Amani - InteriorFrom November 17 – 20 and 24 – 27, 2019, Amani’s BYOB Restaurant, 105 East Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, Pennsylvania, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special prix-fixe four-course menu…

First Course (Choice of) – Smoked Mushroom Soup: Bacon, Candy Onions, Short Rib Gruyère Crostini, Truffle Sabayon… Sweet Corn Chowder: Lump Crab, Sweet Onion, Potatoes, Bacon

Second Course (Choice of) – Smoked Chicken Sweet Potato Fritters: Bell Peppers, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Sriracha Molasses Glaze… Warm Brussels Spouts and Radicchio: Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Crispy Pancetta, Poached Egg, Julienne Apples, Hazelnuts… Berkshire Pork Belly Poutine: Crispy Sweet Potato Batons, Duck Confit Gravy, Cheddar Curds… Pumpkin Risotto Cake: Crusted Pumpkin Seed Crust, Molasses Whiskey Glaze… Amani’s Caesar: Romaine Hearts, Garlic Croutons, Aged Parmesan, House-Made Dressing… Field Greens – Apple Cider Vinaigrette: Poached Pear, Crumbled Blue Cheese, Honey Toasted Walnuts

Third Course (Choice of) – Hazelnut Crusted Halibut, Pumpkin Butter Glaze: Bourbon Molasses Glaze, Crispy Sweet Potato Batons, Roasted Root Vegetables… Braised Short Rib Cannelloni: Sautéed Kennett Square Mushrooms, Marsala Cream Sauce, Aged Parmesan… Smoked Chicken Risotto: Roasted Peppers, Asparagus, Maitake Mushrooms, Cream Sauce… Truffle Salt Dusted Scallops, Sweet Corn & Lobster Nage: Saffron Risotto, Roasted Kennett Square Mushrooms… Grilled New York Strip Steak, Wasabi Aioli: Soy Mushrooms,, Five Spice Baby Carrots, Pickled Ginger Barley… Pistachio Encrusted Jail Island Salmon, Blood Orange Beurre Blanc: Sautéed Spinach, Sweet Potato Soufflé

Dessert (Choice of) – Fall Spice Cheesecake: Cranberry Compote, Ginger Snap Crust, Cinnamon Anglaise… Apple Crostada: Caramel, Toasted Walnuts, Vanilla Ice Cream… White Chocolate Crème Brûlée: Mission Fig Compote, Raw Sugar Brûlée… Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding: Golden Raisins, Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze, Crème Anglaise, Whipped Cream… Pumpkin Tiramisu: Cinnamon &Ginger Brandy Soaked Ladyfingers, Pumpkin Mascarpone Mousse, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Whipped Cream

The price of the four-course 10th anniversary menu is $55.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity. For more information, or to make reservations, please call (484) 237-8179.

Bon Appétit!



La Fava - InteriorOn Thursday, November 28, 2019, La Fava Restaurant & Bar, 1102 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner buffet from 12:00 noon – 8:00 p.m.

Cold Display: Classic Caesar Salad… Tomato & Mozzarella Salad… Field Greens Salad… Imported Cured Meats… International Cheese Board… Grilled Vegetables… Shrimp Cocktail

Hot Display: Baked Fusilli… San Marzano Tomato, Ricotta, Mozzarella… Farfalle Prosciutto & Peas… Salmon Dill Sauce… Eggplant Rollatini… Chicken Piccata… Sausage & Peppers… Meatballs

Carving Station: Interactive Pasta Station (made to order)… Free Range Whole Turkey… Roast Pork Loin, Natural Jus… Roast Top Round of Beef

Soups: Cream of Butternut Squash… Escarole & Meatball

Savory Sides: Roasted Chestnut & Sausage Stuffing…. Candid Carrots… Smashed Yukon & Sweet Potato Purée… Brussels Sprouts… Corn… Green Beans… Cranberry Sauce

Dessert: Pumpkin Pie… Apple Pie…. Cheesecake… Chocolate Cake… Assorted Cookies & Cannoli

Bottomless House Wine & Draft Beer also included.

The price of the Thanksgiving dinner buffet is $55.00 for adults (21 years +); $29.00 for minors (4 years – 20 years). For more information, or to make reservations, please call La Fava at (484) 840-8603.

Bon Appétit!



