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Culinary Corner, week of April 3-8

Hello! I'm back in town, and missed you all. South Carolina is beautiful, the property at Hilton Head is stunning, and I can say that the food is delicious-I may have overindulged on She-Crab soup and Grits with Fresh Shrimp. Back to the gym I guess. Anyway, it's great to be back, it seems like the Kitchen was well run in my absence-- thanks to Jesus Martinez and David Meraz.

Lobster Tail with Drawn Butter

It's time for a new Quarterly menu! Beginning Monday and running through the end of June, we have a few new items and a few changes to regulars. At Lunch, we have added a Lobster Tail with Drawn Butter, and we have a Bacon Cheeseburger by request as well. At dinner, a new Spring Salad with Chard, Kale and arugula is topped with strawberries and cashews, and there is a chilled Asparagus Salad with house-made cheese. Dinner proteins remain the same, but with some new sides and twists, and the entrée salad now features romaine, mandarin oranges and toasted almonds.

Matzoh Ball Soup

Happy Passover for those who celebrate, on Wednesday we will be featuring Matzoh Ball Soup, and have a really nice Slow-Cooked Brisket to honor the holiday. The servers will have matzo crackers upon request that night, and Lora has Manischewitz, wine as well.

Easter is coming up soon, our menu features Carved Ham, Salmon en Croute, Braised Lamb, Eggs Benedict, and Jesus is surprising us with Ice Carvings in the Dining room.

The Soup of the week is Ginger Curry Carrot. Lots of fresh carrots, fresh ginger, green curry, orange juice, and lime. This is technically a bowl of vegetables, so if you order it, you can have a double portion of ice cream. Don't tell Anna I said that.

The appetizer is a Cranberry and Ricotta Crostini, served cold with fresh herbs.

Beemster Goats' Milk Gouda [image courtesy of]

The Cheese this week is a bit different: Goat's Cheese Gouda. Now this comes from a Dutch dairy called Beemster, one of my favorites. It's a bit tangier than regular Gouda, but it the goat's milk flavor is really subdued, and there is a faint nuttiness to it.

We are serving this with Sour Cherry Jam and Grilled Bread.

I recommend this one with Moscato d' Asti, Lora has a few bottles stashed.

Chilean Sea Bass (a.k.a. Patagonian Toothfish)

At Dinner I know you'll enjoy the Baked Chilean Seabass with a sauce of honey and carrots served with quinoa pilaf. Now Chilean seabass is not a true sea bass at all but is properly known as a Patagonian Toothfish. Not a very palatable name, so it was marketed in the late seventies as a bass to give a broader appeal. It worked so well that several fisheries collapsed in the mid-to-late nineties and the fish became harder and more expensive to buy. Conservation methods in the last twenty years or so have brought this fish back somewhat but it remains one of the most expensive seafoods that we serve here at Vi and it just so happens to be absolutely delicious. I recommend this with California Chardonnay.

Cuts of Beef

We are offering a Bacon-Wrapped Beef Sirloin Steak with a sauce made from blackberries and sherry. Sirloin is a great cut of beef, full of flavor, but not as tender as Filet Mignon.

The bacon wrapping keeps it juicy and we serve it with roasted roma tomatoes and Chuy's Famous House-Cut Potato Chips. Try this with Chianti.

Also delicious is the Roasted Duck this week, with port wine sauce, roasted grapes and galette potatoes. Roast duck is great with Pinot Noir, and you can request a breast or leg.

As a vegetarian special, we have Tofu Marinated in herbs and oil, pan-fried and then served over polenta that has been seasoned with miso. Sort of an Asian-Mediterranean fusion here, I think it will be really good with a 90 Shilling Beer.

Don't miss the Fettuccini Pasta tossed with smoked chicken, roast asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, pesto and cream.

For dinner specials this week, look for Spaghetti with Clam Sauce, Bison Burgers, Mango-Barbecued Alligator, Lamb Loin and Swordfish.

At Lunch please try our Beef Sliders, Carved Veal, Steak Alfredo, Sweet and Sour Shrimp and Barbecued Chicken

So, we are between beers right now- the next one is about two weeks out, sorry I didn't get to any brewing the last couple of weeks. Looking forward to the this beer, an American Amber Ale, that I named Chinook which is a Native Alaskan name for the King Salmon that I fondly recall fishing for as a kid with my father.

I look forward to seeing you all this week at Culinary Corner, 10 am Monday Morning.

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