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Culinary Corner, week of November 20-25th.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the eons, it’s that you can’t give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it.”

-Rick Riordan

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope all of you are able to spend some time with friends, neighbors and loved ones on this holiday where we remember the good things that we have and give thanks. I, for one, am thankful that one of my daughters is able to come home for the holiday, and while the other one remains in New England, we have family there she will be traveling to see and so I know she will be among those who love her.

Check out the new wine list, posted on TouchTown and available at the host stand. It doesn't yet have liquor or cocktail prices but we do have all the wines that we carry listed and the prices per glass for each. I will be updating as we progress, I hope to have a more comprehensive list in a few weeks. One thing I have noticed since I started focusing on the wine sales is some misunderstanding of what a glass of wine entails. A standard pour in the US and Europe is five ounces. As I was delivering a glass of wine to a table recently I noticed that it was filled almost to the top and was something like I might pour for myself at home-- easily ten or twelve ounces in a glass. That's nice if I don't want to get up twice and I'm certainly not driving, but at Vi, our glass of wine is five ounces. I'll do a separate article about wine soon so that I can explain our changes and operations in greater detail.

We are celebrating the Holiday all week long in the Hive Market. One of the things I hear every year is that Thanksgiving in the Dining room was spectacular (thank you!) but they really miss that late-night turkey sandwich after Thanksgiving.

This week you can stock up on Turkey, Green Bean Casserole, Pumpkin Pie, Sweet Potato Casserole as much as you like.

Also try the Lasagna, the Portobello Raviolis, the Filet Mignon Oscar and the Kale Salad with Cranberries.

For the first time in the Market we are serving something warm-- try the Turkey and Potato Stew piping hot from the pot.

We have Vi Honey-- great for Holiday gifts and I think there is still some beer, although it is getting low. I do have some beer brewing as we speak, and more is on the way.

In the Mt. Rosa Dining room this week, please try our Turkey Tartlet appetizer. So, I thought to myself, how can we really get into this Turkey Day celebration? Answer; more turkey, more stuffing, more everything. This appetizer is essentially a stack of Stuffing, and Turkey baked together in a muffin tin, with mashed potatoes piped on top and gravy around the edges. Garnish with cranberries and you have yourself a little pre- Thanksgiving treat with half the calories. I think it's a great idea, I hope you will like it.

Gorgonzola Cheese

The Cheese this week is Gorgonzola with Dates. Gorgonzola is an Italian bleu cheese, generally served young so the cheese is more sharp and less pungent than some classic bleus. We have some Old Vine Riesling from Germany on the wine menu that would complement this perfectly.

At Dinner, check out the Pan-Seared Striped Bass with lemon-garlic butter, steamed broccolini, and topped with crispy potato sticks. Striped Bass in the wild is more robust in flavor than the farmed fish we are serving, ours is nicely mild and the texture is superb. This one really needs something a bit acidic. Try the Maui Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand with this one.

We have Double-Braised Beef Brisket this week, served with onion gravy, roasted turnips, and crisp baby potatoes. Double-braising means that the brisket is cooked in red wine with vegetables and beef stock until it is tender, then removed, trimmed, sliced, and cooked more until it is really falling apart. The extra time and flavor really matter in the end. Try this with our Kendall Jackson Vintner's Reserve Zinfandel, you will enjoy it.

We're featuring Grilled Pork Chops, with sweet apricot chutney, baby carrots and Hasselback potatoes. Pair it with our Helfritch Gewürztraminer served at $8 a glass.

I highly recommend the vegetarian option: Stir-Fried Seitan served over white rice with a vegetable spring roll. Seitan is protein derived from wheat [gluten]. The texture is firm, like meat, and the while the flavor is bland, ours is marinated in soy, ginger and garlic so it comes out beautifully seasoned.

The Past is a classic Spaghetti and Meatballs, served with garlic bread. Our meatballs are made with beef and pork, and the whole thing is topped with shaved Parmesan cheese. Try a good Pinot Noir with this one like the Mondavi Reserve on the wine list.

For Nightly Specials, we are excited to offer Chicken Saltimbocca, Grass-Fed Beef Cheeseburger, Almond-Crusted Shrimp, or the Carved Ribeye.

At Lunch, check out the Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin, the Pan-Seared Dijon Salmon, the Grilled Tri Tip, the Pork Tacos and the day after Thanksgiving of course we have an Open-Faced Turkey sandwich.

For Thanksgiving, of course we are open from 11am-1:30pm, so make your reservations if you haven't. We are serving a classic spread of Carved Turkey Breast, Roasted Turkey Legs, Stuffing, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes. We also have Carved Berkshire Ham, and Steamed Crab Legs for those of you who want more than turkey, and be sure to go and see Jesus' Ice carving. Don't miss it!

I look forward to seeing many of you Monday at the Culinary Corner meeting, 10 am in the Dad Clark Bar. Keep your calendars open for the Sip and Savor on Tuesday the 28th where we will be tasting Gamay wines compared to Pinot Noirs.

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