%
19 User photos
Shirley · Married on 04/07/2013
Eat & Smile catered our wedding in April 2013, providing 8 passed hors d'oeuvres and a bartender, and they were fantastic. The food, service, professionalism, and value were outstanding.Sent on 04/28/2013
Oliver and Alex were extremely easy to work with. They were very responsive, and always clear about what they could or would be able to do (and provided suggestions for alternatives when our initial idea wasn't going to work). From the start we were excited to work with Eat & Smile after they had us over to their house for a lovely tasting.
Eat & Smile is a great value. The food they prepared for our wedding was delicious, exciting, and local. Our guests were all in love with everything they ate. They take a lot of pride in the food they serve, and it shows. Some of our favorite dishes were the fried mac n cheese, mini crab cakes, and tuna tartare. (As a side note, we initially decided on the passed hors d'oeuvres approach because it was more affordable, but in the end it proved way better than a seated meal; guests could mingle freely without being confined to a table and they got to taste 8 different mini-dishes; and trust us, everyone got plenty to eat!)
The service at our wedding was also outstanding. The servers were friendly, helpful, and ever-present without being in the way. It was a special treat to have food sent downstairs to us (the bride and groom) while we were signing paperwork and doing pictures so that we were able to eat something in the midst of the revelry. Michael, who ran the show during the wedding, was very nice, attentive, organized, and professional. It was such a great experience being able to just enjoy our wedding, and the food, without having to think about any of the behind-the-scenes logistics.
We really can't recommend Eat & Smile enough. If you want delicious food, good service, and care at all about your wedding food being sourced locally, go with these folks and you'll be happy.
Nikki · Married on 12/01/2012
I hired Eat & Smile catering for my wedding, and they rocked my world. I really cannot say enough good things about Oliver, his team, and the overall experience, but I'll try.Sent on 03/24/2013
FOOD: Delicious. We chose to do passed hors d'oeuvres, per Oliver's recommendation after we told him the vibe and budget we were going for. This approach worked perfectly for us, and allowed us to have a variety of foods served. Our wedding guests were raving about the food, and everyone had a favorite dish. My favorites were the mini BLTs, roasted red pepper soup shots, hearty steak tacos, mini grilled cheese, and oh my - the brussel sprouts.
SERVICE: The serving team was beyond fabulous. Attentive, friendly, and always where they needed to be. The head server even helped to keep me sane throughout the evening, mostly because he was always there when I needed him and was a calming presence. Eat & Smile provided our bartenders, who may have actually "made" the reception. They were so much fun and really encouraged the party atmosphere we were going for, while also tactfully pushing waters for those guests who over-indulged. ;-)
VALUE: Compared to other DC caterers, I felt that Eat & Smile was very affordable, yet also provided the highest quality ingredients. Oliver was so accommodating to our budget. In the end, I felt like this was one of our only "deals" of the wedding. Also, worth noting is that when I made the final payment, Oliver noticed that there was an error in the invoice and that I had over-paid. Yep, you heard that write. Very high integrity.
OVERALL EXPERIENCE: Oliver and his team really strive to make your day exactly what you want it to be. I haven't seen this from other caterers. From the day we met him, it was clear that he was open to customizing each and every menu item to meet your unique needs.
In short, I love Eat & Smile!
