Archive for the ‘food events’ Category

It’s the First (Fancy) Ramp Dinner of Spring

Saturday, March 22, 2014
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Ready for the first ramp dinner of the season?

And a fancy one at that! 

Celebrated West Virginia Chef Dale Hawkins will treat guests to “A Fancy Ramp Dinner: Celebrating Spring Tonics in Appalachia” at 6 pm Saturday, March 29, at Mountain View Event Center in Buckhannon.

The evening will begin with a welcome beverage and ramp queso with corn tortillas, plus a cash bar available as well. Once the dinner begins, you’ll hear from the people who have grown, caught, raised, foraged and crafted the items featured in each dish.

Dishes like: 

  • Buttermilk, Ramp and Bacon Biscuits 
  • Artisan Breads from Jeff Kessler 
  • Bad Ass Beet Salad with Orange Segments and Pea Tendrils 
  • Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Wild Leek Vinaigrette, Pickled Red Onions, Farm Eggs and Mushrooms 
  • Gardner Farm Chicken Braised in White Wine and Caramelized Ramps 
  • Gingered Beef Flank Steak with Buttery Mashed Potatoes and Fresh Asparagus 
  • Apple Dumplings with Caramel Sauce and Ellen’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 
  • Iced Sassafras Tea and Mountain Roaster Coffee 

Dinner will be served buffet-style, and vegetarian options will be noted. The cost is $35 per person and tickets must be purchased in advance. Email chefhawkins@gmail.com or call 304-704-2535. 

All profits benefit the New Appalachian Farm & Research Center A 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to support the agricultural community’s efforts of supporting a local food system for West Virginia.

Kiss for a Free Queso – Today Only at Qdoba

Friday, February 14, 2014
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Now here’s a Valentine’s Day restaurant promotion that I actually get a kick out of … 

Go into any Qdoba Mexican Grill today and kiss your mate – or a complete stranger, if they’re willing – and you’ll get a free entrée with a purchase of one of the restaurant’s Queso entrées.

The fourth-annual “Queso for a Kiss” campaign coincides with the rollout of the chain’s new Queso Diablo and Queso Verde creations launched just this week.

Queso Diablo features a blend of fiery jalapenos and smoky chipotles, while Queso Verde incorporates fresh cilantro and lime juice for a smooth and zesty flavor. The original 3-Cheese Queso is available, too, and any of these three options can be enjoyed in a burrito or variety of entrees.

Charleston’s two Qdoba locations are at Trace Fork and Charleston Town Center mall. For more information, check out www.qdoba.com.

Now who’s ready to pucker up? I’m hungry!

Charleston “Restaurant Week” Menus Announced!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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For those of you salivating over what choices you’ll have during Charleston’s upcoming “Restaurant Week,” I’m going to put you out of your misery. The menus have been announced! 

In case you missed the big news, Buzz Food Service has recruited eight top-notch local restaurants to participate in this year’s inaugural event, coming up Jan. 27-Feb. 1. 

Get the original scoop at http://bit.ly/KxGgjH, then check out the eight featured menus below …

 

BLUEGRASS KITCHEN (1600 Washington St. East, 304-346-2871)

First course:

* Simple salad or cup of soup du jour

Entrée:

* Pan-seared whole trout with organic stoneground grits, stewed kale and bourbon mustard sauce.

Dessert, choice of:

* Any available dessert.

 

BRIDGE ROAD BISTRO (915 Bridge Road, 304-720-3500)

First course, choice of:

* Cup of French Onion Soup

* House Salad

Entrée, choice of:

* Grecian Chicken Penne Pasta

* Apple Cured Pork Chop with fig and apple glaze with polenta and house vegetable

* Seared Salmon with polenta and house vegetable

Dessert, choice of:

* Bread Pudding

* Ice Cream

 

ICHIBAN (103 Capitol St., 304-720-7874)

First course, choice of:

* Gyoza (steamed pork dumpling)

* Almost Heaven Maki (shrimp and blue crab with spicy mayo, garnished with green onions and chili powder)

Entrée, choice of:

* Ichiban Land & Sea (filet with scallops drizzled with Asian sauce served with asparagus and choice of steamed or fried rice)

* Bamboo Chicken sautéed in General Tso’s sauce with choice of steamed or fried rice.

