Feeling the Luv Luv

2016-08-14 12.07.26

Amuse Bouche

I podcasted about this this week, but, Stephanie and I had the privilege of attending not one but four different food events his past week. I say four but it was really only three different events but four different days. Today I’m going to talk about Chef Tim Grandinetti’s Sweet Summer Luv Luv Festival that is held every year at Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar. We went two nights, Monday, which wasn’t officially part of the festival and we took 10 of our good friends with us to enjoy the local celebs that we call chefs in and around WSNC. That will come soon, but the review today, t is about the event that we attended on Friday. Luv Luv brings chefs from all around the country, some of Chef Tim’s best chef buddies, if you will.

This night’s guest chef is Chef Tim Recher who is the Executive Chef of the Army Navy Club in Washington DC, so he’s used to cooking for 4-star generals and Admirals. We were lucky to have him here.

2016-08-16 12.25.30The night started with a little amuse bouche of a beef meatball, steamed shrimp (wrapped in foil with heirloom grape tomatoes and herbs) and a deviled egg that had a familiar flavor but I cannot for the life of me figure out what it was. It was pickled or vinegary. I loved it though.

The first course was a Sweet Corn Vichyssoise with Maine lobster, hearts of palm from Hawaii, Fresno chile to add some spice, a lengthy brioche with parsley oil. This was a sweet, cold soup. The chunks of lobster were just that, chunks, and an ample amount of it, too. The Fresno chile gave a little bite to cut through the sweetness of the corn. The Hearts of Palm added a little texture to the soup as did the brioche. Fantastic dish, this.2016-08-16 12.26.42

The fish course was Milk Poached Halibut with Parisian gnocchi, asparagus (which I promptly put on Stephanie’s plate as I cannot eat it and live with myself), pearl onion, which, surprisingly, I ate and the whole plate was garnished with pea tendrils. The fish was quite flaky, which is always good and there was a light foam, I’m guessing from the milk on the top and I’m unable to say enough good things about microgreens and the pea tendrils had a great light crunch and bright flavor to add, as well. I thought the gnocchi was tender but not doughy as some can feel to me. The flavor of them was nicely done, as well. They’re a little different than normal potato-based dough treats you may think of with gnocchi. I just loved the fish with the microgreens.

2016-08-16 12.27.52The next course was different for me. Another food that I just can’t get into is beets. Some may complain that a foodie needs to eat them. Well, not this foodie. They taste like dirt and I don’t mean they taste dirty, I mean they taste like dirt. It is somewhat the bane of my existence that they have become a fad as of late. Chefs need to experiment and get that, just leave me out of it. So, this course, was Smoked Beat Salad. It included aerated coriander yogurt, curried cashews, upland cress and a beet fluid gel. One thing I have to say about this dish is that it was very colorful and beautiful. It was probably the most colorful and “pretty” dish of the day. But, beets are beets and regardless of using the gold or red beets (chef Tim used both), they taste like dirt to me. I did like the curried cashews, though. Stephanie did eat some of hers and she preferred the gold beets, earthy, not like dirt but warm & hearty like yellow curry. She also said they had a brighter 2016-08-16 12.29.11flavor, especially with the upland cress microgreens, which I also ate from my plate, because microgreens.

My favorite dish was next, Zabuton Wagyu Beef Steak. It was accompanied by beef short rib in a potato pavè, heirloom veggies, truffle reduction, soubise, coffee soil and crispy bone marrow butter. The beef was prepared medium rare, as it should be (if not rare) and had a bit of the soubise and ruffle reduction around it. The coffee soil, the best I can tell, is what formed the delightful crust on the beef. The crispy bone marrow butter was very hearty with a rich meaty flavor, I liked it. The potato pave was tender, it looked firmer than it was but the flavor with the short rib inside and even with the heirloom veggies, which when I can, I do eat, was a fantastic side. I thought the flavors melded great and was a 2016-08-16 12.30.39fantastic overall dish.

The dessert course was Soft Chocolate & Raspberries. It included a chocolate soil, a housemade raspberry gel, chocolate crumble and spearmint. The soft chocolate, to me was like pudding and was melting. It wasn’t just because of the heat, but by design. The raspberry gel was thick and tart, but oh so good, especially when mixed with the melting chocolate and the chocolate crumbles. If you have a sweet tooth, I’m pretty sure this would have hit the spot. I found it delicious and with the bright spearmint at the end (I love eating mint) the whole plate popped.