Lauren · Married on 10/06/2012
I found Eat & Smile Foods on an amazing food blog (The Bitten Word) that I follow a few years ago. I bookmarked it thinking that if two foodies writing a food blog used Eat & Smile, they had to be good. A few years later, when my now husband, and I got engaged, I looked back at my bookmark and gave Oliver Friendly a call. He was warm and easy to talk to on the phone and wasted no time inviting us to his home for a tasting. My husband was hesitant as he thought it was strange to go to the house of the caterer for a tasting but Oliver wowed us both with his food, his charm and his knowledge about weddings. My husband and I were in awe over the home smoked bacon, the fresh quality of the food and the small bite combinations and we knew right away that we would use Eat & Smile.Sent on 10/19/2012
Oliver and his wife, Alex, were amazing throughout the planning process. We had a "cocktail" reception with 12 rounds of heavy passed appetizers from goat cheese stuffed mushrooms to a soup shot trio and caramel macaroons. We had a number of food restrictions: gluten free, vegetarian, etc and with the help of Oliver and Alex, we had options for everyone to eat and be full. The venue where we had our reception is a historic site that just opened their doors for large events- and there were some strange requirements and rules- but, Oliver and his staff navigated through it all and truly helped us to put on an amazing event. The food was prefect. The staff was amazing- I had servers who ensured that I was eating and drinking all night and that even packed us a "to go" bride and groom bag (since we were too busy hosting and didn't eat much).
I can't say enough about how wonderful our experience with Eat & Smile was (our guests loved the food too!) and I only hope that we have another event to plan where we can use their services again!
Thank you to Eat & Smile Foods for an amazing wedding experience!
Danielle · Married on 10/06/2012
Eat & Smile foods made the catering process so flexible and produced excellent food and service for our wedding! There were no prepackaged menu selections so we were able to craft exactly what meant most to us for a reasonable price, based on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Alex and Oliver worked through a new venue for Eat & Smile facing many hurdles and challenges in a way that was seamless to us. They were great to work with, the food was delicious, and we couldn't have been happier with Oliver and his staff.Sent on 10/23/2012
User2514537 · 2+ years ago
We cannot recommend Eat & Smile highly enough based on our experience with them catering our wedding. We came across them because they were committed to locally sourced food. Oliver helped us develop a menu that fit our personalities, and helped to make sure we got exactly what we wanted without straying beyond our budget. And Oliver and his wife Alex went above and beyond in terms of helping make sure the event went well--they made suggestions when there details we hadn't considered, but were never pushy, and were flexible enough to accommodate all our requests and last-minute adjustments. The end result was fabulous--great food, locally sourced, prepared by wonderful people who were a positively a joy to work with.Sent on 08/20/2012
Our only regret in choosing E&S was that our dealings with them came to an end after the event was over. But then we found out that they are opening a restaurant! We cannot wait to go so that we can re-experience the great food and atmosphere again and again.
Lanae · Married on 04/28/2012
We couldn't have asked for a better caterer than Eat & Smile. Oliver was a pleasure to work with from the outset, and he bent over backwards to work within our budget while still giving us outstanding food for our guests. He was supremely helpful well beyond his own services, providing us with advice about how to save money on everything from linens to alcohol to flowers to wedding coordinators and beyond. His recommendations were invaluable, and every single person to whom he referred us was exceptional, warm and friendly, responsive, and affordable. He was much more than a caterer--he was a wedding planning guru!Sent on 05/26/2012
When it came to the food, it was impeccable: classy but not stuffy, and every bite delectable. Our guests couldn't stop talking about it! We had quite the variety of tastes at our wedding, from Midwesterners who abhor spice and vegetables to vegans and vegetarians. Oliver created a menu that accommodated them all beautifully--not an easy feat--and ensured that his fantastic servers took care to find the vegans and vegetarians throughout the night to ensure they got enough of the veggie-friendly food. We couldn't recommend Eat & Smile more highly!
