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Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

Here’s what’s inseason in North Carolina for the month of May: blueberries, cabbage,corn, leafy greens, white potatoes, squash and… almost… watermelon.But for most fresh produce lovers, this time if year belongs to thenoble strawberry. Here’s a few strawberry tidbits courtesy ofour friends at Wikipedia: During the French Revolution, Our Lady ofThermidor took strawberry baths to maintain youthful skin. Their namelikely comes from the practice of packing the fragile berries in straw.They were considered poisonous in Argentina until the mid-19th century. And, of course, they’re delicious. Inrecognition of that, the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market holdsStrawberry Day on Saturday beginning at 6 a.m. featuring Alex Amorosoof Cheesecakes by Alex and his infamous strawberry pancakes. Oryou could pick some up at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market on Saturdayat 10 a.m. when the Triad Chili Cookoff begins. Sponsored in part bythe state Chili Appreciation Society, Inc., it should be a hot time.Call Pat Gibson at 800.642.0500 for more information. There’sbig news on the wine front as well, with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse& Wine Bar holding a sweepstakes that will bring the winner and aguest on a tour of California wine country with tastings, tours andcuisine. Enter online at flemingssteakhouse.com. AndWinston-Salem sees Salute! The North Carolina Wine Festival thisweekend beginning with a wine workshop on Friday night at the Henry F.Shaffner House Bed & Breakfast Inn at 5:30 p.m. and events allweekend long. Hit the website, salutencwine.com, for more details onthis truly monumental event. And, of course, it’s Mother’s Dayon Sunday, and the least you can do is take the woman who gave you lifeout for a little brunch. Holiday brunch opportunities abound, but I canrecommend firsthand the menus of a few area restaurants because theyhad the foresight to send me their menus. The aforementionedFleming’s offers a three-course prix fixe featuring entrees like filetmignon or crabcake Benedict, bone-in ham steak and turkey crepes alongwith a slew of special drinks. The Empire Room in downtownGreensboro features a buffet-style brunch prepared by the PaintedPlate. Call 336.230.1588 or hit gatecityboxoffice.com for reservations. Undercurrent,also in Greensboro, offers an a la carte Mother’s Day menu beginning at11:30 a.m. with highlights like shrimp and artichoke bisque,lobster-shrimp spring rolls, oyster salad, lamb chops andcornmeal-dusted Carolina rainbow trout. Call 336.370.1266 to reserve atable. And over in Winston-Salem, Whole Foods Market will holdbrunch as they do every Sunday. No specific menu items as of presstime, but it’s a safe bet that you can also pick up a quart or two ofripe, red strawberries while you’re there.

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