I want to thank, again, Chef Tim Grandinetti for hosting this fantastic event, which over the course of the week saw seven guest chefs from around the country and Canada and around 10 of the best chefs we have here locally in Winston-Salem. I’d also like to thank Chef Tim Recher for bringing his talents to Winston for a night to thrill those who got to experience his cooking style, which for Stephanie and I, our second year in a row with Chef Tim. Next year, if you’re not at Luv Luv, then you don’t love food. Find out more about Spring House by visiting their website HERE.

 

Mike’s Week: the Video Retrospective

The original plan for the video that I made for Mike’s Week was for me to complete it, Mike Rothman could see it and then choose to allow us to to show it to others or choose to keep it for himself. Either way, I would have been okay. Either way, we all know what an amazing journey it was, what it was we experienced, how we came together as a community and how we made a difference. Didn’t work out quite that way, but that’s okay. It’s here for your to 10170796_10152392983624743_4049441617845107446_nenjoy (link at the bottom of the page).

The video is 23 minutes long. That’s a long time for a retrospective video, I’m well aware, but there was too much to show. Editing down the video from nearly 90 minutes of footage was hard enough. But, I needed this 23 minutes to show the awesome dedication of those who were behind the counter and behind the scenes. I needed this 23 minutes to show the amazing community that came to spend and/or donate their dollars to help their fellow man. I needed this 23 minutes to show the atmosphere, the magic and power that community can create. While a few seconds could come off of it, I felt the 23 minutes was needed to get the full effect.

I do want to say that I really appreciate Will Kingery, Dana Moody and Vivian Joiner for spearheading the effort, along with all the other restaurateurs, volunteers and the Winston-Salem (and neighbors) and thanks to Dana for asking me to participate by filming the events. I can’t explain how proud I am of that.

Now that all of that is done, you can see the video, yourself, by clicking HERE. Enjoy and thanks for watching (and reading!)

Food Goings On and Stuffs 4/20/16

A few things that are going on around town and, really, around the state.

skippys

Photo©Skippy’s Facebook

Also, something that has been in the local food plane the last few months is happening next week. Many local chefs, restaurateurs and all-around foodie folk are banding together to come to the aid of a local restaurateur in need. Mike Rothman is the owner of Skippy’s Hot Dogs, famous for their pretzel buns. Mike has glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer and had some tumors removed earlier this year. Even though he has insurance, there’s only so much that it will pay and meanwhile he has a beloved (by him and the WSNC folk) restaurant that is sitting idle and unopened. Mike had to move back to Pennsylvania in order to be with family that will help with his recovery.

In what they’re calling “Mike’s Week” (#MikesWeek on social media, please), the awesome people behind some of Winston’s best downtown restaurants are coming to the rescue; at least coming to a relief. They’re going to open Skippy’s for one week starting April 23 and going through April 30. All the proceeds from this project will go to Mike. These opened days are done by volunteers of the restaurants involved, including their executive chefs, owners, bartenders, waitstaff and dishwashers. Everyone is getting involved.

The restaurants that are involved include: Spring House/Quanto Basta, Jeffrey Adams/Old Fourth Street Filling Station, Mozelle’s, West End Coffeehouse, DiLisio’s, Kabob’s on Fourth, Mary’s Gourmet Diner, Sweet Potatoes, Finnigan’s Wake and King’s Crab Shack/Silo Bistro/Willow’s Bistro. I hear there is also inquiries about more openings. Each day the restaurant(s) on duty will create their own twist on hot dogs. Unfortunately, Mike is the only one that does the pretzel buns, so that’s going to be missing, but the restaurant community is coming to his aid in a really awesome way. So, between this Saturday, April 23 and April 30th, won’t you stop by for a great dog for a great cause?

Last week on The Less Desirables, they (we) had Chef Kris Fuller (and her wife, Rachel Walker), owner of Crafted: Art of the Taco and Crafted: The Art of Street Food in Greensboro.  You probably know, that she is opening, finally, 2016-04-13 22.33.58Crafted: Art of the Taco here in Winston-Salem. It will be just south of the intersection of Sixth and Liberty on Liberty Street. She’s very excited about the opportunity and we are very happy that she’s bringing that deliciousness to our fair city.  The timeline, as of right now, is looking like late fall. We that follow restaurants and happenings realize that you take the target and add a little time to it to be realistic. That’s true with just about any business.

