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a m u s e BOUCHE

by Jordan Green

a m u s e BOUCHE Two New Year’s Eve menus for readers’ consideration: The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant on Battleground Avenue in Greensboro, celebrates New Year’s Eve with a prixe fixe menu with $10 bottles of champaign. Visit www.themeltingpot.com for more information. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Greensboro offers three different lobster choices for the New Year’s feast: Wagyu filet mignon and cold-water lobster tail, herb-crusted Australian rack of lamb and lobster en fuego, and colossal North Atlantic cold-water lobster tail. More details are to be found at www.flemingssteakhouse.com. On Sundays, Whole Foods Market in Winston- Salem offers a brunch featuring a made-to-order omelet station. The store’s American king crab supply from Dutch Harbor, Alaska runs out on New Year’s Eve, and on New Year’s Day Whole Foods closes its 20-percent discount on wine. Looking ahead, Raffaldini Vineyards in Ronda — that’s Wilkes County — is putting out the word about its first seasonal wine-tasting dinner on Jan. 17. Under the direction of Chef Erik Thomas of Armin’s Catering, the menu pairs seafood salad and mini pizzas with the Raffaldini Fiori NV, pumpkin ravioli with fennel cream sauce with Raffaldini Winemaker’s Blend NV, spinach, mushroom and parmesan-rolled pork loin with the 2006 Raffaldini Montepulciano, and chocolate cake with Frangelico. There’s no small amount of irony that I’m covering for my editor on the food beat this week, considering that I often turn to Clarey for advice on all things culinary. Not that I take it, necessarily. He suggested that for a holiday dinner I might be able to find a cheap filet mignon. Instead, preparing for a pre-Christmas feast for my mother, sister, girlfriend and her mother, I picked up a couple of those pre-herbed, marinated pork roasts in a bag. They were good but a little too heavy on the spice, so I think I might do my own thing next time. In any case, I’m confident in my ability to handle roasts now. As with anything, practice and trusting your senses (in this case, taste and smell) greatly expands your repertoire of dishes. I make a killer pad Thai, by the way. The economic news is bad for everyone, and the malaise seems only likely to deepen in the coming year. This report found in Clarey’s in-box lays out how one sector is responding to difficulties: “In light of the recent downturn in the American economy, the nation’s jazz musicians have joined the long line of lobby groups looking to Washington for support as the economy slides into a deepening recession. The jazz industry is asking Washington for a bailout package and major subsidies on par with that of the auto sector. As such, jazz musicians also want access to credit and tax breaks to stimulate investment and help the development of new recording and performance opportunities.” That’s a spoof, of course, but another sector has its hand out, for true: The Nation’s Restaurant News website reports that “the National Retail Federation has asked President-elect Barack Obama to include a series of national sales tax holidays in his promised economic stimulus package.” The Christmas Eve item reports that “the NRF requested in a letter that Obama speedily declare three tax holidays in March, July and October that would last for 10 days each and encompass a wide range of purchases, including restaurant dining. Under the plan, the federal government would reimburse states for lost revenue.”

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