Dessert:

* Decadent Chocolate Spoon Cake.

 

NOAH’S ECLECTRIC BISTRO (110 McFarland St., 304-343-6558)

First course, choice of:

* Grilled Romaine Salad: Lightly grilled romaine, peppercorn dressing, grape tomato and shaved parmesan

* Soup of the Day: Chef’s Daily Creation

Entrée, choice of:

* Moroccan Spiced Braised Lamb: Tender braised leg of lamb with chickpeas, apricots, golden raisins, cous cous and mint yogurt

* Shrimp or Chicken Pad Thai: Bean sprouts, julienne vegetables, fried egg, rice noodles, peanuts, cilantro, coconut-peanut sauce

Dessert, choice of:

* Chocolate Lava Cake

* Vanilla Ice Cream with fresh berries

 

PATERNO’S AT THE PARK (601 Morris St., 304-205-5482)

First course, choice of:

* House-made meatball over polenta cake

* Italian Sausage Stuffed Pepper

Entrée, choice of:

* basil chicken (pan seared bone-in chicken breast with a basil marsala cream), tomato risotto and seasonal vegetable

* veal cutlet picatta (pounded veal tenderloin with a lemon and caper butter sauce), parmesan risotto and seasonal vegetable

Dessert:

* Cannoli chips

 

SOHO’S CAPITOL MARKET (800 Smith St., 304-720-7646)

First course, choice of:

* Caprese Salad

* Minestrone

Entrée, choice of:

* Lasagna

* Four-cheese ravioli with tomato basil

Dessert, choice of:

* Tiramisu

* Cannoli

 

SOUTH HILLS MARKET AND CAFÉ (1010 Bridge Road, 304-345-2585)

First course, choice of:

* Spanakopita Dip with Smoked Tomato Relish and Pita

* Garden Greens with choice of Dressing

* Braised Pork Belly with Succotash and Caramel Soy

Entrée, choice of:

* Chicken and Waffles with Braised Greens and Pecan Gastrique

* Pan Seared Grouper with Braised Leeks and Fennel with Saffron Beurre Blanc

* Grilled Petite Filet with whipped Potatoes and Vegetable Melange with Bordelaise

Dessert, choice of:

* Petite Doughnuts with Chocolate Sauce

* Creme Brûlée with Berry compote

 

VANDALIA GRILLE (212 Hale St., 304-343-4110)

First course, choice of:

* Tuna Nachos

* Bruschetta

Entrée, choice of:

* Cedar Plank Salmon

* Vandalia Filet

Dessert:

* Fried Cheesecake

Chef Brown … You’ve Been Chopped!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
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If you read my column in today’s Daily Mail, you know I spent last night enjoying a fantastic night of wine, food, music and friends at Edgewood Country Club.

It was everything I expected in a nice evening out and more – and yet another feather in Festivall’s cap.

But what you don’t know is who won Charleston’s first-ever Edgewood Become a Work of Art “Chopped”-style culinary throwdown, in which two amateur chefs (and their teams) competed against one another to prepare two different dishes for four judges using a “mystery box” of ingredients revealed just 15 minutes before the stoves were fired up.

So who won? Oh, we’ll get to that.

First things first. What an AWESOME evening!

Held on Edgewood Country Club’s patio overlooking the city of Charleston, more than a hundred guests mingled – listening to the awesome “Fort Hillbillies” band, socializing with friends, sipping wine – while two culinary teams battled it out over a hot grill. Local “Wine Boy” John Brown and Charleston doctor Stefan Maxwell led their teams to create a menu featuring at least three ingredients from the mystery box (actually a coffin-sized cooler) presented to them right as the competition began.