Without going into much details about their history, Crafted: Art of the Taco (East), Kris and her mother, Rhonda started another popular restaurant, The Bistro, in Adam’s Farm and had to close it due to road development. The success of that restaurant gave them motivation to open another. Art of the Taco wants it known that they are definitely not a Mexican restaurant, they’re a taco joint, plain and simple. Or, not really that simple. I’m sad to say that I haven’t actually eaten there, but Kris made me promise to come down and try it before Art of the Taco West opens. There’s also talk of a certain “branded” taco when they do open. We’ll see what happens with that.

In news outside Winston-Salem, even outside of the Triad, a Triangle brewing staple has announced that it is closing. In fact, the name of the brewery is Triangle Brewing Company and they’re closing their doors on April 30th. Triangle has been sold at City Beverage, at least in the past, and there are fans of that brewery here in Winston. The Less Desirables met one of their most loyal fans, we call him: Superfan Damien, at Triangle so it’s hallowed ground in TBC-Logo-blackTLD’s lore.

Their brews include: Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale, an IPA, Belgian White Ale, Imperial Amber Ale, all of which were available in cans and sold in this area. There are plenty of other styles that they produced. They will open, as I stated, for the last time at 4pm on April 30. They will stay open until the last drop of beer they have left is gone (or until 2am, whichever is sooner). So, since it’s the same day, perhaps you start with breakfast at Skippy’s and head to Durham for a beer-filled send off? Just drink responsibly and take a designated driver.

I don’t know all the details on why they’re closing but my “man on the street,” Superfan Damien is going to find out and let me know so I can report on it.

So that’s the things happening this week that I found noteworthy. There are plenty of things going on and I’ll do my best to update so you know! If you have WSNC food news and want my readers to know about it, please feel free to send me an email.

Bon appetit!

Chef Tim Grandinetti – Bourbon and Pappy

This is part of the “Food Pairing Series” that will convey the culinary genius that is Winston-Salem’s (and surrounding areas’) wonderful restaurateurs, chefs and food visionaries. This series isn’t designed to display any certain holidays, seasons or time frames. It is simply a demonstration of what the area has to offer and why you should follow the restaurants and chefs to be informed about the events that they will be holding in the future. You won’t be disappointed… guaranteed. Enjoy!

This event brought a pre-Valentine’s treat for Stephanie and me. We were guests at the chef’s table for Tim Grandinetti’s American Whiskey Celebration, AKA the “‘Illest Bourbon Dinner.” A limited-seating event (there were only 16 people, max), we were treated to some fantastic bourbon and delicious food at Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar.

Pan Roasted Diver Scallops & Smoked Giant Shrimp

First off, who doesn’t like seafood saddled beside (or on top or under) a bourbon gravy laced with bacon? EspeciallySH Roasted Diver Scallops 1 when that bacon is the delicious Italian pancetta? Well, here you have large, meaty shrimp and tender diver scallops that are perfectly enveloped in this pancetta bourbon glaze and all of this on top of creamy grits. And, please, don’t forget the microgreens. I have gotten on a microgreens kick lately and these, while quaint, set it all off. It was a small dish but bursting with large flavor; lots of smokiness, wonderful savory and seafood tastes.

Pair this with a craft cocktail called “Maple Ginger Smash” and that was made with Buffalo Trace Whiskey. It’s spiciness matched with that of the ginger and against the sweet of the maple creates a flavor party for your mouth. This along with the salty pancetta, the earthy microgreens and our delicious friends from the sea? A wonderful first course.

Slow Cooked Duck Confit with Grand Marnier Aioli

I’ve just discovered the joys of duck in the last few years and duck confit (cooked in its own fat) is even better. I’ve SH Slow Cooked Duck Confit 2really never been a fan of dark fowl meat: duck, turkey, chicken, etc., but lately these things have started to really appeal to me. First, though, there’s a smeared smattering of the Grand Marnier aioli. Grand Marnier is absolutely my favorite liquor or liqueur, ever. So, an aioli – not unlike (but not exactly) mayonnaise but with garlic – made with this lovely orange treat is just perfect. Take the fat-cooked duck leg and place it on top of said aioli and it’s a match made at least near heaven. Garnished with large-cut sweet potato steak fries, both they and the duck are great candidates for “dipping” in the aioli. I believe this was my favorite dish of the night.

