Culinary Art Nouveau




It’s that time of year—the Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived, and Union City Grille in Wilmington will celebrate with a special dinner on Nov. 17. The ticket is a ridiculously reasonable $54, and the menu can’t be beat. It starts with brie and honey in phyllo with roasted pepper, plus croque monsieur and brandade canapés, all paired with Bouchard Aine & Fils 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau and Marcel Lapierre 2012 Raisins Gaulois Gamay. The first course features mussels steamed with garlic, fingerling potatoes and Sancerre served with toasted baguette teamed with Chateau Ducasse 2011 Bordeaux Blanc. The second course of cassoulet with duck confit will be served with Kermit Lynch 2011 VdP du Vauclause Rouge, followed by braised beef short rib, root vegetables and aromatic herbs served with Kermit Lynch 2009 Cotes du Rhone Rouge. Dessert will be cream puffs with white chocolate sauce paired with Dom de Durban 2007 Muscat Beaumes de Venise. We’re in. Reserve soon. 654-9780, unioncitygrille.com

Ciao, Italia

It was a short—but impressive—visit to the latest restaurant in the Platinum Dining Group. Taverna in Newark is now open, and your Insider, fresh off a trip to Italy, can assure you it hits all the high notes of an authentic Italian osteria. Walls of exposed brick and reclaimed barn planking set the mood. A spacious, open kitchen lets you see into the coal-fired pizza oven, which serves a welcome glow on a chilling evening, as well as delicious pizza. The menu features some of the pasta dishes that made Platinum’s Capers & Lemons an instant hit when it opened in Wilmington a few years ago, as well as hearty meat and poultry dishes. All would be nothing without a very good selection of wines. Business at Taverna was hot right out of the chute, so prepare to wait if your first visit happens on a weekend, but we promise it will be worth it. 444-4334, platinumdininggroup.com

Women Only

Ladies, this one is for you: Lupo di Mare’s Women and Wine series is well underway, with the next installment tonight, Nov. 13. Michelle Souza of Southern Wine & Spirits has paired wines from the One Hope series with delicious foods from chefs Phil Mastrippolito and Matt Haley. Each wine on the One Hope series is attached to a different charity, from breast cancer to autism, so your sampling is an important service. What’s more, $5 from each ticket goes to Haley’s Global Delaware Foundation, which helps distressed children around the world. A sampling of tonight’s menu: rack of lamb crusted with Dijon and goat cheese, served with a sweet potato tart and grilled scallions, paired with One Hope Zinfandel. There’s more great food and wine, of course. Act now. 644-1200, sodelconcepts.com

Cuckoo for Cocoa

Nov. 24 brings the seventh annual Chocolate Festival to the Rollins Center of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Visit several chocolate and candy exhibitors, watch an amazing ice-carving contest, view a one-of-a-kind candy and gingerbread village created by Dover Downs chefs, and shop the arts and crafts marketplace for gifts and specialty foods. While you’re there, see the Delaware Hospice Festival of Trees. The Capital Ringers will perform holiday tunes on handbells. Instrumentals and choral performances will be featured, in addition to dance presentations by Delaware Ballet Company. Who loves chocolate more than Santa? He’ll be there, too. (800) 711-5882, doverdowns.com

Pie in the Sky

National Pie Day is coming—who knew?—and Linvilla Orchards in Media, Pa., is here to help. Jan. 23-27 the popular farm and market will sell more than 40 kinds of pie, including several varieties of good ol’ all-American apple pie and a few cream pies as well. In the past they were called pyes and were stuffed with meat, according to our friend Patrick Rizzuto of Breslow Partners. The Pilgrims cooked them to preserve the filling through winter. Now we eat pies with fillings from pecan or pumpkin to blueberry, as we have been doing ravenously since the 1800s. Linvilla, famous for its offerings, has been baking them for 40 years. For National Pie Day, it will give away a free pumpkin pie with the purchase of any other pie. We say yum. Mark your calendar now. (610) 876-7116, linvilla.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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