Pizza Party Catering is the Best Catering

 Chef Nick Strawhecker, of Omaha's Dante, standing at the mouth of The Inferno.

Chef Nick Strawhecker, of Omaha's Dante, standing at the mouth of The Inferno.

My girls are about to graduate from first and second grade (and Millie starts pre-pre-K in the fall), but I already know that I want the Dante Inferno at their high school graduation parties. And should any of the GaGas decide to get married in Omaha, you can bet a bottle of Brunello that Dante will be handling the food.

I'm not being a monster-of-the-bride about this. Dante catered my sister's wedding reception at our home and I'm pretty sure it was the happiest day of Trixie and Irish's life. Trix even hoarded a stash of meatballs to eat later. I don't think any of us have ever cancelled a flight so as not to miss a party that Dante was catering, but I don't know for sure that it wouldn't happen.

All to say, when I was recently invited to La Dolce Vita, a Dante-catered event for Omaha influencers, I jumped at the chance. Chef Nick Strawhecker set up a full mobile kitchen, including The Inferno, his beloved wood-fired oven porta via, in the driveway of a friend's home and, I promise you, every passer-by in the neighborhood wished they could be at that party.

Dante's catering can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. For La Dolce Vita, we had Margherita pizza, salad and wine (Nick recommends lambrusco, "It's a party wine," he says. But he brought a full fleet of Italian reds and whites, plus Peroni, Pellegrino, lemonade, etc.). For my sister's wedding, they served made-to-order pizzas, lasagna, gorgeous hunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano and tomato flan (a recipe our family loves from Cibrèo in Florence and Peppolino in New York). In either case, we're talking total transcendental dégustation.

The thing I'm most hung up on right now is that it doesn't have to be a major event for Dante to roll out The Inferno. One catering package, called The Trinity, works out to be about $18 per person for Margherita, sausage and pepperoni pizzas -- plus greens -- for up to 50 people. Last time I checked, that's only a few dollars more than a national burrito chain's catering prices (no shade, Chipotes), and it's Dante's epic, locally-sourced,  Beyoncé-level pizza. 

Since I've been craving Dante ever since attending La Dolce Vita, I've brainstormed a year's worth of excuses, I mean events, beyond graduations and weddings, to call in The Inferno. Feel free to use any of these -- or make up your own. (It probably goes without saying, but if anyone attending your event needs a plus-one, I've got you covered.)

  • Birthday parties (even for children. The price is about the same as most kids' party venues and Dante still takes care of the clean-up for you.)
  • Family reunions
  • Office parties
  • Memorial Day parties
  • Pool parties
  • Father's Day
  • Fourth of July
  • The World Cup
  • Staff appreciation lunches
  • Dinners for any type of overtime work (when I worked at Bazaar, they would bring in dinner for an entire month while we closed the September issue. If Dante had been in the rotation, perhaps magazines would still reign.)
  • End of summer party
  • Teacher conference week dinners
  • Harvest parties
  • Halloween parties
  • Primaries watch parties
  • Friendsgiving
  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas 
  • New Year's Eve
  • Bowl game watch parties
  • The Oscars
  • St. Patrick's Day/Italian Unification Day 
  • St. Joseph's Day (this could be your chance to make the Italian St. Patrick's Day happen)
  • Easter
  • Mother's Day (YES, PLEASE!)

For more information, contact Dante's catering manager Emily Smith at 402.933.7014 or email esmith@dantepizzeria.com.

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Disclosure: I attended La Dolce Vita as a guest of Dante to write this post. But my love for Dante is true and evangelic, and the opinions I express here are my own.