The duck was paired with the craft cocktail called “Toasted Apples” made with Basil Hayden, a lighter bourbon in the Jim Beam family. The lighter bourbon with the fresh apple essence went well with the dark fowl and created a delightful contrast and flavor balance.

Orchard Apple, Estate Honey & Bourbon Sorbet

The palate cleanser was a delicious sorbet that was infused with Maker’s Mark, a very flavor-rich bourbon. The woodSH Orchard Apple Estate Honey 3 notes of the bourbon and the sweetness of the honey makes a great match for the apple flavors. I could have eaten about 12 more of those.

Bourbon Chicken & Crispy Chicken Livers

Take some potatoes, whip them up with creamy brie and scallions and you have a delicious bed on which to lay your breaded bourbon chicken. Then take chicken livers and hearts and bread them up and place them SH Bourbon Chicken and Crispy Livers and Hearts 4on the potato bed right next to the wonderful chicken. They are from the same bird so, naturally they make great bedfellows. I’ll be honest, chicken innards aren’t usually my thing, but Tim Grandinetti has a way of making me eat things I normally wouldn’t. The hearts were a little more chewy than I’d want, but they were definitely edible. The livers were quite earthy but when you mixed all that with the roasted tomato chutney, the tomatoes gave just the right amount of acidity to the hearty bird and potatoes.

This was paired with the craft cocktail called “Smoke Signals,” made with Elijah Craig bourbon. Its smokey tones made the pungent brie cheese pop in the potatoes, brought out the brightness of the tomatoes and tamed the earthiness of the livers and hearts. This dish, overall, I’d describe as simply: “bold.”

House Signature Bread PuddingSH House Signature Bread Pudding with KK Streusel 5

This bread pudding was sticky (which I think is the point) and moist. It was made with a Krispy Kreme streusel and that WSNC staple brought new life to the pudding. Add a side of egg foam and you get a creamy sauce to pour over the pudding/streusel to lighten it up a bit. It was good, but the anticipation of the bourbon distracted me from getting a full flavor experience. The bourbon in SH 15 Year Old Pappy Van Winkle 5question was the Pappy Van Winkle 15 year-old. Pappy is made in very small batches: perhaps 7000 bottles a year (compared to 7 million cases of Jim Beam a year). Its flavor was the absolute smoothest I’ve ever tasted in a bourbon. You get the full bourbon hit but, it’s very low on the bite, which is what some people complain about with bourbon.  I am honored to have tried this, especially with the company I was with when doing so.

Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar is a collaboration between husband-and-wife team, Lynn Murphy & Lynette Matthews-Murphy and Chef Extraordinaire, Tim Grandinetti. They offer Southern, New American cuisine that is rotated seasonally using farm-to-table ingredients whenever possible. This, with craft cocktail artistry and a wonderful, out of the ordinary beer and wine list, makes this restaurant unique and you’ll love eating, imbibing and enjoying at its beautifully historic grounds, bar and dining rooms. You can find more about Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar on their website. You can call them: (336) 293-4797. Follow Chef Tim on Twitter: @DocBrownstone

Restaurant Week is Back

The Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership’s Restaurant Week is almost here! The new restaurant weekannual event is running this year from Monday, February 22 through Sunday, February 28. The event is to highlight the restaurants as well as our beloved downtown and its fantastic aesthetic and diverse nightlife. Each location will offer specials intended to entice you to try their wares as well as that of their colleagues.

The list of restaurants in the downtown Winston-Salem area is out and available for your perusing. You can see the full details of the event here. To highlight just a few of the establishments and a sample of their specials to whet your whistle:

DiLisio’s Italian Restaurant$30 Special – 1 shared Appetizer, 2 Baked Dishes, 1 Shared Canoli.