Christie · Married on 12/18/2011
First things first: Eat & Smile's food is out-of-this-world delicious. The staff is helpful in doing much more that cooking and serving food. Oliver Friendly, the owner, is incredibly accommodating and will work with any budget. We were sold on Eat & Smile from the minute Oliver has us for dinner at his house. Everything is local; his dishes are so creative. His customer services is outstanding; he was responsive within the hour on 99% of my 66 emails (yes, I just looked up the chain). He even gave his cellphone number to one of my guests with Celiac disease to discuss her specific dietary requirements. Beyond all this, he's beyond helpful in recommending venue setup ideas and other vendors. We received many compliments on the food; our guests loved Eat & Smile's unique twists to traditional dishes.Sent on 04/18/2012
Jon · Married on 11/05/2011
My wife and I absolutely loved working with Oliver and his staff. For starters he is one of the nicest guys ever and was incredibly responsive to our endless amount of questions throughout the planning process. He worked with us to produce a menu tailored to the season as well as our different heritages. As for the food, it's out of this world good! At the end of the night, Oliver and his awesome staff left the venue cleaner than how we found it.Sent on 03/13/2012
Antonia · Married on 10/01/2011
Oliver created the most fantastic menu - and with me as vegetarian but the grooms family very meat and potatoes! Can you believe the best Chickpea Fritters with Roasted Garlic, Caramelized Onions, Cilantro and Homemade Cornichons. This is someone who will work with you on food and gets excited that you care about food and want something offbeat. All this ingredients are local and the quality is therefore excellent.Sent on 10/18/2011
Oliver is incredibly personable and enthusiastic. He also knows his stuff, will head off any problems and anticipates needs and has good ideas. For example - he asked about a wedding cake. I said I was in two minds about having a wedding cake at all and he replied that a number of his couples like petits fours at their wedding instead of cake. He has a wonderful pastry chef who does great petits fours. This immediately caught my fancy and they were indeed delicious (hint - order loads!).
Oliver also has the most wonderful staff who, he says, will not start out at weddings. In fact, he says that they stay with him - which says something about Oliver. You can rest comfortably in his capable hands.
User1377631 · 2+ years ago
When we first started planning our wedding, we didn't think that we would find a caterer that we could use. We are both vegetarians, and try to eat only local, humane dairy and eggs.Sent on 08/07/2011
Fortunately, we came upon Eat & Smile Foods on a popular food blog, The Bitten Word. It sounded too good to be true: Eat & Smile Foods got all of their produce, dairy (and meat) from local farmers markets, fresh every week.
And while that would have been enough, it turned out that the food was incredible. Oliver, the owner and chef, listened to what we wanted, and prepared a spectacular tasting menu that was not only local and humane, but also mouth-watering.
As vegetarians, we have come to expect rice and grilled vegetables at weddings. Eat & Smile was far from that. Here are just some of the highlights: Fried Mac & Cheese, butternut squash soup shots, grilled cheese with olive tapanade, falafels with chili and yogurt, and mushroom fricase spoons.
Not only was Oliver respectful and careful to adhere to our dietary restrictions, but we also had guests who had serious nut allergies. While some chefs will make separate dishes, Oliver did not want any incidents, and so did not use any nuts in the menu.
Eat & Smile Foods also offers signature cocktails, and ours were a big hit. Oliver works with a stellar mixologist and they complimented our food wonderfully.
We wholly recommend Eat & Smile Foods for any event. While ours was a wedding, I am already plotting some big party for something so we can use them again! :)
Katie · Married on 06/18/2011
I don't even know where to begin at explaining how amazing the experience of hiring Eat & Smile Foods for my wedding was. I originally came across E&S because of their commitment to local foods, a passion of mine. I was delighted to find that behind the shared passion was a dynamic, friendly, brilliant and organized chef running the show. Any bride will tell you how many times you need to communicate with the catering company - never once did Oliver make me feel like I was bothering him. He offered mounds of advice, was incredibly flexible, extremely understanding of budgetary restrictions (and has VERY fair prices), a creative problem solver, and passionate about locally sourced food.Sent on 06/20/2011
The day of the event his staff and he were all incredibly accommodating, helpful and pleasant. Every single one of them wore a smile while working hard. They arrived on time, set up the space and worked with my team of friends, had the venue ready for action in record time, and cleaned out the place so efficiently that I didn't have to worry about the venue being anything less than perfectly cleaned at the end of the night.
