Chef and Menu Report: Week of 9/21/14

Every week, we take a look at some new chefs and menus that have been announced across the country and around the world
Credit: flickr/ LenDog64

Eateries around America are set to celebrate Oktoberfest.

Hong Kong
Following a multi-million dollar makeover earlier this year, the refreshed J Plus Hotel by YOO will celebrate the upcoming season with a special party and shopping experience in collaboration with catering specialist Relish Kitchen and lifestyle concept store Tang Tang Tang Tang. Along with a number of special holiday packages, the team at J Plus Hotel has partnered with Relish Kitchen to create a series of canapés for guests to enjoy while celebrating the festive season with family and friends at an additional charge. Dishes include pumpkin frittatas with pumpkin seeds; roast turkey with relish on hazelnut and sage bread pudding; duck and prune confit in a herbed pastry cup with cucumber and chive salsa; and more. Additionally, guests can partake in a special drinks package including cocktails such as a blood orange and manuka martini, and a lychee ginger fizz along with New Zealand and Italian wines, and non-alcoholic drinks.  

All of America now has convenient access to barbecue options, thanks to Wendy’s® three new BBQ pulled pork menu items: a BBQ pulled pork sandwich, a BBQ pulled pork cheeseburger, and a BBQ pulled pork cheese fries.

Wendy’s new BBQ Pulled Pork offerings feature hickory-smoked pulled pork that’s shredded, rather than chopped, to create great texture. Wendy’s also took a cue from local barbecue spots offering fans a choice of three custom-crafted sauces — sweet, smoky, or spicy — to fit consumers’ personal barbecue style.

Wendy’s three original BBQ pulled pork items are available until early November.

Greater Boston Area
In celebration of Oktoberfest, BRONWYN, the German and Central European restaurant and biergarten from chef Tim and Bronwyn Wiechmann in Somerville, Mass., will offer a special menu of traditional German fare like fried veal sausage with pig’s head, sweetbreads, pickled ramps, and herbed aioli, and specialty beers such as Erdinger’s Oktoberfest Weissbier from Friday, October 3 through Sunday, October 12. The festivities will also include folk music, dancing, games, and raffles and will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 to 11 p.m.; Thursday and Fridays from 5 p.m. to midnight; Saturdays from noon to midnight, and Sundays from noon to 11pm.

Trumbull, Conn.
Parallel Post will host its fourth and final dinner of their second annual culinary dining series, Farm-To-Trumbull, on Wednesday October 8 at 7 p.m. Inspired by the fall season, the event provides an intimate experience for 30 guests led by James Beard-nominated chef Dean James Max, executive chef Chris Molyneux, and chef de cuisine Ali Goss of Parallel Post. A $75 ticket (tax and 18 percent gratuity not included) will secure a seat to a menu revealed the day of the dinner that is sure to highlight localism and follow the philosophy that natural and sustainable products and responsible farming are the key components in ingredient selection. Parallel Post engages local purveyors for a majority of its ingredients; seafood from Norm Bloom & Sons in Norwalk, Conn. and Foley Fish in Boston, meats from Ox Hollow Farm in Roxbury, and dairy from The Farmer’s Cow in Lebanon, Conn.

New York
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and STK Midtown is raising funds for breast cancer research. The steakhouse, operated by leading lifestyle hospitality company The ONE Group, has teamed up with The Global Party, a worldwide organization that raises funds to subsidize millions of charities to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. STK will host a one-night-only affair in each of its locations across the globe and funds from the night will benefit breast cancer research charities.

On Tuesday, September 30, STK will welcome patrons for a night of donating, dancing, and a specialty “drink pink” bar featuring the STK signature Strawberry Cobbler composed of Belvedere Vodka, freshly muddled strawberries, and a graham cracker crust. Guests are encouraged to donate upon entry to the VIP cocktail party.

This Tuesday, September 30, Lower Manhattan will welcome back one of its most anticipated and celebrated events, “Dine Around Downtown.” The food festival will feature an extensive array of local restaurants and cafes from across the district and is expected to draw more than 15,000 visitors. The Food Network’s Aarti Sequeira, host of Aarti Party and The Next Food Network Star winner, will serve as the event’s celebrity guest host. In addition to local restaurants, the event will welcome two guest participants from Shanghai, China: Lu Bo Lang Restaurant and Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant. Additional information on the event including a full list of restaurants can be found on the event’s website and by checking out #dinearounddowntownnyc on Twitter.

From now through the month of October, Ambrose Hall and Ambrose Beer Garden is embracing the fall season with an Oktoberfest celebration. Six seasonal beers are available on tap for $7 each, including Sam Adams OctoberFest, Peak Hop Harvest Oktoberfest, and Coney Island Freaktoberfest. The kitchen will feature two German sausage choices for $9 each, which are locally sourced from Schaller and Weber, the award-winning maker and purveyor of authentic German-style meats and charcuterie: Kasekrainer, a spicy pork brat stuffed with Vermont Cheddar, and a classic bratwurst made with smoked pork and veal, both served with sauerkraut and spicy mustard. Don’t forget their giant soft pretzel, served alongside a warm cheese sauce and signature spicy mustard.

The Flatiron’s Belgian Beer Café has added Kasteel Ingelmunster’s Pumpkin Ale to their tap selection, and is one of the few spots in the city to carry the brew. They have also created a cider cocktail with Stella Cidre to further commemorate the fall season. The beer café is also celebrating Oktoberfest with a Bavarian-inspired dish served throughout the month of October comprised of boudin blanc and boudin noir steamed in Brunehaut Bio Amber, served with roasted apple stoemp (a traditional Belgian side in which daily leftovers are mixed into mashed potatoes) and hard cider mustard.

Front Room Tavern (formerly The Front Room) at Hotel Lumen has a new name, chef, menu, and design. NL Group, in collaboration with Headington Companies, has transformed the space, and executive chef Michael Ehlert has created a menu of classic dishes with a few imaginative ones as well. For starters, there is a chicken liver mousse with fig mostardo and wheat crackers, and a salmon ceviche “michelada” with housemade chips. For an entrée, choose from dishes such as a corned beef Reuben tartine with house Russian dressing, red cabbage, and chips, and sea scallops with grits and ham. Ehlert explains, “With this menu, I wanted to make my guests happy while also having fun creating them. Even though you have seen the names of these dishes before, I want our guests to possibly come out of their comfort zone a bit and be ready for a taste and presentation that these familiar classics might not have provided them before.” Front Room Tavern is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Reno, Nev.
The third annual Reno Bites, a weeklong, citywide festival celebrating the diversity and innovation of Reno's culinary culture, will take place October 13 to 19. All week, more than 25 locally owned restaurants will offer prix fixe menus, special items, and special price points. Chefs will also flex their creative muscles and show their artistry at themed dinner events such as Speakeasy Cocktails and Bites at Campo, Bites and Brews Block Party at Wild River Grille, the Tequila Tasting and Dinner at Uncork’d, a cheese making class at SouthCreek Pizza Co., Great Basin Brewing Company’s brewery tour and beer pairing dinner, and "Pop-up" restaurant Tournant reprises its Dining in the Dark blindfolded culinary event.

Diners can pick up the free new event guidebook at the meet and greet event on October 9, and any participating restaurant during the week. Collect a sticker from each establishment visited that week, and bring the passport to the Chef Showdown October 18. Those with the most stickers will be eligible for prizes such as restaurant gift certificates, an overnight package and dinner from Nakoma Golf Resort and Spa, a cooking class for 10 at Lanna Thai, or the grand prize: private catered dinner for 10 from the Tournant pop-up restaurant.

Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant/City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.



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