Willow’s Bistro & Bar:
$20 Special – 
1st Course: cup of soup or salad
2nd Course: Grilled Scottish Salmon: over wild mushroom risotto, asparagus coins, shaved manchego.
3rd Course: Makers Mark creme brulee with fresh berries

$30 Special –
1st Course: roasted veggies or grilled romaine
2nd Course: Grilled 8oz. Cafe Steak: over gouda mac n cheese, grilled asparagus, & fried onion rings
3rd Course: Sous Vide Banana Pudding

King’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar:
$20 Special – Full Bucket – Dreamy Steamy Bucket: steamed mix of spiced up snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters

$30 Special – Bucket for Two – Dreamy Steamy Bucket: steamed mix of spiced up snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters

Meridian:
$30 Per Person –
Choice of Starters:
Soup du Jour
Little Gem Artisan Lettuce Salad: with roasted tomato, English cucumber, house made crouton & aged red wine vinaigrette

Choice of Entree:
House Made Pasta of the day(eg. Ravioli, Lasagna, Manicotti)
Pan Seared NC Mountain Trout: with starch, vegetable & sauce
Grass Fed Bistro Steak Lyonnaise: with pommes frites, dressed artisan lettuce & Meridian steak sauce

Choice of Housse Made Dessert:
Bread Pudding: with caramel & creme chantilly
Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
Dark Chocolate Torte with ganache & creme chantilly

Mellow Mushroom:
$20 Dinner for Two –
Choice of 2 lil’ salads (tossed or caesar)
1 medium 1-topping pizza to share
1 brownie sundae to share

$30 Dinner for Two –
Choice of Hummus or Bruschetta appetizer to share
1 large specialty pizza to share
1 brownie sundae to share

Mission Pizza:
$20 Special –
1 pizza of your choice, green salad, and daily dessert

$30 Special –
2 pizzas of your choice OR 1 pizza of your choice and 1 plate of your choice, and dessert

Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar:
Classic Spring House: $20 –
Choice of seasonal soup or HOUSE salad
The Colonel 2.0.16: crispy buttermilk fried chicken atop corn waffle with brown sugar smoked apple infused maple drizzle
Warm Bread Pudding
**please no substitutions

Winter’s Bounty: $30 –
Shrimp and Crab Beignets with Red Beet and Horseradish Remoulade
Choice of seasonal soup or HOUSE salad
Fred Flintstone’s Pork Shank: Savannah inspired red rice with lemon, parsley and dijon bread crumbs and HOUSE pepper jelly
**please no substitutions

Camino Bakery:
$20 Special –
Bag of Krankies whole coffee beans and a loaf of bread of your choice

$30 Special –
Bag of Krankies whole coffee beans, loaf of bread of your choice, and a bottle of Honoro Vera Garnacha

There are plenty more wonderful restaurants participating. Again, see the full list on the DWSP website.

A few disclaimers that are very important here:

*Restaurant Week Specials are dine-in only so, no take outs.
*Restaurant Specials are subject to change and that’s a possibilty. The prices exclude tax and tip. Take care of those who take care of you.
*If you’ve a food allergy, questions about ingredients or any other special restrictions, please check with individual restaurants.
*Restaurant Week Specials are subject to availability; they may, and often do, run out of the Special.
*Please check with restaurants prior to dining if you have questions about the Specials; don’t call the DWSP about it, they’re not in control of that info.
*If they run out of the Special, the restaurant is not obligated to provided a replacement dish.
*Coupons are not accepted in conjunction with these specials. Check with restaurants for coupon policies.

If there is an error on this page, the official restaurant special at the Restaurant is correct; I’m but a guide through the awesome food land and I have been known to almost make a mistake a time or two.

The important thing here? Go enjoy delicious food and support local establishments. You never know who you may see out there!

The Last of the Luv Luv with Much Love

-Timothy G. Beeman II

On Saturday, Stephanie and myself were invited to accompany friends of ours to the Annual Luv Luv Festival, the brainchild of Tim Grandinetti, the co-owner/head chef of Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar. The Luv Luv Festival is a culinary showcase of chefs from all over with great live music. We hadn’t, unfortunately, ever attended the Luv Luv Festival but we had wanted to. This was our first time ever and let’s just say we loved it. Let’s make clear, too that it’s not the last ever festival but the last day of this year’s festival.