On to the food. Oh, THE FOOD! Let me tell you, I have had, no lie, SIX people tell me the day after the wedding how they were craving another one of his sliders. The ironic and sad reality is that I barely had time to eat anything myself. But I can tell you that an abundant amount of people told me how much they loved the food. Oliver even added some surprises, like a fresh watermelon he picked up at the farm stand just down the street from the venue. We chose to have wine and beer and one vodka-based signature drink for the evening. By far, the signature drink creation of Oliver's stole the show and now we have more leftover wine than we know what to do with and half-full wasted kegs of beer. Who knew?!
I can't rave enough about hiring Eat & Smile Foods for my wedding. I can't think of a single negative thing to say, which is a rare occasion for a somewhat picky person like myself. BRAVO, OLIVER!!
Ashley · Married on 05/13/2017
The Eat and Smile team is a passionate, quirky and dedicated group. We had the best time planning our menu with Chef Oliver. We created a unique menu that was an excellent representation of me and my husband. They were flexible with payment schedules and made the entire process really easy. We felt like they were ready and available to answer any questions we had throughout the planning process. They really made us feel like our day was important to them too. Thanks, guys!Sent on 07/16/2017
Eat & Smile Catering's reply:
Lydia · Married on 10/22/2011
We were so happy with everything about our wedding food. Living in the DC area, it was a big challenge to find a food vendor willing to provide local, seasonal, and humanely raised food for a big event. Fortunately, this is the only type of food Eat & Smile Foods provides. The owner, Oliver, was easy to work with, and he helped us save money by pointing out some things we could do ourselves (such as purchasing tablecloths instead of renting through him and supplying our own drinks). We had a fairly complicated bar set up, and he moved a person from working in the kitchen to working in the bar to back up the bar tender, and it worked out perfectly. All of Oliver’s recommendations were spot on, and the food was excellent. Additionally, it was great to have Oliver there in person on the day of the event working back in the kitchen, so we had no doubt everything would be as great as it was during our sample tasting. We've heard a lot of catering companies will have you meet with their chef for the tasting, but on the day of the event everything is farmed out to a bunch of catering staff you have never met. This is not the case with this caterer. We also used the baker who is associated with Eat & Smile (Samantha), and our cake was amazing. We’d highly recommend using both Oliver and Samantha.Sent on 11/22/2011
Tina · Married on 12/29/2010
Eat and Smile just catered my son's rehearsal dinner - and oh my! What a fabulous job they did!! The food was simply superb - delicious and fresh - and all our guests commented on this! The servers were completely professional, gracious and hospitable, and everyone went out of their way to be sure every detail was perfect. I have never before worked with a company so top notch, attuned to client needs and wants, and as super communicative as Eat and Smile has been. Katie Rotramel (affectionately known by us as "Katie the Caterer" was amazing in her rapid responses to every inquiry. She worked seamlessly with our venue to be sure food was able to be set up and served according to what worked best for that setting. I cannot say enough good things about our experience, and I am grateful we chose Eat and Smile for this event!!Sent on 09/18/2018
G · Married on 10/09/2010
very easy to work withSent on 10/26/2010
Zach · Married on 09/18/2010
Working with Oliver Friendly and Eat & Smile Foods was a phenomenal experience! He was incredibly flexible and easy to work with, especially considering the somewhat challenging aspects of our wedding venue (a barn with no running water, limited electricity, and tight space).Sent on 09/22/2010
The team Oliver assembled for our event went way above the call of duty, helping us with so many things I never expected the catering staff to handle (setting up tables and chairs, placing flower bouquets, lighting candles, etc.). It made the set-up for our slightly DIY wedding SO much easier and smoother.
We also really appreciated Oliver's honesty throughout the whole process, encouraging us, for example, to source our own alcohol rather than have him (or any other caterer we went with) supply it, because we'd save so much money doing it ourselves. In the same vein, when our guest list ultimately ended up being smaller than we'd planned, Oliver volunteered to add another appetizer (our entire menu was passed hors d'oeuvres) for the same cost.
