Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

It seems that the Triad culinary scene’s mid-winter malaise has finally passed with a healthy smattering of events in the coming week. Not much room for stupid jokes here, so I’ll get right to it.

Greensboro’s Lucky 32 restaurant unleashes its winter menu, with eight seasonal items that include chicken and dumplings, grilled pork loin with pecan sage butter, a roasted beet salad and she-crab soup. If I were there right now I’d order the buttermilk-fried quail breasts with country sausage spoon bread and tasso gravy.

The Grove Winery, on the outskirts of Greensboro, holds a wine release party on Sunday at 1 p.m. featuring their 2006 Red Clay Red and 2006 French-style rosé. There will also be light hors d’oeuvres.

The Press Wine Café in downtown Greensboro holds an Iron Press tasting on Wednesday – these sessions help the café determine what wines to place on their list, giving customers a voice at the table, so to speak. In vino, vox. Call 336.333.3190 for a reservation.

Our green grocers have some events brewing as well.

Greensboro’s EarthFare holds a trio of to-dos this week: On Wednesday at noon learn to cook brown rice pilaf. On Thursday at 11 a.m. Sally Nays gives tips and hints on teaching children the value of nutrition – or at least getting them to eat their vegetables. Then on Friday at 7 p.m. is a lesson on chicken paprikash, a word which gives my spellcheck hives.

Whole Foods Market in Winston-Salem, meanwhile, hosts a lesson in gluten-free shopping with BestHealth dietician Dayle Fuentes at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

In the same vein, the book club of the Vance Chavis branch of the Greensboro Public Library discusses meals and recipes for diabetics with cookbooks and advice. It takes place Saturday at 3 p.m. Call 336.373.5838 for more.

And the Greensboro Women’s Resource Center’s annual Men Can Cook event is taking shape as we speak. Taking place in late August, the exhibition is usually held in the downtown Empire Room but this year will be held in the Greensboro Coliseum’s Special Events Center. If you’re a man with a degree of celebrity and you’ve got some kitchen chops, throw your name into the hopper by e-mailing Marsha Glazman at I plan to be there, but have yet to decide on a dish.

In fat-guy news, Rush Fitness Complex has partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank Ministries in an initiative dubbed “Pounds for Pounds,” a fitness/food drive that started on Monday. Non-members will receive a 10-day pass to one of the seven area locations.

And here’s a little lagniappe for ya: Target’s house food brand, Archer Farms, is eliminating trans-fat from their entire line of foods, more than 2,000 products.