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Restaurants, Food and Other Gastronomical Fare

Supplement to The Virginia Gazette • Daily Press • Tidewater Review - June 2014

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Peking’s Kung Pao Chicken Courtesy of Peking Restaurant - Williamsburg INGREDIENTS


1 lb. ½ lb.

Boil zucchini in pot of water for 2-3 minutes, drain set aside.

Zucchini (cut into cubes) boneless chicken thigh meat (cut into cubes) 2 oz. peanuts ½ tsp. chopped green onion ½ tsp. fresh minced ginger ½ tsp. minced garlic 1 tsp. cooking wine 1 tsp. soy bean sauce ½ tsp. Golden Label soy sauce ½ tsp. double black soy sauce or 1 tsp. Kikoman soy sauce 1 tsp. oyster sauce 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce 1 tsp. sugar 1 tsp. spicy dried red pepper 3 tbsp. water 1 tbsp. vegetable oil



Heat oil in large wok/skillet on medium/high heat, add chicken. Stir-fry until no longer pink in center, roughly 3-5 minutes. Then remove chicken from heat, set aside. Add green onion, garlic, red peppers and ginger to wok, stir, then add remaining sauces, and water. Stir well and reduce until sauce starts to thicken. Return chicken to wok, toss until chicken is well coated. Return zucchini and stir to wok. Heat thoroughly. Sprinkle peanuts over the top. Serve with rice!



4 Peking’s Kung Pao Chicken recipe

3 Amigos Mexican Restaurant


6 Seared to perfection

6 Crabs Seafood


99 Main Restaurant


Aberdeen Barn-Williamsburg


Anchor Inn Seafood Restaurant, The


Antonio’s Ristorante Italiano


Aromas Specialty Coffee


Baci Ristorante Italiano


11 Great lunch plates for under $10 12 Test your wine I.Q. 13 A quirky way to carry wine 14 Local farmers markets offer fresh produce and much more 16 Camping cookbooks for the foodie in the woods

Brazilian Best Granite


18 A taste for sports food

Circa 1918


20 Rich quiche requires a wine that cuts through fat

County Grill


22 Summer months abound with

Cove Tavern, The


Creative Catering of Virginia


food and wine festivals 26 14 romantic movies to share 28 For the love of ricotta 31 Top 10 mispronounced foodie words

Extreme Pizza


Francesco’s Ristorante Italiano


Good Fortune Chinese Cuisine


Gus’s Hot Dog King


32 Reader Showcase: SHOW US YOUR FOOD

Handy Ice and Hometown Bottled Water


33 Easy Gluten Free Blueberry Pie recipe

Harpoon Larry’s Fish House & Oyster Bar

34 Shakshouka recipe



New York Deli & Pizza Restaurant


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THE VIRGINIA GAZETTE 216 Ironbound Road Williamsburg, VA 23188 Phone 757-220-1736 Fax 757-220-1766 Layout & Design LouAnne Sexton Design Support Peter Dewey Kathy Sturgeon Sandy Xander


Olde Towne Pizza & Pasta


Peking Restaurant-Williamsburg


Prime 46forty


Red Hot & Blue


Riverwalk Restaurant


Schooners Bar and Grill at CNU Village


Seafare of Williamsburg, The


Seasons Restaurant & Bar


Starling Guttering


Tidewater Physicians Multispecialty Group


Treated Lumber Outlet


Tuscany Ristorante Italiano


WARA Williamsburg Area Restaurant Association


Walker’s Dam Grill


Water Street Grille


Williamsburg Pottery


Williamsburg Winery


Wing Bistro Chicken & Waff es


Wythe Candy & Gorumet Shop


York River Oyster Company




By James P. DeWan Special to Tribune Newspapers

Seared to

perfection Getting it right requires practice an and a certain trust in your own observations

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Culinary school. Day 1. Pound cake. I ask the instructor how long to leave it in the oven. “Until it’s done,” she says. “I know,” I say, “but how long do I leave it in the oven?” And she says, again, annoyed, “Until it’s done.” Now, my memory’s a bit fuzzy on the details, but, as I recall, we went back and forth like this for several hours until, finally, after clonking me on the head with her rubber spatula, I understood her point: Cooking, like everything else in the known universe, follows the laws of the universe (I know I’ve said that before). This means that, in order to predict an outcome, say, the time it takes a pound cake to get “done,”