And most importantly, the food! Oliver's dedication to simple, straightforward, local fare meant the food at our wedding was delicious and memorable. Many, many guests told us it was the best food they'd ever had at a wedding. We'd have to agree!
All in all, it was a flawless experience. We'd HAPPILY use Oliver and Eat & Smile Foods again in the future.
Vanessa · Married on 04/29/2010
Oliver is amazing! I'm a bit of a food snob, as I cook a lot myself. My husband and I had Oliver's food before so we knew it was delicious and locally sourced. However, we were amazed at how organized and accommodating he was when we planned our post-elopement wedding brunch.Sent on 08/03/2010
We started planning our reception/brunch only about a month before the event. Oliver was prompt in responding to my emails and very clear about pricing and options. Additionally, we had a lot of food allergies or dietary restrictions amongst our guests. Oliver managed to handle a combination of lactose intolerance, vegans, and peanut allergies with no problems. He even made us two cakes.
On the day of our brunch, Oliver was on time and ready to go. He made great suggestions on how to set up for the event, including putting the bar outside on the back deck. His staff was wonderful and really helpful. Our guests loved the food and there was tons of it for everyone. Oliver and his staff even tolerated my dog running around under foot with no complaints! I would highly recommend Oliver for your wedding caterer.
Andrew · Married on 04/10/2010
Eat & Smile Foods catered my wedding this April. Chef Oliver Friendly was great during the planning process, working with my bride and I to create a menu we know everyone would love. He focused on spring flavors using a lot of Asparagus, Ramps, and Tomatoes. We had 4 passed hors d'ouevres, a plated 3 course meal (2 appetizers, 2 entrees), cake, and coffee. It was all delicious. He provided all the servers, flowers, linens, bartenders, plates, glasses, and equipment for a very reasonable price. The food was amazing, the staff was friendly, and the overall service was fantastic. I highly recommend them!Sent on 04/18/2010
Talia · Married on 11/09/2014
The team at Eat & Smile was great. Right off the bat we loved that they were all about local and sustainable where possible. They were just as excited about my out-of-the-box and VERY specific menu ideas as I was and were totally understanding of some of the food restrictions on my in-laws side.Sent on 11/24/2014
Several people, including my VERY picky Dad, said it was the best food they had ever had at a wedding. I loved that, as a foodie, I was able to share the vision I had with pros who could make it a reality for 150 people.
Alex · Married on 10/18/2014
Eat & Smile went above and beyond to make our wedding special. We chose to do passed hors d'oeuvres and small plates, and were a little worried that our families would be confused about the non-traditional format, but E&S assured us that everyone would get plenty to eat and that the event would feel like a party, rather than a seated dinner. They were right on both counts. Our guests loved the food, and we loved not having to make a seating chart, and just letting people sit or stand wherever they wanted. On the day of, we didn't worry about the food or the service at any point - we just got to relax and enjoy the day. They were also wonderfully accommodating of a number of different food allergies and intolerances, and they helped design our menu so that it was full of things that we love and that everyone could eat. Several weeks later, we are still getting great feedback about the food and the format of the wedding.Sent on 11/01/2014
Meaghan · Married on 10/13/2012
The first caterer I contacted was a dud. I said to him, "our tastes lean toward more southern and Italian cuisine" to which he responded, "so like pasta and fried stuff?" My head exploded, and left me immediately feeling defeated. I decided to contact our caterer of choice and see how that conversation went. He got it right the minute the question escaped my mouth. Oliver was bright, energetic, clear, organized in his monologue about his company. We went to a tasting at his house and we were served the most incredible, fresh, local, sustainable and hearty morsels of food we've ever had. His enthusiasm for great food was inspiring, and we left his house knowing he was the one.Sent on 01/16/2013
The next 18 months involved a lot of e-mailing, a walk through of our venue to make sure we were on the right track as far as layout, appliances, tables/chairs, and so on. He really helped us navigate the unconventional wedding space (a single family home) and was excited to cook in the kitchen, which was spacious, well-equipped, and perfect for the day. He, and his partner/wife Alex, also helped us refine our menu, clarify our choices, and the sequence of events that we wanted to have for the evening. They were warm and understanding in situations where I feared other caterers might be cold and detached. It was a refreshing experience overall.