Group

The Beer Dads and Their Pilots

Menu

The Menu

First of all, we have to start with the company we kept during this festival. Paul & Susan Jones along with Jon & Celeste Lowder were our tablemates and we’re no strangers to each other. In fact, Paul, Jon and I do a podcast called The Beer Dads which is part of The Less Desirables Podcast Network. So we hang out, talk about being dads and drink, you guessed it, beer every week. Our wives have become good friends so we had a very, very fun table. Also, former local DJ personality and Master of Ceremonies of the event, Bob Campbell (who also happens to be the voice over talent for The Beer Dads) sat with us as did our guest of honor, the wife of this evening’s guest chef (Tim Recher), Alicia Recher. We were guests of the Lowders and can’t thank them enough for having us. Good wine, liquor and beer as “the beer dad” ladies had more than a few glasses of white wine and the guys a mixture of cocktails and beer. I believe Paul and Jon preferred the Sisters of the Moon IPA from Mother Earth Brewing while I had one of those and then switched to the Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge. But, as much as we like to think that it is sometimes, the alcohol wasn’t the star attraction of the night. It was the food.

Starting off the whole night was a plate of hummus with pita triangles alongside of tomatoes straight from the garden of Chef Grandinetti. This was followed by a large plate of oysters and cocktail shrimp from Rappahannock Oyster Company. The oysters 11891148_10153437332285490_984877909746256410_nwere raw and delicious. Also served with them were some hot peppers with a sweet glaze of hoisin and sesame seeds. Jon and a few of the ladies mentioned they thought they were hot. I ate several of them and got nothing more than great flavor. I found them to be very mild and almost no heat. Perhaps one of us got lucky, you decide.

Course 1

Course #1 Chicken & Dumplings

The first course “Chicken & Dumplings” was quail, black summer truffle mousse, gnocchi, chive velouté and herb biscuit. This was a fantastic course. The “chicken” seemed to be a combo of quail and other meats that were served sausage style and while I’m generally not one for quail, not only did I eat all of this, I picked it up and ate the bones like they were a chicken leg. Of course, I was nibbling, but it was so good and the velouté sauce was like gravy and light enough to not overpower but perfect for accentuation. It was easy to sop up the extra velouté sauce with the biscuit and the gnocchi were tender. Let’s say that my plate (with the exception of the bones of the quail) had nothing left on it. It was clean. Wonderful course.

Course 2

Course #2 English Pea Soup with Sea Bass

Course #2 was “Chilled English Pea Soup and Seared Sea Bass.” Described as coriander, Fresno chili, warm mushroom-shallot-pea salad, Arbequine olive oil, fennel pollen. When you cut into the fish, it fell apart being a wonderful flaky morsel of flavor. Seasoning wasn’t anything to mask the fish, you got full “sea bass” (or Patagonian Tooth Fish) flavor and that’s a good thing. The peas under the fish were quite fresh and even had Susan Jones, who doesn’t eat peas cleaning her plate of them. As simple as it is, the cress on top, really set a freshness that I can’t explain in words to the entire plate. The pea soup had the distinctive coriander and chili flavor as it was a tad savory and I loved it. It was topped with the fennel pollen. I had to drink it like a shot because there really was no way to get a spoon in there. But, I think that was the point. I had no problem shooting that soup. Delicious.

Course 3

Course #3 Beet Salad

Course #3 was “Roasted Baby Heirloom Beet Salad.” Belgium endive, frisée (another kind of endive, which along with Belgium endive can be called chicory here in the US, at least from my research), upland cress, pickle apple, curried cashews, beet vinaigrette, aerated coriander yogurt. I’ll have to be honest, was my least favorite course, but when you don’t like beets, or many other like-vegetables (I’m adapting as I get older), then that’s understandable; at least in my mind. I did enjoy the pickled apple and curried cashews. I did eat all the leaves but left some of the endives and most of the beets. Again, the cashews and pickled apple were good.

Course 4

Course #4 Back Yard BBQ

Course #4 was, to me, the pièce de résistance. It was “Back Yard Steak.” Coffee rubbed bison. Vidalia onion ash inlay. Sous vide smoked brisket & potato croquette. Seasonal vegetables, sweet corn puree, bbq jus lie and smoked black garlic.This cut of bison meat was so tender and juicy that a regular table knife could cut right through it with no problem. It was medium rare and the outsides were perfectly charred and seasoned with the coffee rub. The baby carrot and corn was a nice addition as was the jus lie (pronounced zhoo lee-AY) and vidalia onion inlay. That coffee rub and the meat itself was such a flood of flavor that I ate it with my eyes closed most of the time, enjoying each individual bite. Generally, I’ll tear through food like I’m being graded on it but I took my time and every single chew was documented by my brain. Let’s just say that it was so good that not only did I eat all of mine, I also had the bonus of half of Stephanie’s. She loved it as well, but was filling up. This was a definite 5 on a 5 scale.