Davio's KOP - Interior, BarOn Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, 2019, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, 200 Main Street, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, will be serving Thanksgiving dinner from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 THANKSGIVING DINNER: Oven Roasted Free-Range Organic Turkey… Creamy Potatoes… Green Beans, Caramelized Onions… Rum Glazed Yams… Herb Roasted Root Vegetables… Savory Brioche Stuffing… Homemade Gravy… Cranberry Ginger Chutney

 SPECIAL HOLIDAY DESSERTS: Salted Caramel Cheesecake… Homemade Apple Pie, Tahitian Vanilla Gelato… Pumpkin Pie, Cinnamon Chantilly

 CHILDREN UNDER 12 YEARS: Oven Roasted Turkey, Stuffing, Creamy Potatoes, Gravy

Thanksgiving dinner is priced at $65.00 per person; children under 12 years, $23.00 (plus beverages, tax & gratuity).

Davio’s will also be serving their regular dinner menu as well as offering turkey sandwiches to go.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call Davio’s at (610) 337-4810.

Bon Appétit!



Nicholas - Holiday Walk Around Wine TastingTis the season! On Friday, November 22, 2019, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Restaurant Nicholas will host a walk-around tasting featuring 16 “must have” wines for the holidays. Nicholas chose these wines with holiday entertaining in mind, showcasing crowd-pleasing varietals that complement holidays meals and cocktail events.

Light passed hors d’oeuvres will also be served to complement the tasting.

Domaine Gasnier Cravantine NV: The Cravantine is a distinctive sparkling wine made from carefully grown Cabernet Franc grapes. The bubbles are the result of traditional, labor-intensive méthode champenoise. Appealing strawberry and mineral scents are encased in a firm structure with a dry and spicy quality on the plate. Great aperitif for the holiday season.

Diego Bolognani Pinot Grigio 2018: Winemaker and proprietor Diego Bolognani’s wine has a beautiful balance of white flowers, nuts, citrus, and stony notes, with purity of fruit and a long, refined finish. Perfect choice for a holiday party white.

Domaine Reverdy-Cadet Sancerre Blanc 2018: The 2018 has a green-tinged straw color with intense citrus and anise on the nose, plus a strong chalk tone. Great vibrancy to the flavors of lime, pink grapefruit and blood orange. The finish is long and stony.

Benoni Chardonnay Petit Grains San Luis Obispo 2018: The 2018 Petit Grains offers the perfect combo of green apple, hazelnut and mineral freshness. Just a dynamite bottle of American Chard, priced to drink every day.

Weingut Ratzenberger Riesling Kabinett Feinherb Bacharacher 2017: This is a fruity Rhein Riesling of sumptuous fruit flavors – tangerine, peaches, rub red grapefruit – stern acidity, and classic mineral and spicy flavors. Pair with roasted turkey, sausages and salmon. Drink now – 2026.

Gianni Doglia Barberad’Asti 2018: Gianni Doglia naturally farms a tiny estate in the picturesque hamlet of Castagnole Lanze. His Barbera is the product of 50-year-old vines, vinified without oak to preserve its incredible fruit. This is a food-friendly red wine that can double just as well all on its own. Great choice for a house red.

Domaine Eric Desvignes Givry Rouge 2017: The 2017 Givry Rouge is the produce of 45-year-old vines rooted in rocky, steep hillside vineyards. Vinified entirely in oak, this is a juicy, crunchy Pinot Noir with a marvelous mineral finish that makes it absolutely perfect at any table. Pair with grilled salmon, roasted poultry and mushroom dishes.

Trousse Chemise Pinot Noir Hyland Vineyard 2018: Winemaker Anne Sery’s 2018 Hyland Pinot is bright with a freshly crushed fruit quality. This wine would do well in a proper cellar. But if you can’t resist the fruit, pair it with roasted salmon or poultry.

Fattoria Zerbina Sangiovese Superiore Romagna Ceregio 2017: Christina Geminiani’s 29-hectare estate is farmed without the use of chemicals on a classic mix of iron-rich clay and limestone. Her pizza wine, Ceregio, is a brilliant ruby color with racy, black cherry fruit flavors. Firm acidity makes the wine long on the palate and just about perfect with any type of simple cuisine.

Corzano e Paterno IGT Sangiovese Il Tre Borri 2016: The mid-palate is concentrated, loaded with vibrant wild-berry fruitiness and lush, supple mouthfeel. The finish is long with fine-grained tannins. Be sure to decant and drink in a big glass because there is a unique layer of refinement that gradually comes with air. Think Tignanello at half the price! The perfect gift for the discriminating Italian wine collector.

Cerbaia Brunello di Montalcino 214: Winemaker Elena Pellagrini’s 2014 Brunello is fine and aromatic and builds with air. The wine is dark, powerfully concentrated, yet finished fresh and stony, making it perfect for the table at the present moment and a great candidate for long aging. Perfect complement to a holiday dinner of prime rib.

