About this Vendor
Locally Sourced, Exquisitely Made
Eat & Smile Catering is DC's first locally sourced caterer, procuring our ingredients directly from farmers within 150 miles of Washington, DC. We enjoy working with you to create a seasonal and delicious menu that adheres to your culinary and budgetary desires!
$$ – Affordable
American, Eastern European, French, Italian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Fusion
Food + Catering
We can’t say enough about this wonderful caterer! We chose Eat and Smile to cater our wedding reception. Our experience was extremely positive throughout the planning period and during the event. We were delighted to have the opportunity to taste from their menu, provide input for planning based on our favorite cuisines, comment on the proposed menu, and work closely with a terrific liaison, Katie, who was accessible, pleasant, organized and responsive. Our guests were delighted with the food and raved about the freshness of each dish, combination of flavors, and how well dishes complimented each other. We had five appetizers passed when guests had cocktails: gazpacho soup shots, jalapeño hushpuppies, mini crab cakes, salmon tartar in cucumber cups, watermelon and feta skewers. Every single one was outstanding and it is impossible to pick a favorite. The small plates offered as the main meal also were just amazing! These included a roasted beet salad with goat cheese, a beef dish with ratatouille and vegetables, and fresh Maryland rockfish. Finally, in lieu of wedding cake we chose to offer small bite sized desserts and they were the perfect sweet ending to the evening and included key lime tartlets, Mexican chocolate truffles, baby strawberry pies, and pear tarts with spiced pecans. The fact that Eat and Smile works with local growers and is environmentally aware also appealed to us. They serve the small plates to guests with implements which simplifies the reception after the passed appetizers. We were able to obtain tablecloths and glassware through a vendor coordinated by Eat and Smile and that also streamlined the set up and breakdown of our event. We did our own decorating with sentimental family items and Katie ensured nothing went missing after the event. The whole thing was perfect, met out needs, made our guests happy, and created a happy and relaxed atmosphere. Call Eat and Smile for your next event!
I would highly recommend Eat & Smile as your DC-area wedding caterers. We had Eat & Smile cater our 100-person wedding at St. Francis Hall, which included passed hors'doeuvres and a plated dinner. Katie, Chef Oliver, and the rest of the Eat & Smile team were fantastic to work with. Chef Oliver worked with us to create a menu that was perfectly set to our preferences and budget, and the food itself was well-prepared and delicious. Katie was our main point of contact starting with the tasting all the way to the wedding day. She is awesomely communicative and fun to work with. Katie provided valuable input not only on the food, servers, and linens which we contracted for through E&S; but also on things like beverage service (we used Ace Beverage for alcohol), table placement, timeline, and guest flow. On the day of the wedding our guests also pointed out how personable and professional the entire E&S serving and bartender staff were during the event. They also took care of the setup and the breakdown of the venue and it all went very smoothly.
The Best Decision We Made!Reviewed on 7/14/2015 Adele C
I have only great things to say about Eat & Smile! Most importantly, the food was AMAZING! Most of our guests got a steak and said that is was delicious. I had the vegetarian option, and I never knew vegetable lasagna could taste so good! Besides the food, I really liked working with Chef Oliver and Katie. Oliver was awesome at coming up with ideas for our menu and very flexible with our preferences. Katie is also so amazing. In the last few months, I would send her all kinds of questions and instructions in a piecemeal manner, but she handled it all and made sure that everything worked out smoothly. I really liked how easy it was to get in touch with her and her responsiveness. I can't recommend them enough!
Eat and Smile were just fantastic. They design a perfectly in season menu that fits your wedding - no set menus here. They catered our wedding on a farm where they only had a tent for prep and we asked them to do passed dishes all night, rather than a sit-down dinner. Despite these challenges, they created an unforgettable feast, always flexible and creative. I couldn't recommend them more. Just so you know, they're on the pricier side, since everything's local and organic, but they were worth every penny.
I can't say enough good things about Eat & Smile. They were the first vendor we found for our wedding, and the only caterer we visited. (The food during our visit was that good!) Katie was so friendly and helpful and gave us tons of advice about our wedding planning. Eat & Smile partners with many other vendors and gave us plenty of references that helped make our planning easy. She was responsive and patient throughout the process, going above and beyond with advice and suggestions. They were extremely helpful with planning and executing setup for all vendors at the venue. And, of course, the food at the wedding was fantastic. More than highly recommended!
Eat & Smile were absolutely terrific. They checked all the boxes: great food, reasonable pricing, and execution. They made everything very easy for us as they took care of most of the wedding logistics during the reception. When there were some (minor) issues during the dinner, they moved fast to quickly resolve them. I highly recommend E&S.
