Gather your crew. Piccolina Toscana in Wilmington has launched a FarmTable dinner program to let lucky diners enjoy a night of great food around Toscana’s FarmTable. Situated near the kitchen, the communal table was crafted from reclaimed barn wood especially for Toscana by Milk Truck Vintage. Chef Dan Butler creates a new farm-inspired prix fixe menu each month, available only by reservation. Entrées are served family style. “Our FarmTable promises a lot of good food and good times,” Butler says. “Our customers round up some good friends—the table seats eight to10—and keep the table all night. The family-style service adds to the festivity and camaraderie of the evening. The menu has wine pairings available which turns the event into a fun wine dinner—great for a ladies’ night out, group date night or business function.” The landmark Piccolina is the latest iteration of Butler’s original 23-year-old institution, Toscana. In bustling Trolley Square, the restaurant specializes in hand-rolled pastas, hearth-baked pizzas and simple grilled meats and fishes. The bar features excellent craft cocktails. 654-8001, piccolinatoscana.com
Home cooks with a penchant for cool kitchen gear should mark their calendars for Oct. 11-12. That’s when the annual Emile Henry mega-warehouse sale happens at Centerpoint Business Complex in New Castle. That means you’ll find bargains and factory seconds from premium European brands like Emile Henry, Duralex, LeKue, Mauviel and Rösle. Cooking enthusiasts will have an opportunity to buy, at factory prices, the stainless steel garlic press, the French ceramic pie dish, the copper skillet or the hundreds of other kitchen products they’ve coveted for years. A quick look: Emile Henry’s colorful, all-natural, heirloom-quality ovenware and tableware is made from Burgundian clay in the French town of Marcigny. Mauviel cookware, one of the only copper cookware manufacturers left in the world today, is made in Normandy of 90-percent copper and lasts a lifetime. Award-winning, German-designed RÖSLE kitchens tools are backed by a lifetime warranty. Duralex is the manufacturer of the renowned French Picardie drinking glasses and Lys glass bowls. LeKue is the Spanish manufacturer of platinum silicone cooking tools and bakeware designed for healthy cooking. Products from all five brands, sold in the premier kitchen stores and online catalogs, have been featured in hundreds of articles and shows, including “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” Food Network, Cooks Illustrated, Fine Cooking, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, The Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. This is your opportunity to buy it cheap. 326-4800, www.emilehenryusa.com/cookware-sale/Warehouse-Sale.html
It’s almost time for Vendemmia da Vinci, coming Oct. 13 to Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park â€¨â€¨in Wilmington. Your ticket to this celebration of the grape harvest gains you samples of great Italian wines, great Italian food and the â€¨Italian Beer Garden, not to mention great live entertainment. A highlight: the contest of homemade gravy. Taste the best homestyle sauce local home cooks have to offer. Delicious. 877-731-5790, societadavinci.com
Eating Lewes is here. Like its sister, Eating Rehoboth, participants will be led on an eating and drinking tour of a few of the town’s finest restaurants. The four Lewes culinary walking tours will happen Oct. 17, Oct. 24, Nov. 7 and Nov. 21. You’ll be squired about by founder Deb Griffin and foodie-musician Paul Cullen of Sonata Wines. Eating Rehoboth, which debuted early last summer, was a smash, with the 500th guest joining just couple weeks ago. The Rehoboth tours continue to sell out each weekend, so they’ll be offered through November. Don’t miss the fun. eatingrehoboth.com
Head to the beautiful Green Room of the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington for an exceptional wine dinner featuring one of the most well-known private reserve Cabernets being produced in California. On Oct. 18 the Green Room Culinary Team will present a four-course dinner, paired with Beaulieu Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc and three vintages of Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve. Laura Hoffman, wine director for Diageo Chateau & Estates and Charmer-Sunbelt Group, will be on hand to discuss the glorious history of Beaulieu Vineyards and the amazing characteristics of the vertical flight of highly rated Cabernet Sauvignons. Your menu: Start with butter-poached sea scallop, crispy pork belly, apple confit, apple cider reduction teamed with 2011 BV Coastal Estates Sauvignon Blanc. Continue with quail with a smoked mushroom duxelle, quail egg, slow roasted candy sweet onions and huckleberry sauce paired with 2007 BV Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon. The third course is smoked short rib of Certified Black Angus beef, Blue Hubbard squash and melted leeks with local beans coupled with 2008 BV Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon. Finish with a flourless chocolate cake in raspberry sauce with 2009 BV Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon. Tempted? We are. Theâ€¨â€¨ $100 price includes gratuity and valet parking. Reserve now. 594-3154, hoteldupont.com