The dedication to impeccable tasting and perfectly composed food is what led us to E&S, and we hoped that our friends and family would appreciate our decision to go with them. The staff that Oliver brought along with him was friendly, focused, and immediately welcomed into the fold of our big day, especially Michael. We were worried that people might not get enough to eat with the small bites, but everyone left feeling delightfully full.
E&S accommodates people with special dietary restrictions seamlessly, as well. Our wedding felt exactly as I wanted it to feel - relaxed, more than anything - and 95% of that success is due to E&S!
Aisiha · Married on 08/27/2011
Oliver Friendly hit it off with my Fiance from the beginning. We did the tasting in his home and were impressed with his food and service. Now catering in DC is expensive so I decided that if we were going to spend that kind of money it should be more than your typical dry chicken with string beans.We got a selection heavy appetizers, two desserts, cupcakes, and two drink mixers. The peach bourbon drink was out of sight!Sent on 01/23/2012
Everyone loved the food and there were no complaints from our guest. We especially enjoyed the cocktail mixers. The only complaints I had were on the execution. Several of the dishes did not come out with their garnishes. Also for our pastrami it was really good if it was roast beef but it was cut way too thick to be pastrami. But hey it was his first time and it was homemade. I would have also liked a better quality bun.
Trevor · Married on 05/29/2010
Eat and Smile provided us with great food and great service. There were plenty of helpful hands when we decided to move the location of the ceremony last minute. The food was fresh and tasty, and they managed a tight outdoor space with lots of steps. They even Swiffer-ed our floors before they left! We would definitely recommend them.Sent on 06/30/2010
Adolphus · Married on 11/08/2009
Eat & Smile Foods catered my daughters wedding a few weeks ago. They did a great job. They made a fantastic menu of entirely locally sourced ingredients. We had baby BLTs with the chef's homemade bacon. They did a great 3 course plated meal starting with sweet pea soup with crab or a green salad with local cheese. We then had butter poached rockfish and bourbon roasted pork loin with french beans and fingerling potatoes. Their staff was attentive and professional, keeping everyone well fed and the drinks free flowing. They also provided plates, glassware, utensils, linens, flowers, cake, servers, and bartenders all for under $85 per person. I had a great experience with Eat & Smile Foods and I highly recommend them.Sent on 03/30/2010
Megan · Married on 05/23/2014
The food tasted great and we got a lot of compliments on the taste of the food. People were raving about the macarons and they were delicious! We enjoyed the process of picking out our food and appreciated that Eat & Smile organized our rentals as that made everything really easy. Oliver was willing to work with us to keep things in our budget. Erin was always very responsive to my emails and questions. We also love the fact that they used local farmers and that played a big part in us choosing to use them as our caterer.Sent on 06/16/2014
My rating of 3 for service is based on the following:
- Our reception style was all passed small bites of food. There did not seem to be enough food circulating the first hour of the reception. Though this did seem to pick up after the first hour. Also it seemed as though they would just bring out 1 of our food choices and pass that until it ran out and then bring out another instead of having multiple choices of food circulating at the same time. I'm not sure if this is due to how each item had to be prepared or not.
- We ran out of non-alcoholic drinks. My husband and I completely take responsibility for not providing enough up front. However, the bar tenders should have let the wedding planner know about this as soon as they saw we were going to run out. Instead my photographer had to tell the planner we ran out.