Bouchaine in the Membrane

The Stone Balloon ramps up a Delaware-centric wine dinner, Oktoberfest is hot for brat, plus farmers and chefs = bros for life.

Wednesday, September 15: If you’re a frequenter of this page (and gosh darn it, you should be), you’ve seen several previews for wine dinners hosted by the Stone Balloon Winehouse in Newark. The restaurant’s event Wednesday isn’t a huge deviation from its usual outstanding program, save for one neat detail: All night, servers will pour wines from Bouchaine Vineyards, the Napa Valley winery owned by two very prominent Delawareans.

Since 1981, Gerret van S. Copeland and wife Tatiana Brandt Copeland have owned Bouchaine, which lies in the Carneros region of California. The pair are big-time philanthropists around the First State and beyond, providing for organizations like Delaware Art Museum, Delaware Humane Society, The Grand Opera House, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Brandywine Conservancy, and many more.

Tune in Wednesday to see Stone Balloon chef Jason Dietterick pair Bouchaine Pinot Noir with seared Magret duck, and Bouchaine Estate Chardonnay with crispy red snapper. Click here for a full menu.

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One more Stone Balloon note: The kitchen has unveiled roasted half suckling pig as a nightly menu option. Yep, you read that right. For the price of $125, you can make a pig of yourself by going to town on suckling pig, along with potatoes and vegetables. Call the Winehouse at 266-8111 for more details.

Thursday, September 16: Fruit Flowers and Lamberti’s Cucina: On the dining room table, probably not a great pairing (baked ziti with strawberries? Nah.) But in the larger scheme of things, the two can work great together.

They’re pairing up this week for the 1st annual “Treasure the Chest” Party, a benefit for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. From 5 p.m. at Lamberti’s (1300 Centerville Road, Wilmington, 995-6955) get your fill of silent auctions, raffles, food and drink specials and more.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Click here to buy.

Thursday, September 16: There’s some serious synergy happening right now between chefs and farmers. The localvore movement is stronger than ever in the restaurant world, and chefs and restaurants have happily relinquished some of the limelight to their food-producing BFFs.

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For proof, look no further than The Farmer and the Chef, which kicks off its third year Thursday from the Chase Center in Wilmington. This is like the senior prom for area localvore hounds. The event pairs local farmers with local chefs and challenges them to create fantastic dishes using the farm’s products. Guests inside the Chase Center reap the rewards, so to speak, and vote on their favorites.

It’s a fun concept that’s seemingly struck a chord: The event is bigger than ever this year, with dozens of first-time participants signed up. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the chef-farmer pairings, and it revealed some tantalizing possibilities. Last year’s champions Don Scalessa of Café Scalessa and CT Bartoli Mushrooms are back to defend their crown. Chef Ivan Torres from Ole Tapas Lounge gets to work his magic with Mountaire Chicken. First-timer Giuseppi Furio of Pomodoro is paired with EMCO Farms, and Chelsea Tavern’s Sean McNeice is paired with Amazing Acres Goat Dairy. The mind reels at what pastry chef extraordinaire Dana Herbert can do with the products of T.S. Smith and Sons, a Bridgeville orchard that grows peaches, apples and more.

The event also includes a silent auction, and volunteers will be collecting non-perishable food items for the Sunday Breakfast Mission. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door, and available online here. Your ticket will help benefit March of Dimes Delaware. Call 225-1020 for more.

Thursday, September 16: Harry’s Savoy and its popular “Stars and Cigars” series continues to roll right along with its latest installation: an ‘Oktoberfest’ Victory Beer Dinner on Thursday night.

Fine cigars will be on hand from Black Cat, and crooner Philly George will provide his pipes. Here’s a glance at the menu for the event, which costs $85 per person.

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Oktoberfest featuring Victory Beers

Hors d’oeuvres:
Char-grilled Veal Bratwurst
lemon, garlic, caper gremolata

Toasted Rustic Sourdough and Liverwurst
pickled onion, pomery mustard

Yukon Gold Potato Frite
sour cream and caviar

1st Course
Braised Kurabuta Pork Belly, Ginger Sauerbraten Sauce, seasonal local greens, crisp shallots

2nd Course
Grilled Veal Chop Paprikash
pimenton roasted vegetables, pan fried
potato pancake

Dessert Course
Local Farm Peach and Cheese Strudel,
salted caramel gelato

Brandied Apricot Chocolate Truffles

Friday, September 17-Sunday, September 19: Smell that sweet aroma of weisswurst and pickled herring with just a dab of lederhosen? Oktoberfest: it’s on.

Delaware Saengerbund’s annual bash devoted to all things Germanic is upon us, and things get started Friday at 5 p.m. from the fairgrounds at 49 Salem Church Road in Newark.

The usual brand of Oktoberfest mirthmaking—traditional German music and dance, crafts, midway rides and games, and who could forget the Muenchner Kindl parade?—are on tap beginning Friday.

And then there’s the food. The full arsenal of German specialties, including grilled bratwurst, weisswurst, frankfurters, pretzels, “Rollmops,” rye bread, potato salad and sauerkraut are all made in the Delaware Saengerbund kitchen by the Ladies organization.

Admission to the Fest is still just $7. Click your way here for more deets.

Saturday, September 18: Rehoboth’s Nage and Wyoming’s Fifer Orchards are already BFFs: The restaurant offers farm-to-table dinners each Thursday night. But to truly nail that local/healthy/sustainable vibe between Nage and Fifer, check out the Fifer Farm Dinner this Saturday.

The final lap in a series of farm dinners gets underway from Fifer’s front porch in Wyoming at 5:30 p.m. The evening includes an outdoor cocktail party with passed hors d’ oeuvres, then a gorgeous open-air, three-course localvore dinner prepared by Nage chefs.

Tickets for the dinners tend to disappear quickly, so click over here to buy now for just $59 per person.

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