My wife and I had an excellent experience with Eat & Smile, to whom we were referred by our coordinator, Candy+Co. We loved their vision for passed small plates, and highly recommend this format for couples who want to do something a little different. It was great being able to mingle during the reception. The food quality and presentation was top-notch, and we received so many compliments. Service was professional and unobtrusive. We also liked their use of biodegradable plates and silverware and focus on farm-to-table and procuring local ingredients. I feel the price was extremely fair for the level of service provided. Highly recommended
Eat & Smile catered our 100 person wedding at Josephine Butler Park Center, and they were absolutely amazing! From the beginning, Katie was really responsive, even though it was peak wedding season. After we had a great tasting and meeting with Katie, we knew E&S would be perfect for our wedding. We really wanted to support local businesses, and through E&S we got to support a great local business and local farmers. Katie was super organized and followed the timeline they laid out in the contract, which helped us keep on schedule. She also coordinated our rentals through one of E&S’s partners, which was especially nice when we hit some planning fatigue. Plus, E&S is really familiar with our venue, which made planning a lot easier. When it came to the food, everything was awesome! We loved that they asked about the theme of our wedding as part of the menu planning. Chef Oliver did a great job of capturing our DC theme in the menu options, including mini half-smokes as one of passed hors d’oeuvres and The Rickey as one of our signature cocktails. We ended up doing two signature cocktails, three passed hors d’oeuvres, and a plated dinner with salad and three meal options. All the food was delicious, and our friends are still talking about the Mac and cheese bites. E&S also handled all our bartending, and made delicious Rickeys and Apple Shrubs as our signature cocktails. We wanted a simple dessert that would be a sweet treat while people were dancing, so it was perfect that E&S has a relationship with District Doughnuts making it super easy to order some delicious donuts for the end of the night. Every single person working our wedding was really nice and professional. Everything went so smoothly, and we are so happy that we chose to E&S as part of our wedding!
Amazing! Everything about Eat & Smile is amazing. The food is locally sourced and delicious and the planning process was seamless from start to finish. They came up with an incredible menu for my wedding (that everyone loved) and the catering service was beyond excellent. They were a great team to work with and I'm so glad I chose them! Will definitely keep them in mind for future events as well.
Menu issuesReviewed on 11/08/2015 Leah G
We really wanted to love E&S- we had a great trial tasting and loved their emphasis on local/sustainable food. Unfortunately, picking out our menu turned out to be tough, because we had a series of 2 menu tastings where we either weren’t served the foods/styles we had chosen (foods were fried that shouldn’t have been, separate entrees and sides were combined unexpectedly, the chef changed sauces or dressings from what we’d selected), or the food was just off- eg, we had one risotto that was basically rice in soup, and were served a lasagna that had completely collapsed, and told that of course it would look better at the wedding. We also ran into issues about what was included in the contract. We had selected a plated dinner (ie, entree and side vegetable), all vegetarian. In multiple cases, the E&S team would insist that veggies in an entree counted as the side – eg, the veggies inside “Vegetable Lasagna” counted as the side, or polenta cake with peppers on top was both an entree AND a side. At $80+/head, it’s not cool to have to argue about whether a hunk of unflavored polenta counts as an entree the way that a steak would. I'd strongly recommend that vegetarians going with E&S decide on a full menu before signing the contract. Anyways, all of these issues sound really petty, and no single one would have bothered us- but the combination of switches/errors and nickel-and-diming was unnecessarily stressful, and on the day of, one entrée choice was indeed different (smaller and less flavored) from what we’d had at the tasting. None of our guests said anything about the dinner–not a good sign. To close with the good: with the exception of the food issues, execution was flawless. E&S staff are very responsive, competent, and nice, and did a great job staffing our wedding, flipping the rooms, serving, etc. Their in-house coordinator, Alana, was great. And aside from the menu issues, they did offer a range of creative appetizers and customizable special options. I wish we had better things to say about the actual meal.
Eat & Smile did a fantastic job catering our rehearsal dinner at The Gibson. Katie, Erin, Oliver and the whole team were incredibly collaborative and responsive, and helped us plan and manage every last detail. Highly recommended.
Excellent experience from start to finish! The staff was on point from our first tasting/meeting to the wedding day. The menu options were tailored to our tastes and all the guests loved what was offered. I would highly recommend them for any event!