Stolpman Syrah Estate Ballard Canyon 2017: “The 2017 Syrah Estate Grown is absolutely gorgeous. Fresh, floral and wonderfully perfumed, the Estate expresses all the best vintage had to offer. Sweet floral, spice and dried herbs are beautifully laced into a core of dark Syrah. Not only is the Estate a terrific example of the year, it also captures the interplay of rich fruit and more savory notes that is so typical of the best Ballard Canyon Syrahs. The 2017 is simply compelling. That’s all there is to it.” – 93 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.

Xavier Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Anonyme 2016: “… Full-bodied, it manages to be ripe, silky and concentrated, while remaining crisp on the lengthy finish. Tasted twice with consistent notes.” – 95 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

Fabre-Montmayou Cabernet Franc Reserva 2017: “… Combining oaked and unoaked portions, the 2017 is a bright, perfumed, appealingly textured red with subtle wood spice and an undertone of green herbs.” – Tim Atkins Master of Wine, The 2019 Argentina Report.

Sueno Profundo Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2017: This Napa Valley cuvée comes from two early-ripening vineyards on the south eastern side of the valley. Well-drained soil is key here, roots dig deep in poor soil, bringing terrific minerality and freshness to the grapes. The result is a kock-out $35.00 Cabernet loaded with fresh, juicy black fruit. Perfect with grilled beef or cheese. 500 cases produced.

The price of the holiday walk-around wine tasting is $75.00 per person, $50.00 of which goes toward the first wine purchase.

To reserve your place, please call (732) 345-9977 (phone reservations only).




Vickers Restaurant - InteriorOn Thursday, November 14, 2019, 7:00 p.m., Vickers Restaurant, 192 East Welsh Pool Road, Exton, Pennsylvania, will host a special five-course dinner of domestic game paired with spicy and earthy wines from both domestic and international producers.

First Course – Hunter’s Stew: Braised Venison, Root Vegetables, Barley; Wine Pairing: Gruet “Cuvée 89” Brut

Second Course – Fettuccini: Rabbit and Rosemary; Wine Pairing: Roth Estate Chardonnay

Third Course – Confit of Duck: Drunken Pears, Bitter Lettuce; Wine Pairing: Browne Family Heritage Pinot Noir

Fourth Course – Bison Rossin: Bacon Wrapped Bison, Morel Mushrooms, Pâté aux Fois Gras, Medoc Sauce; Wine Pairing: Foley Johnson Cabernet Sauvignon

Dessert Course – Chocolate Chess Pie: Chantilly Cream; Wine Pairing: Red Tail Ridge Good Karma Riesling

The price of the wild game dinner is $120.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make a reservation, please call Vickers at (610) 363-7998.

Bon Appétit!



Brandywine Prime Hosts Autumn Wine Dinner

by artfuldiner on November 9, 2019

in Uncategorized

Brandywine Prime - Dining Room 2On Friday, November 15, 2019, 7:00 p.m., Brandywine Prime in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, will host a special four-course autumn wine dinner…

Autumn Wine Dinner Menu…

Hors d’Oeuvres: Celery Blue Cheese Filled Wing… Bloody Mary Oysters… Wagyu Spring Roll, Foie Gras and Maitake

First Course: Tuna Tartare, White Soy Aioli, Avocado, Black Olive

Second Course: Sage Walnut Porchetta, Pommery Mustard Crema

Third Course: Sous Vide Prime Ribeye Cap, Creamed Spinach – Veal Cheek Ravioli Parmesan Relish

Fourth Course: Fried Honeycrisp Apple Pie, Vanilla Ice Cream, Sprinkled Cinnamon


Paired Adult Beverages…

Upon Arrival: Cava Rosé, Portell Brut NV Spain… Jai Alai IPA… Rosemary’s Rye-Bulleit Rye, Rosemary Simple Syrup, Lemon Bitters, Splash of Apple Cider

First Course: Riesling Spatlese Trocken, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Selbach-Oster, 2018, Germany

Second Course: Ciampoleto Rosso Di Montalcino, 2017, Italy

Third Course: Petite Verdot, Grinon, 2013, Valdepusa, Spain

The price of the autumn wine dinner is $70.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make a reservation, please call (610) 388-8088.

Bon Appétit!



Pizzeria Orso

400 South Maple Avenue

Falls Church, Virginia

(703) 226-3460

Orso - InteriorDuring a recent visit with friends, I discovered what suburban Washington, DC, foodies already seem to know: When in search of genuine Neapolitan pizza, Pizzeria Orso is the place to go. And, make no mistake about it, pie-making operations here are serious business. Orso is one of only two pizzerias in the area boasting Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) certification. This is a designation granted by the Italian government to pizzerias that meet “the strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making.”