Course 5

Course #5 S’Mores

Course #5 was the dessert course which was “S’mores.” Dark chocolate crémeux, molasses spice graham cracker cookie, toasted marshmallows, salted caramel gelato, toasted caramel. Stephanie got her second wind enough to eat this. I thought the crémeux was the absolute best thing about it. It was like eating a very soft, but still firm, piece of fudge. The tiny toasted marshmallow squares were a nice accompaniment for the crémeux. The gelato was a bit melted away by the time I got to it but what I got of it was delicious. I love caramel, so this was a nice finish.

Chef Tim Recher, of the Army/Navy Country Club in DC, really brought a wonderful menu and Chef Tim Grandinetti and his team both in the kitchen and the outside wait staff were fantastic support, making this event a true 5 star dinner treat to anyone who was privileged enough to be there. Spring House is always a class act and this was no different. Many thanks to Chef Grandinetti for hosting. Spring House can be found at 450 North Spring Street in downtown Winston-Salem. They’re on the web at springhousenc.com.

DWSP Presents Restaurant Week 2/15-2/21

Did you know that the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership is presenting Restaurant Week from Sunday, February 15 through Saturday February 22?  Well, you do now!

restaurantweek

DWSP Restaurant Week

What is Restaurant Week?  We’re glad you asked.  Restaurant Week is a food event where many of the downtown Winston-Salem restaurants offer special prix fixe menus of $20, $30 or both.  For example: a restaurant can offer an appetizer, an entree and a dessert (chosen to form a combo) for $20 per person or they may offer a double portion for $30.  Make sense?  Maybe not.  Let’s give some real examples:

Bib’s for example has the following:


 

$20 Special for 2
3 Rib Bone Plate: Each person gets a plate that comes with 3 Rib Bones, Choice of Red or White Slaw, 1 side item, Hush Puppies and Toast
Choose 1 dessert to share

$30 Special for 2
Half Rack Rib Bone Plates: Each person gets a plate that comes with 6 Rib Bones, Choice or Red or White Slaw, 1 side item, Hush Puppies and Toast
Choose 1 dessert to share

They can also offer extras such as this: Beverage Pairing Suggestions (Additional Charge)
WINE: Our ribs pair nicely with the Michael David Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon or North Carolina’s Childress Pinnacle
BEER: Our ribs also pair nicely with the Olde Hickory Ruby Lager or the Highland Gaelic Ale which are both North Carolina brews


Let’s look at another restaurant’s offerings.
Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar offers this:
3 Course Dinner $30 per person
BOOM! M-80 Crispy Shrimp: texas pete voodoo sauce
Filet Mignon: cabernet franc butter, oyster cornbread dressing & gorgonzola fritter
Ooey-Gooey Chocolate Nutella Cake: hibiscus cherry infused sweet cream

$20 Special per person
Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Pan Gravy: atop smoked tomato and pimento cheese grits, M-80 sauce, ‘Bama BBQ sauce, Sriracha aioli
Spring House Bread Pudding: caramel Kahlua sauce and sweet cream


So these are only examples.  Here is a comprehensive list of participating restaurants…

6th & Vine Wine Bar & Cafe
Augustine’s Bistro
Bayberry Bistro
Bernardin’s
Bib’s Downtown
Black Mountain Chocolate
Camino Bakery
Di Lisio’s Italian Restaurant
District Rooftop Bar & Grille
Downtown Thai & Sushi
Foothills Brewing
Graze
Hutch & Harris
Jeffrey Adams on Fourth
Kabobs on Fourth
King’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar
Mellow Mushroom
Meridian
Mooney’s Mediterranean Café
Mozelle’s
Mission Pizza
Old Fourth Street Filling Station
Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar
Twin City Hive
Wen Hwa Asian Fusion Cuisine
Sweet Potatoes…a restaurant
West End Coffeehouse
Willow’s Bistro

We could have saved you reading that and just sent you to the website, but what fun would that have been?  We recommend calling ahead for reservations and remember that these are dinner specials only and, of course, they’re subject to availability and all that jazz. Also, the restaurants are subject to change and more could be added or some may drop out; it happens.  Go, eat, have fun, take friends, enjoy and tell us what you think. Even better, let DWSP and the restaurants know what you think.  Help make this Restaurant Week a success.

Have fun!