Eat & Smile Catering is a fantastic group to handle your catering events! I have had nothing but great experiences with them. Not only is their food excellent, but they're also environmentally friendly wherever they can be. Many things on their menu are locally sourced, and the owners are so so friendly and pleasant to deal with. To me, the customer service is as important as anything when I'm dealing with a company, and the Eat & Smile team is unbelievably friendly and accommodating. I look forward to working with them more!
Amazing from top to bottom.Reviewed on 10/17/2014
My wife and I had an amazing experience from start to finish with Eat & Smile. We'd met with a couple potential caterers for our wedding before finally finding E&S. We envisioned a casual wedding atmosphere featuring passed hors d'oeuvres and small plates, but every catering manager we met with discouraged us from doing so and would steer us toward their way of doing things. When we finally sat down with the folks at E&S, they "got it" right away. They are amazingly flexible, which they proved time and time again as we planned our wedding. We got advice, suggestions and help throughout the process, and I doubt some of their larger competitors could have matched their level of "can do." Our guests came to us throughout the evening of our wedding with praise for the food ("This is the best wedding food I've ever had!"), the people ("Everyone on the catering staff is so friendly!") and the service ("My glass was never empty!"). A friend from Chicago (a huge foodie) even tried to convince E&S to travel to cater her wedding next summer. They're that good.
Delicious FoodReviewed on 6/16/2014 Megan S
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. 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. - We ran out of non-alcoholic drinks. My husband and I completely take responsibility for not providing enough up front. However, we had a day of wedding planner and the bar tenders should have let the planner know about this as soon as they saw we were going to run out. Instead my photographer had to tell my planner we ran out.
Delicious!Reviewed on 6/02/2014 Becky B
Eat and Smile were super easy to work with from the first contact through to the day of execution. The food was amazing and the service was great!
The BEST caterer. Period.Reviewed on 11/08/2013 maria d
We can't say enough good things about Eat & Smile Catering. From our first contact with them through to after the wedding, they were absolutely amazing. Chef Oliver and his team were extremely knowledgeable, easy to get along with and work with, and flexible. The philosophy of using local, fresh ingredients to make innovative yet familiar approachable dishes was right on point for us. Also, everything was tailored for us as a couple and to our vision for our wedding. There were no preset prices, no preset items to choose from like at so many other caterers. There was no having to sacrifice anything because of our budget. E&S started by asking our budget and then told us how much we could do within it. Compared to other caterers with preset menus for every couple to fit into based on a price range, that alone made going with them a no-brainer. We were asked for our favorite foods, favorite cuisines, favorite restaurants, and the aesthetics of our wedding in order for them to prepare a menu specifically for us. What came back was so thoughtful and creative that we could hardly choose between our options. Anything from the list they sent us would have been perfect. And what we went with WAS perfect. Our guests raved about our food and we couldn't help but just say "I know! Wasn't our wedding dinner fantastic?!" You would have thought you were at a 4 star restaurant rather than being served along with 130 other people from a warming kitchen. That's the magic of E&S. The service was impeccable as well. They made everything work so perfectly and handled everything so seamlessly that the night flowed without any hiccups and we didn't have to worry about a thing. If I got married a hundred times and with a hundred different budgets, the only things that wouldn't change each time would be the groom and Eat & Smile as the caterer. We absolutely recommend them without reservation.
Wonderful experienceReviewed on 8/31/2013 Hilary W
I titled this "Wonderful Experience", because it truly was an experience working with Oliver. We were married in September 2012, and I should have written this long ago, but better late than never. Everything was seamless with Oliver. He speaks in a clear, concise manner and is organized in his thinking and in execution. I can't tell you how important this was to me. Unlike a lot of brides, I did not enjoy planning my wedding (although I LOVED the final result!). Oliver made at least this part easy. The food was delicious, fresh, and inventive. My guests were raving about it days later. I also loved the way they served, which was to bring out small plates continuously. I did not like the idea of a sit down dinner and this was perfect. Of course, we had tables, so people could sit if they wanted to, but there was much more flexibility for guests to get up and mingle. In fact, this was one of the aspects of the wedding that I got a lot of compliments on. No one got stuck at the "singles" table! Oliver buys his food from local farmers, which is also something I really liked. No factory farms, just local farmers providing fresh, healthy, delicious food. The staff was also a pleasure to deal with. I really appreciated their help. As far as pricing goes, I found it to be very competitively priced. I couldn't believe how much some caterers were asking for, so Eat and Smile also fit into our budget quite nicely. Overall an excellent experience. Don't wait, call Eat and Smile before you call anyone else!