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you need to understand all the variables: How hot is your oven, really? How thick is the batter? I could go on. What I learned that day was, I had a lot to learn and a lot to practice. Oh, and the value of a good clonking. Today, we’ll apply those principles to one of the most common kitchen methods: pan searing. Why you need to learn this Pan searing is great for any relatively small piece of protein, like your steaks and your chops, your chicken breasts and fish fillets. All those meaty, meaty things we like so much. The steps you take We call this method “pan searing” because it produces a lipsmacking, golden brown crust surrounding a perfectly cooked inside. For chicken breasts, that’s an internal temperature of 165 degrees. For steaks and chops and fish fillets — well, what do you like? Medium rare? Well done? Obviously there’s no one “right” way. And that’s part of the challenge. First, the good news: Pan searing is easy. Now the bad news: There’s a caveat. Here’s what I mean: It’s easy in the sense that there’s not much to it: Drop a seasoned piece of protein in a hot, lightly oiled pan, then flip it halfway through. Done. Here’s the caveat: There are a gajillion variables, and the only way to know those variables is to practice, practice, practice. Sure, I can give some good advice that will increase your chances of success: Have a pan that’s just big enough to hold what you’re cooking and get it nice and hot first, then dry your protein thoroughly and season it. But, the sad truth is that, just like me with that pound cake, the main thing you want to know is, how long do we cook it? And the answer, always, is, “Until it’s done.” You see, because of those aforementioned gajillion variables, there’s no way to predict exactly how long something will take to cook. Consider: •Pan materials: Different metals conduct heat differently •Pan shape: Straight-sided pans trap moisture, preventing meat from browning as quickly as it would in sloped-sided pans See Page 10



•The protein: What is it and how thick? •Burner temperature: What does “medium high heat” mean, anyway? Yikes. Here’s my best advice: Accept the fact that cooking well is not easy and requires practice. You’ll cook some things imperfectly, and that’s OK. Approach every meal as practice. The more you practice, the quicker you’ll understand those variables. Plan on having chicken breasts or pork chops or salmon fillets three times this week or, better yet, invite some friends over and cook 10 pieces of whatever in quick succession. Pay attention. Take notes. Use an instant read thermometer to track the speed at which the meat cooks. And press on the top to feel it firm up as the meat cooks. Yes, it’s science. But, it’s not rocket science. You can do it. Here are the basics: 1. Set a sloped-sided saute pan, just big enough to hold your protein comfortably, over medium-high heat. 2. When it’s hot, add just enough fat — oil, clarified butter — to coat the bottom of the pan.

3. Add your seasoned protein to the pan, presentation side down. (“Presentation side” is the most visually appealing side.) Don’t touch the meat until it has developed a nice crust and is about halfway done, then flip it and cook until done. Once again, what’s “done”? Well, here’s where that practice comes in. A good indication of doneness is touch. Raw meat is spongy. The more it cooks, the more the proteins tighten up and the firmer it becomes. Make a point, whenever you cook protein, to poke it and poke it some more. Feel the changes as it cooks. Insert an instant read thermometer frequently to make the connection between internal temperature and firmness. Take notes. You’ll get it. One last thing: It’s true that, instead of flipping proteins only once, flipping them every 30 to 60 seconds throughout cooking can result in more even doneness with reduced cooking time. Personally, I find the constant flipping somewhat bothersome and the results are not better enough to warrant the annoyance. If you want to try it, though, feel free. And take lots of notes.

Accept the fact that

cooking well is not easy and requires practice.

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Great lunch plates for under $10

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Antonio’s lunch special $8.99 baked ziti with meat sauce

Aromas Asian Flat-Iron Steak or Asian Ginger Salmon Salad $8.99

Good Fortune Dealer Combo Sautéed Shrimp and Chicken for $6.99

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757-229-0099 Private parties are welcome. Reservations are recommended.



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Test your wine I.Q. “The Best Beef About”

Find out if you’re a wine genius or a wine simpleton with the following questions. 1. How much wine is in a bottle? A. 50 ml B. 250 ml C. 750 ml D. 1500 ml

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2. How many grapes does it take to make your average bottle of wine? A. 1 lb B. 2.5 lbs C. 5 lbs D. 10 lbs 3. How many bottles of wine does it take to create a case of wine? A. 6 B. 12 C. 18 D. 24 4. When was the corkscrew designed? A. 1500s B. 1700s C. 1800s D. 1929 5. How many varieties of wine grapes exist in the world today? A. Less than 100 B. 1,000 C. 5,000 D. More than 10,000

6. How many gallons of wine does California produce annually? A. Less than 10 million gallons B. 12 million gallons C. 15 million gallons D. More than 17 million gallons 7. How many calories are in a four ounce glass of red wine? A. 50 B. 85 C. 115 D. 150 8. How many gallons of wine are in a single barrel? A. 40 B. 60 C. 80 D. 100 9. When did winemaking begin? A. 10,000 B.C. B. 8000 B.C. C. 6000 B.C. D. 1000 B.C. 10. How many gallons of wine are produced from one acre of grapevines? A. 200 B. 400 C. 600 D. 800 Answers: C, B, B, D, D, D, B, B, C, D

A quirky way to carry wine Wine Caddy Sculptures offer a playful outlook as alcohol holders By William Hageman Tribune Newspapers

From H&K Recycled Metal Art of New Jersey comes a quirky and playful line of wine and liquor bottle holders called Wine Caddy Sculptures. These bottle holders are the creation of artist Guenter Scholz, a former mechanical engineering student with an obviously playful outlook on life. They’re handcrafted in Germany from recycled industrialstrength steel, to which copper accents are added. The metal is cut, bent, welded and brushed into individual pieces of functional art. Because the metals don’t leech or come in contact with the wine, taste will not be compromised. More than 200 subjects are offered. Some of the more amusing characters are a big-antlered moose, a sporty-looking bartender with a rack that holds six bottles of wine, a Formula One race car, a smiling pharmacist standing behind her counter and a sunglasses-wearing piano player seated at his upright. The pieces range in price from $29 to $125. The Wine Caddy Sculptures can be ordered from, which also offers other handcrafted metal pieces, such as desktop accessories, business card and pen holders, clocks and more.