Orso - PizzaAnd in keeping with that tradition, Orso uses dough made from Caputo 00 flour. The finest European winter wheat ground to a fine powder, this super-soft flour is easy to work with and produces the ideal balance of tender mouthfeel and pleasant chew… everything you want in a luscious pizza crust. This ultra-fine flour is imported from Italy, as are the San Marzano tomatoes, fresh burrata cheese, and Parma ham.

Pizza is obviously the name of the game here, from the simplicities of Marinara DOC (tomato sauce, fresh oregano, garlic, no cheese) and Margherita DOC (tomato sauce, bufala mozzarella, basil), to the excesses of Toscana (tomato sauce, mozzarella ham, salami, sausage, pepperoni) and Capriccioso (tomato sauce, mozzarella, artichokes, crimini mushrooms, ham, olives, basil)…

Orso - Brussels Spouts in Cauliflower PureeBut Orso’s kitchen also serves up several interesting appetizers that you aren’t likely to encounter at your average pizzeria. Like the Brussels Chips, for instance, sprout leaves shocked in an ice bath, flash-fried, and dusted with grana cheese. Then there’s the Oven-Roasted Olives served with homemade sourdough bread and Whole Roasted Cauliflower sided by a zippy salsa verde. My nod, however, and the table favorite among the adults of our party, goes to the outrageously delicious Roasted Brussels Sprouts on Cauliflower Purée (pictured). The spouts themselves are perfectly prepared – firm to the bite – with the purée kicking in some dynamite hits to the taste buds. Worth the price of admission.

Orso - BranzinoAmong the entrées, the Branzino (pictured), a special of the evening, was a positive gem. The moist, flaky filet was served up on a wooden plank simply adorned with lemon & capers and accompanied by a beautiful assortment of roasted fresh vegetables… On the other hand, the Eggplant Parmesan, a menu mainstay, was a generic effort at best.

As a general rule, in my opinion, the appetizers are infinitely more interesting and better executed than the regular entrées. Stick with the starters and the pizza and you can’t go wrong. Orso also boasts an extensive list of domestic brews, a full bar, and serviceable selection of wines by the glass and bottle.

Note: I recently learned that Chef Will Artley has left Pizzeria Orso. According to an issued statement, Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel of sister restaurant 2941, also located in Falls Church, will now oversee both restaurants.

 Bon Appétit!



Nicholas in Main Dining RoomFrom Tuesday, November 12 – Saturday, November 16, 2019, 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Restaurant Nicholas in Red Bank, New Jersey, will be celebrating their 20th anniversary with a very special tasting menu featuring the original dishes from their first menu at the original price.

20th Anniversary Menu…

 First Course: Venison Carpaccio, Jicama, Mission Fig, Parmigiano Reggiano

Second Course: Parisienne Gnocchi, Sugar Snap Peas, Artichoke Butter Sauce

Third Course: Panko Crust Atlantic Halibut, Cauliflower Purée, Lemon Caper Sauce

Fourth Course: Cinnamon Braised Suckling Pig, Quince Purée, Winter Greens (Retired 2005)

Fifth Course: Warm Valhrona Chocolate Cake, Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream

The price of the 20th anniversary menu is $75.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call (732) 345-9977.

A wonderful milestone for a marvelous restaurant… I plan to attend this one myself. 😊 Hope to see you there.

 Bon Appétit!



The Wines of Zenato

by artfuldiner on October 18, 2019

in Artful Diner Mini Review, Breaking News, Opinion, Wine

Zenato WineryFounded by Sergio Zenato and his wife, Carla, in 1960, Zenato is an important and highly-regarded producer in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. It is located in San Benedetto di Lugana, 15 miles west of Verona on the shore of Lake Garda. The Zenato Winery was originally based on the production of quality wines from an indigenous varietal, Trebbiano di Lugana.

Beginning in the 1990s, Sergio extended his oenological vision, purchasing land and making wines in Valpolicella at the Costalunga estate in Sant’Abrogio. Here, Corvina and Rondinella grapes are cultivated, the two varieties at the base of the famous Amarone della Valpolicella. The winery’s flagship wine is Ripassa, a Valpolicella Superiore DOC created in a unique method: The best selection of Valpolicella wine is “passed over” the still-warm marcs (the solid remains of grapes after pressing) and used to make Amarone wine. This ancient method was rediscovered in the ‘90s by Sergio Zenato and produces an intense wine rich in body, color, and aroma.

