Taste of Newark Nears

One of our favorite events of the year—Taste of Newark. The ninth annual affair happens Sept. 30, noon till 3 p.m. on the lawn of Old College of Main Street. Buy your tickets, then taste the best of what 45 local restaurants have to offer. This year Taste of Newark hosts special guest Jason Viscount, executive chef of Bricco restaurant in Harrisburg, Pa., the destination for world-class dining in Central Pennsylvania. Bricco was named Best New Restaurant by Harrisburg Magazine readers in 2007, and Viscount received the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Culinary Arts in 2010. What’s more, Bricco is a member of Distinguished Restaurants of North America, one of only 800 members. “It brings excitement and anticipation to the day to have someone of Chef Jason’s caliber join one of my favorite Newark events,” Newark Mayor Vance Funk says. “I could not be happier having him participate in the Taste of Newark.” Viscount will give cooking demonstrations at the Taste of Newark, and he’ll judge the Battle of the Chefs, where six Newark chefs slug it out by creating a stellar dish out of a secret list of ingredients. The list of contenders so far: Andy Matulaitis and Jesse Jones of The Stone Balloon Winehouse, Chantell Orellana and Jeff Brittingham of Courtyard Newark at the University of Delaware, Geovanny Vale of Caffé Gelato, Rich Colliss of Cucina Di Napoli, Eric Aber and Brian Mackey of Home Grown Café and Jeff Matyger of Taverna. Be there for the throw-down. Tickets are $45 before the event, $60 at the door. They sell out quickly, so act swiftly. 366-7030, tasteofnewarkevent2012.eventbrite.com

Drinking in the Alley

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We love this: Meet the Makers, a select tasting event featuring the region’s finest fermented fare as part of Kennett Square’s fourth annual Fermentation Festival. On Sept. 28, slide into the brick alleyway along Sycamore Alley and State Street, directly across from the Kennett Square Farmers’ Market, where $10 buys you tastings of small-batch craft brews by Forest & Main, Round Guys and Argilla. Flickerwood Wine Cellars will offer their fall wines. Frecon Farm will bring fruit wine and hard ciders. That’s not to mention Prohibition-era inspired artisan spirits from Philadelphia’s Art in the Age and Quaker City Mercantile’s Spodee Wine. Did we mention the tasting of choice: local cheeses? Brewers and vintners will spill all the secrets about the creation of their beverages while you enjoy live music. More than 30 vendors will offer drinks, cured meats, pickling, saurkraut making and other vegetable fermentation. The next day, hit the annual Kennett Square Brewfest to sample 70 of the best local craft brews. The event runs 2 p.m. till 6 p.m. Be warned: Tickets sell out every year. Buy now. 610-444-8188, kennettbrewfest.com

Oktoberfest Begins

It seems like the state’s oldest town is in a bit of a time warp, and we couldn’t be happier. This year’s Fun Friday event in Lewes on Sept. 21 is Oktoberfest—a little early—which means Market Street between Second and Front will be closed to cars from 3 p.m. till 8 p.m. so you can dance in the street. Better yet, downtown restaurants will offer special Bavarian meals. Starting at lunch, The Buttery will serve grilled weisswurst with braised red cabbage on crusty bread with Oktoberfest mustard and German potato salad. Jerry’s Seafood Restaurant will offer two lunch specials—cabbage and kielbasa or knockwurst and sauerkraut with potato salad—then, for dinner, sauerbraten vom rind with potato dumplings and wiener schnitzel with spaetzle dumplings. Enjoy delicious apfelkuchen (apple cake) after either meal. Buy a commemorative beer stein, then take it to any participating restaurant for a discount on draught beer, including Dogfish Head’s new My Antonia Bavarian-style pilsner. Mustard aficionados can sample various styles at Louise Gourmet. Beer lovers will enjoy the tasting at R&L Liquors. Dance off all the calories to the sounds of an oompah band at Mary Vessels Park. You won’t want to miss the fun and fine food. Lederhosen and drindls optional. Learn more at leweschamber.com.

Roaming to Roma

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While we’re on the subject of beer (a favorite topic around here), don’t miss the Craft Beer Dinner at venerable Roma in Dover on Sept. 26. You know the drill: several great plates paired with their own complementary microbrew. Hosted by Marc Steiman, Roma’s dinner features an amuse bouche of “deconstructed” corn chowder (grilled corn purée with crispy bacon lardons and a fried oyster) with RJ Rockers Pumpkin Ale followed by a ravioli of kale and farmer’s cheese in rosemary-brown butter sauce teamed with Lacu Biere D’Abbaye, then pork rillettes with Chardonnay mustard and grilled crostini paired with Laughing Dog Rocket Dog Rye IPA. There’s plenty more food and including bacon ice cream—and beer, and it’s a real bargain at $50. Act now. Call 678-1041.

Wild Times—Again

You can hit Wine Down Wednesdays from 5 p.m. till 7 p.m. at the Hotel du Pont lobby lounge on Sept. 12, 19 or 26 for smooth live music, plenty of the chef’s complimentary hors d’oeuvres, an a la carte menu, wine by glass and bottles of wine discounted 20 percent. But what we’re looking forward to most is the wild game dinner on Sept. 21. The hotel promises food from Africa to the Outback: elk sausage, frog legs, lemon-myrtle rubbed gator, caribou stew, medallions of python, pepperberry-crusted kangaroo and more. The price? A mere $125, which includes wine pairings and hors d’oeuvres. Nibblies (as they say in Oz) begin at 6:30 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. dinner. For more info, hit hoteldupont.com/news-and-events-en.html.

Farm-to-Table Fun

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See one beautiful farm when Good Earth Market & Organic Farm hosts the third annual Farm to Table Dinner to benefit Matt Haley’s Global Delaware Fund on Sept. 18. The meal, prepared by Haley’s Plate Catering, includes a cocktail hour with passed appetizers, a main course with salads served family-style, and a dessert course using produce and herbs grown on-site. Wines from Southern Wine & Spirits will be paired with each serving. Good Earth Market & Organic Farm in Clarksville offers natural product and fresh produce, much of it grown on the farm situated on the property. The Global Delaware Fund provides goods and services to at-risk children around the world. For reservations ($95 a ticket), call 537-7100. 644-1200, plate-catering.com

Mark your calendar now for The Farmer and the Chef at the Chase Center on the Riverfront Sept. 20. The name says it all. You’ll enjoy delicious creations prepared by Delebrity chefs with the produce of local farms. (It’s simple: fresh food tastes best.) The fifth annual event is brought to you by the Delaware Department of Agriculture and the March of Dimes to promote healthful eating, which fits in with the MOD’s mission to encourage healthy moms and healthy pregnancies. Check in at thefarmerandthechef.com for the latest, or take an occasional peek at facebook.com/TheFarmerandTheChefDE.

More From Lewes

Here’s a fun note: The results are in for the America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest sponsored by American Farmland Trust, and, once again, The Historic Lewes Farmers Market stood out as an outstanding market by being voted top farmers market in Delaware, ranking in the top 20 of all medium-sized markets in the country. The board of the market attributes its popularity to consumer interest in buying local meats, flowers, fruits and vegetables directly from the Delmarva farmers who produce them. Your Insider says, “hear, hear.” The market continues at the Lewes Historical Society Complex on Saturday mornings until Sept. 29. Don’t miss it. historiclewesfarmersmarket.org

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