Amazing!Reviewed on 7/06/2013 Alanna H
Eat and Smile Catering worked our wedding in May and we could not be happier with the experience! From our first tasting we knew that Eat and Smile was the perfect caterer to service our local DC themed wedding. Oliver and Alex were welcoming and inviting throughout the process, answering all of our questions and really helping to tailor the catering experience to our needs. They offered a wide menu of food choices for us to select from as well as additional add-on services (the Vigilante coffee service was fantastic!). The food was amazing, not your typical “Meat with red wine sauce” that you get at every other wedding you go to. The food felt more like a restaurant experience which is exactly what we were looking for. We would highly recommend Eat and Smile for a wedding or other special event!
Excellent and very well runReviewed on 6/19/2013 mariana g
I had a sit down dinner with a plated salad, 2 mains, and passed desserts. Multiple guests went out of the way to tell me how much they LOVED the food. We selected Eat & Smile because they only use locally sourced food and all of the farmers (and slaughterhouses) they use are humane certified. This was extremely important to me because I'm a vegetarian (husband is not, obviously). The service on the day of the wedding was smooth and very professional. They set up all of the tables and rentals for us, at no extra charge. The on-site manager on the day of the wedding was incredible! He introduced himself seperately to my mother and sister (during set-up time, when we were doing pictures) and made sure they had everything they needed. When I had a concern, he was right there and made sure everything was perfect. The servers were great too. When we told them I only wanted to drink 1 specific thing during dinner and the rest of the night - they made sure I always had a glass of it. It was clear that everyone Eat and Smile sent to my wedding took pride in doing their work - and they did it very well. Best of all, the food was INCREDIBLE! Everyone says wedding food is bland - but this was not! Guests raved about the food, especially the steak with chimichurri sauce. It was cooked correctly (medium rare) and was richly flavored. The capresi salad was the best I've ever had. The mini churros were great too - super hot and perfect flakiness and cinammon and sugar. Oh, and everything was prepared on-site the afternoon of the wedding, not in advance. A lot of vendors wouldn't give me upfront pricing estimates but one thing but Eat and Smile apart was very upfront and specific. As a budget conscious bride, I appreciated that. Eat & Smile was very fairly priced, and gave us many options to help us stay within our budget. I highly recommend Eat & Smile. Hotels are going to charge you an arm and a leg for food that is mass produced and probably a bit forgettable. Don't do it! These people obviously love food and it shows. The service was also incredibly attentive - I ate everything at my wedding (which was unfortunate only because my dress was pretty tight). I am so happy I went with Eat & Smile foods - I would choose them again in a heartbeat. Check them out!
A Perfect Fit for a Foodie WeddingReviewed on 6/02/2013 Virginia P
The team from Eat & Smile were wonderful to work with. My husband and I are both foodies and love to cook, and our wedding was basically planned to be a big, fun dinner party - so we knew the food had to be personal, unique, and special - and it was. Oliver Friendly's passion for local ingredients and connections to local farmers and vendors (including Dolcezza gelato and Vigilante coffee) makes his company stand out from every other corporate caterer in town. The whole team was incredibly accommodating, responsive, fun and friendly. We received tons of compliments from family and friends who loved the food as much as we did. Eat & Smile just made everything feel easy, from start to finish. I highly recommend their catering services to other foodie brides and grooms who are planning food-oriented celebrations. You won't be disappointed.
Best caterer in town!Reviewed on 1/16/2013 Meaghan O
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 that it was appropriate, at that point, to contact our caterer of choice and see how that conversation went. He got it right the minute the question escaped my mouth ("fresh, local, seasonal food!"). Oliver was bright and energetic, clear and organized in his monologue about his company, and filled me with such hope about our plans. 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. 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 Eat & Smile, 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!)...even by my brother, who has cater-waitered at some of NYC's finest events and is a bit of a boss about things, loved the team from E&S. Guests would chase down the servers or wait, salivating, along the kitchen counter for the next thing or a favorite they developed. Our friend's boyfriend stood guard at the entrance to the kitchen to make sure he got a codcake every time a fresh batch left the kitchen. We were worried that people might not get enough to eat with the small bites, but everyone left feeling impossibly and delightfully full. Despite the small bites model being a bit of a fad, I think it works perfectly for an out-of-the-ordinary kind of wedding. People have more flexibility with how much, when and what they get to eat, and you are able to choose from a wide variety of cuisines rather than sticking to one or two. 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 the team from Eat & Smile Catering.
Delicious, locally sourced foods and a dream to woReviewed on 10/23/2012 Danielle E
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.
Great catererReviewed on 8/19/2012 Claire P
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. 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.
Delish and FantasticReviewed on 10/21/2011 antonia b
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. 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.