Among their choices … sea bass, ahi tuna, ribeye and a selection of fresh produce, herbs, grains and full use of Chef Jeremy Still’s Edgewood Country Club pantry.

I immediately started plotting what I would make under the circumstances, but my ideas differed from what these fast-thinkers came up with on the fly. Chef Maxwell crafted a menu of a fire-grilled Caribbean Angus rib-eye roast with a rum-infused jerk reduction over warm potato salad. He paired that with a cored curried apple stuffed with goat cheese, figs and warm berry compote.

I loved the interplay of heat and sweat in his dish, but my steak was definitely overcooked compared to the plates I saw fellow judges enjoying on the left and right. Ah, consistency. But that sweet-savory-fruity apple dessert was one of the most ingenious, delicious I’ve had.

Chef Brown’s team offered a summer salad medley – a single plate featuring small tastes of crab Louis, grilled asparagus and a Caprese salad of sliced tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella and julienned basil. Those are three dishes I love individually, but never would’ve thought to pair them together on the same plate. But why not?

The Brown team’s main course featured a Southwest-seared rib-eye, grilled broccolini and a farrow-stuffed grilled pepper. I dream of broccolini and farrow, so this was a winner in my book. The steak was cooked nicely, too, so there was little to find fault with here.

But that’s what judges do, so we filled out our scorecards to name an ultimate winner. And in the spirit of the show that inspired it … “Chef Brown, you’ve been Chopped!”

Chef Maxwell’s Caribbean-inspired menu won by the narrowest of margins, just 1.3 points out of a possible 60. So very close.

No matter, it was an awesome night – and yet another reason why West Virginia, Charleston and Festivall will forever hold a special place in my heart. (And belly.)

Enjoy a Gourmet Feast in a Gorgeous Farm Setting

Thursday, May 30, 2013
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If you love great locally sourced food, fine wine and good company – all enjoyed against a backdrop of sweeping views of West Virginia’s rolling farmland – have I got an event for you!

Tickets are still available for the June 10 “Friends of Food” gourmet farm feast at beautiful Swift Level Farm in Lewisburg. Join other diehard “foodies” (and me!) as we celebrate West Virginia’s culinary heritage and local farm products for an unforgettable evening at one of the most beautiful and idyllic settings in the state.

Some of our region’s finest chefs will team up to serve a “New Appalachian” feast paired with featured wines from the Wine Shop at Capitol Market.

Cocktails will start at 6:30 pm, with dinner served at 7:30 pm. Seating will be in tables of eight, and tickets are $100 per person.

You can order yours now – and take a look at the entire mouthwatering menu – here:

http://castironcookoff.com/Friends-of-Food-at-Swift-Level-fof.htm

Charleston’s Best Eats? The “People” Have Spoken!

Monday, May 13, 2013
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A few weeks ago I wrote about the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau’s efforts to honor local employees, restaurants, businesses and hotels in conjunction with National Tourism Week.

After weeks of the public nominating – and then voting on – their favorites in a variety of categories, winners are being announced TONIGHT during a reception at the Charleston Civic Center!

In the food-related categories, honors go to …

  • Favorite Restaurant – Pies & Pints
  • Favorite Specialty Drink – Sangria, Lola’s
  • Favorite Food Dish – Black Bean Pie, Pies & Pints
  • Best Restaurant Employee – Dana Mindrescu, Marriott
  • Best Frontline Ambassador – Aaron Clark, Bridge Road Bistro

Congrats to all!

Pick Up Some Soup … and Keep the Beautiful Bowl

Thursday, January 31, 2013
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What’s better than buying a nice big bowl of homemade soup to enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday – or any cold winter’s day, for that matter?

Getting to keep the bowl, too.

And not just any bowl, but a beautiful ceramic one handcrafted by West Virginia artisans whose work is often on display at Tamarack.

