The Dining Insider: A blog about a night in Argentina at Olé Tapas Lounge, haggis at Fair Hill Inn and Downtown Newark Restaurant Week




Pure Argentina

We love the gastronomic excursions coordinated by Olé Tapas Lounge in Newark. The restaurant enjoys periodic explorations of the regions of Spain and of places touched by the culture of Spain through special dinners such as those based on the cuisine of Segovia and Morocco. Next up on the itinerary: Olé goes to Argentina. On Jan. 18, enjoy three courses of traditonal Argentine fare—goat cheese and Portobello ravioli, asado Argentino and alforjes (a sandwich cookie of dulche de leche between two buttery pastries). Each is paired with a traditional wine. Better yet, enjoy your meal with representatives of the prestigious Philadelphia Argentine Tango School. Top students will present the art of tango throughout the meal. Reservations are required, so act quickly—and passionately. 224-9378, oletapaslounge.com

From Newark to Dewey—Delicious

We love this idea: Starting Jan. 19, like every Thursday evening this winter, The Lighthouse Restaurant in Dewey Beach will be transformed into the Stone Balloon Winehouse in Newark. (Hence the series name: “Winehouse at the Lighthouse.”) If you’re anywhere near the place, go. Right out of the box, the Winehouse established itself as one of the best, most innovative restaurants in the state. Now beach-area residents can get a taste without driving 90 miles. Host Rich Garrahan and chef Jason Dietterick look forward to transforming the bayside pub into one of the best dining experiences in the area. “The menu will change weekly and I plan on bringing a new flare to the Dewey culinary scene,” says Chef Dietterick, who will rattle the pans with Lighthouse chef Joe Godleski. “We are going to be serving up amazing flavors, beautifully designed plates and awesome wines all at an affordable price.” The crew will roll away the big-screen TVs, then roll in white linen. “Every day, people ask me, ‘When are you going to do a Winehouse at the beach?’ Well here it is,” says owner Jim Baeurle. See a sample menu at LighthouseDewey.com, then plan to be there Thursday. 226-1680, ext .106.

Enter the Haggis

Here’s food you don’t often have the opportunity to try: haggis. The epicurious uninitiated will have a chance on Jan. 22, when the creative crew at Fair Hill Inn prepares the Scottish specialty for a celebration of the poet Robert Burns, the early Romantic famous for none other than “Auld Lang Syne.” Here’s another famous verse:

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

Anywho, if you’re wondering what haggis is, thank our friends at Wikipedia for this:

“Haggis is a dish containing sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours. Most modern commercial haggis is prepared in a casing rather than an actual stomach. As a kind of savoury pudding, the 2001 English edition of the Larousse Gastronomique puts it, "Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour.”

If you just can’t resist your curiosity, make a reservation now. (410) 398-4187, fairhillinn.com

Fun in Newark

Newark Restaurant week is coming. Monday, Jan. 23 through Sunday, Jan. 29, visit any of the 19 participating restaurants for a prix fixe meal. Several price tiers are available, from two-course lunches to family meals to outstanding three-course dinners. Prices range $10 to $25. It’s one of our favorite weeks of the year, a great way to beat the winter blues. Don’t miss it.

The restaurants:

Ali Baba Middle Eastern Restaurant
Buffalo Wild Wings
Caffé Gelato
California Tortilla
Catherine Rooney’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
Claymont Steak Shop
Cosí
Cucina di Napoli
Deer Park Tavern
Grotto Pizza
Home Grown Café
Iron Hill Brewery
Kildare’s Irish Pub
Klondike Kate’s
Mizu Sushi
Mojo Main
Pat’s Pizzeria/MVP Lounge
Stone Balloon Winehouse
The Saigon Restaurant

The Tiers:

Friends & Family Fun Meals (feeds four): $19 each
Two-course lunch: $10
Two-course dinner: $19
Three-course dinner $25

For more, visit enjoydowntownnewark.com/restaurantweek

Now Yer Cookin’

Another event we love: free cooking demonstrations at NorthEast Seafood Kitchen. The latest will be Jan. 18 with guest chef Philip Mastrippolito of sister restaurant Lupo di Mare in Rehoboth Beach. You’ll learn what produce is in season and how to use them, plus see a demonstration about oysters. What greater delicacy is there on Delmarva? Arrive for drinks at 5:15. The cooking begins at 6. The demos are held the third Thursday of each month through April. 537-1785, northeastseafoodkitchen.com

A New Name for a Great Place

Lamberti Cucina on Philadelphia Pike changed its name to Tutto Fresco By Scotto on Dec. 1. To celebrate the change, Tutto Fresco is having a grand re-opening on Jan. 19, 5 p.m. till 9 p.m. Listen to live music by Jackie Greggs while wandering from appetizer station to pasta station to dessert station and more. Find the fun at 514 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington. 762-9094, tuttofrescode.com

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STAFF WRITER MARK NARDONE DISHES ON THIS WEEK’S
BEST WINE EVENTS AND MORE

About This Blog

Mark Nardone
Wilmington, DE

From chocolate festivals to wine tastings to new restaurant openings, Dining Insider has the Delaware dining scene covered. Delaware Today's Mark Nardone shares the scoop each week on the food and wine events you simply can’t miss. Contact Mark at mnardone@delawaretoday.com.

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