Do you believe you have an award-winning beer recipe? Delaware will crown its first homebrew champion on Oct. 20 during the Delaware Wine and Beer Festival at the Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village in Dover from noon till 5 p.m. The event is an American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned competition, meaning the champion will be selected by beer judge certified program judges. Festival-goers who purchase the VIP ticket package will select the semi-finalists in five categories, and the certified judges will pick the champion from among those five. The winner, in addition to holding the state title, will earn $250 in cash, at least $250 in prizes from the Delaware Wine and Ale Trail and Cabot Cheese, plus a ribbon. Five finalists will earn ribbons. The competition is sponsored by How Do You Brew, a wine and beer homebrew store in Newark. The five categories will include: IPA (American-imperial), American Ale (pale, amber, and brown), Delaware-grown fruit beer, Belgian-French ale and specialty brews. “We also wanted to announce that the competition rules have changed,” says Charles Gray, who is managing the competition for Kent County Tourism, producers of the festival. “Our Homebrewers let us know that we had originally asked for too much beer per entry,” he says. “And we listened. The new requirement is six to 12 bottles or keg equivalent per entry.” To enter, purchase a $10 Brew Competition ticket online. Competitors are asked to deliver their entries to the festival grounds in Dover between 11 a.m. and noon on Oct. 20. Competitors may also purchase a greatly discounted $10 festival ticket with five tastings. The Delaware Wine and Beer Festival, now in its fourth year, is Delaware’s official Wine and Beer Festival, featuring Delaware’s wineries, breweries and distilleries at one great event. This year’s theme is Drink Local, Eat Local and Buy Local. Select Delaware restaurants will serve food, 40 Delaware artists and artisans will display their work, and there will be a corn hole tournament, a keg tossing competition and live reggae music by the Island Boyz. The first 500 ticket buyers will receive their choice of a free wine or beer glass, and VIP ticket holders can sample and judge the semi-finalists of the Delaware Homebrew Championship. This year’s event will include expanded free parking adjacent to the festival grounds, the 19th century farm village. 800-233-5368, delawarewineandbeerfestival.com
After a sold-out event last November, Meals On Wheels Delaware, Two Stones Pub and Out & About Magazine are bringing back “Giving On Tap” on Nov. 6. Guests will enjoy an exclusive evening of specialty hand-crafted beers and appetizers provided by Two Stones Pub while supporting homebound seniors throughout the community. This year guests can upgrade to a VIP table to enjoy an additional hour of craft brews and food, including a private hour with celebrity bartender Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, samplings of reserved beers, and a family style dinner (at each table) paired with specialty bottles of handcrafted beer at Two Stones Pub on Naamans Road. “After last year’s tremendous success we couldn’t be more excited to partner with Two Stones Pub and Out & About Magazine again,” says executive director Mari Considine. “Giving On Tap is a great opportunity for people who may not be involved with Meals On Wheels Delaware to support the seniors in our community who need it most while enjoying some of the area’s best craft-brews.” Says Two Stones owner Michael Stiglitz, “Last year’s event was so successful that our biggest problem was people wanting to buy tickets after we had already sold out. This year we are getting a little creative to try to increase our charitable tally for MOW—we’ve reached out to our great friend Sam Calagione, who will be beer-tending for the new VIP hour and 2SP is making this our premier event during Wilmington Beer Week.” Stay tuned for more on that. For tickets, hit mealsonwheelsde.org/got
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