Over the course of time, responsibility for the winery has been passed to Sergio and Carla’s children, who continue to maintain and expand upon their father’s vision. Daughter Nadia currently is in charge of the marking and promotional activity for the company, while son Alberto oversees all aspects of production, from the growing of the vines to the completion of the bottling process.

Although particularly known for its above-mentioned Amarone della Valpolicella, the winery also produces a range of other wines, from Pinot Grigio and Soave to varietal Corvina wines. The winery has also recently introduced a Bardolino red and Bardolino Chiaretto (rosé).

The two wines from this producer that you are likely to run into are noted below…

Zenato Winery - Pinot GrigioZenato 2018 Pinot Grigio (Delle Venezie): This wine is a perfect introduction to Pinot Grigio. It is delicately scented, soft on the palate, and offers up classic citrus and floral notes in a balanced elegant style. It is light-bodied with a refreshing, tangy acidity and a smooth dry finish.

This is a wine that is best enjoyed while it is young when you can fully appreciate its zesty fruitiness. It is also versatile and food friendly, matching well with hors d’oeuvres, garden salads, and grilled sole or tilapia.

The best part, however, is undoubtedly the price, which averages around $11.00 a bottle. I’ve seen it as high as $15.00 and as low as $10.00, so it pays to do a little research both on and offline.

Zenato Winery - Alanera RossoZenato 2013 Alanera Rosso Veronese: The 2013 Alanera is a blend of 55% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 10% Corvinone, 5% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The word “Alanera,” Italian for Crow, refers to the black skin of the Corvina grape.

This wine is produced in appassimento style. This is a wineprocessing technique in which harvested grapes go through a drying process prior to fermentation. This process is used traditionally in Italian wine regions to make the popular Amarone, Recioto, Valpolicella Ripasso, and Sforzato wines. Appassimento influences the flavor and concentrates sugars in dried grapes. This results in flavor and mouthfeel alterations in the wines that utilize these grapes. As the sugar concentrates, through water evaporation, wines produced from dried grapes may result in higher alcohol content. Flavors also become richer and bolder, adding complexity to still wines.

These characteristics are clearly demonstrated in the 2013 Alanera, which is a delightfully full-bodied wine with elegant and velvety tannins, a vibrant acidity, and a smooth and harmonious finish. Recently receiving a 91-point rating from wine writer James Suckling, the 2013 is an exceptional wine at an exceptional price. It normally retails at the $18.00 mark, but I’ve seen it on sale in State Stores for as low as $14.99. Definitely worth seeking out.




Pluckemin Inn Hosts Two October Wine Events

by artfuldiner on October 12, 2019

in Uncategorized

plukemin2During the month of October, the Pluckemin Inn, 359 Route 202-206, Bedminster, New Jersey, will be hosting two major wine events…

The first event is the Domaine Drouhin Oregon Wine Tasting on Tuesday, October 15th, 2019, 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. This walk-around wine tasting will give guests the opportunity to meet Ashley Bell, Director of Education and Sales for Domaine Drouhin Oregon. The tasting will be conducted in a casual format rather than a seated dinner, so guests may come and go as they please. There will also be an ample selection of hors d’oeuvres served through the evening and the Tavern will be open following the tasting as well.

The cost of the tasting is $75.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity) and will include hors d’oeuvres and one tasting pour of each of the wines. Additional wine may be ordered by the glass for those interested.

The lineup of wines will include RoseRock Chardonnay 2016… RoseRock Pinot Noir 2015… Domaine Drouhin Oregon “Arthur” Chardonnay 2016… Oregon Pinot Noir 2016… and Pinot Noir “Laurene” 2015. The wines tasted will also be available for purchase.

For more information, or to make a reservation, please call (908) 658-9292.


The second event is the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Dinner on Thursday, October 17, 2019,  7:00 p.m. The menu and Champagne pairings are noted immediately below…

Amuse: Barnegat Oyster, Herb Mignonette, Caviar; Champagne Pairing: Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label en Jeroboam

First Course: Maine Lobster Salad, Cauliflower, Hazelnuts, Watercress, Radish; Champagne Pairings: Veuve Clicquot 2008… Veuve Clicquot Blanc 2004 en Magnum

Second Course: Ricotta Gnocchi, Tomato, Pancetta, Parmigiano, Pesto Trapanese; Champagne Pairing: Veuve Clicquot Rosé 2008

Third Course: Griggstown Guinea Hen, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Black Truffle, Maitake; Champagne Pairings: Veuve Clicquot La Grand Dame 2006… Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2008

Cheese Cremeux de Bourgogne… VeuveClicquot La Grande Dame Rosé 2008

The cost of the Veuve Clicquot Champagne dinner is $175.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call (908) 658-9292.

Bon Appétit!