This Saturday, just a day before the big game, Unity of Kanawha Valley will hold a “Souper Bowl Saturday” soup and bowl sale at the church, on the corner of Bridge and Myrtle roads in South Hills.

Homemade soups, breads and tasty baked goods will be sold, along with the opportunity to purchase ceramic soup bowls created by regional potters. The Tamarack Foundation worked with artists from St. Albans to Hinton to donate bowls for this weekend’s sale.

You can purchase just the soup or the soup in a decorative bowl. Potters will also have order forms on hand in case you’d like to purchase additional matching bowls or a complete set.

Get some soup to eat in, purchase a bowl to take out or stock up for the game.

Sounds souper!

The sale will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, with proceeds going to the church. For more information, call 304-345-0021.

Huntington Restaurant Offering Inaugural Meal

Friday, January 25, 2013
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If you happened to catch the presidential inauguration on TV this week, you may have wondered just exactly what all of those dignitaries were noshing on when they sat down for an elegant luncheon after the ceremony.

Well, wonder no more.

Savannah’s Restaurant in Huntington (a fantastic place, by the way!) is celebrating the 57th Inauguration of the President of the United States this weekend by recreating the meal served that day. The three-course menu includes …

  • First course: Lobster Tail with New England Chowder Sauce
  • Second course: Grilled Bison with Red Potato Horseradish Cake
  • Third course: Apple Pie with Ice Cream, Cheese and Honey

The menu is available as a three-course prix fixe meal or individual courses may be ordered a la carte. Wine recommendations for each course also will be included on the special menu, which is available tonight and tomorrow night only, Jan. 25-26.

For more information or reservations, call 304-529-0919 or visit www.savannahsmenu.com. The restaurant is located at 1208 Sixth Ave. in Huntington.

It’s National Pie Day. Bake, Slice and Celebrate!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
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Wednesday (Jan. 23) is National Pie Day – WOOT! – so here are a few fun facts from various sources to mark the occasion …

  • Nearly one out of five (19%) of Americans prefer apple pie, followed by pumpkin (13%), pecan (12%), banana cream (10%) and cherry (9%).
  • Pie isn’t just for dessert anymore! Thirty-five percent of Americans say they’ve had pies for breakfast. Pies as lunch (66%) and midnight snacks (59%) also have a popular following.
  • When asked what dessert Americans would prefer a friend or family member bring to their house for a holiday dinner, pie was the winner with 29%. Cake (17%) and cookies (15%) rounded out the top three.
  • The expression “as American as apple pie” traces back to 14th century England. The Pilgrims brought their pie-making skills, along with      apple seeds, to America. As the popularity of apple pie spread throughout the nation, the phrase grew to symbolize American prosperity.
  • The term “upper crust” refers to early America when the economy was difficult and supplies were hard to come by. Only affluent households could afford ingredients for both the upper and lower crusts of a pie, thus the term “upper crust” was born.

Now, go make one. :)

Love a Veteran? Treat ‘Em to a Free Meal

Thursday, November 8, 2012
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Two local restaurants are honoring America’s servicemen and women this Veterans Day by offering free meals to anyone who brings in their valid military ID this Monday, Nov. 12.

T.G.I. Friday’s is saying thanks to the men and women who protect our country with lunch on the house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day. All they need to do is show proof of service – either a U.S. Uniform Services ID Card, a U.S. Uniform Services Retired ID Card, a Current Leave and Earnings Statement, Veterans Organization Card, a DD214, a photograph in uniform or by wearing their uniform.

In addition to a free meal for veterans this Monday, Texas Steakhouse and Saloon will also give up to five friends and family members dining with military members their own 10% discount.

Texas Steakhouse and Saloon has a long-standing relationship with the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that helps injured armed service members. All year long, one dollar of the proceeds from every “Grandma’s Shortcake” sold at the restaurant is donated to the group, resulting in a $51,000 donation.

That’s a lot of cake!