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Produce locally grown and picked is fresh at farmers’ markets across the region. Here, a variety of fresh peppers and tomatoes is for sale at the Williamsburg farmers market in Merchants Square.

Local farmers markets offer fresh produce and much more By Nicole Paitsel

Dean & Don’s

This commercial farmer’s stand is open daily at locations in Newport News and Hampton during the spring and summer months. The stands offer a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Newport News) and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Hampton) Monday-Saturday Location: 12601 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, and 600 LaSalle Ave., Hampton. Information:

Farmers markets have been sprouting up like daisies in recent years. Our region has a rich variety of these special places that offer locally grown and made products.

City Center Farmers Market This mid-week market features locally grown fruits, vegetables, seafood, plants, herbs, baked goods, free range chickens, pork, bison, bath products, fresh bread, dog treats, dairy products and other local goods. Times: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays Location: Mariners Row, City Center, Oyster Point, Newport News Information: 14


Gloucester Farmers Market This Summer Nights market, held rain or shine, features fresh produce, prepared foods and arts and crafts. Times: 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesdays through August Where: Behind the Gloucester Museum of History and Carriage Court Information:

The market features local produce, arts and crafts, baked goods and other Virginia-focused products. Times: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 25. Location: Historic courthouse green in Mathews County Information:

offering new shopping opportunities as seasons change. Times: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays. Location: Merchant’s Square, Duke of Gloucester Street near Colonial Williamsburg. Information:

Peninsula Town Center

Yorktown Market Days

The Hampton shopping center introduced a farmers market for the first time in 2013. This market breaks the mold with its Sunday hours. Times: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 12. Location: Center square near Barnes & Noble. Information: peninsulatowncenter. com.

Smithfield Farmers Market Now in its 12th year, the market focuses on “Virginia Grown” products such as locally grown produce, beef, pork, chicken, eggs, peanuts, plants, coffee, baked goods and more. Every market also features live music by a local band. Times: 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays through October. Location: Main Street in downtown Smithfield. Information:

Suffolk Farmers Market In addition to the traditional farmers’ market offerings, the Suffolk market will host a variety of Family Fun days, featuring special guest speakers and performers, petting zoos, book signings, workshops, and crafts. Times: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 22 and 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sept. 3. Location: 524 N. Main St., downtown Suffolk Information: suffolk-farmers-market/

Williamsburg Farmers Market This long-established market features cut flowers, fresh produce, wines, local meats, baked goods and other products, some vendors vary from week to week,

The eighth annual market hosts more than 35 local farmers, producers and vendors throughout the season selling fruits and vegetables, seafood, eggs, poultry, breads and baked goods, peanuts, cut flowers, herbs, vegetable plants, fresh mozzarella, organic and gluten free products, potted plants, coffee, jams and jellies. Times: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through September. Additional fall markets will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 11 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 8 and Dec. 13. Location: Riverwalk Landing along the Yorktown waterfront. Information: yorktownmarketdays. com.


Mathews Farmers Market

99 Main Restaurant

Located in Historic Hilton Village Named One of the Top 50 Restaurants in Hampton Roads!

Tuesday - Thursday 5 pm - 9:30 pm and until 10:30 pm on Friday & Saturday.

99 Main Street, Newport News 757-599-9885 • Serving BRUNCH on the last Sunday of the month 11 am to 2 pm

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No week is complete without a trip to

Camping cookbooks

Williamsburg’s beloved candy store for 50 years!

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By Michell Eloy Tribune Newspapers

Camping and gourmet cooking: two pastimes that are seemingly mutually exclusive. Yet three new cookbooks are trying to shuck the notion that communing with nature has to come at the expense of quality, nutritious food — or at least need not be limited to hot dogs and cans of baked beans. For those heading out to a campsite with access to a refrigerator or ice machine, “Campfire Cuisine” (Quirk Books, $15.95) and “Family Camping Cookbook” (Duncan Baird, $14.95) boast recipes crafted with the foodie in mind. In the former, author Robin Donovan skews her book more toward adults, with recipes like Indian-style curried yogurt

chicken and cioppino (a seafood stew). The recipes are ingredient-heavy, and the lists of “must-haves” and “pantry staples” are on the longer side. That said, nearly all of the marinades and rubs are intended to be made ahead and packed in a cooler for later use. “Family Camping Cookbook” offers the same style of recipes, but tailored to families. Especially helpful are the meal plans that preface each chapter, one each for families with younger kids, those with older kids and vegetarians. Still, the ingredient lists for things like paella and risotto primavera lean toward the lengthy side and would be impossible without regular access to ice or a store. For campers looking for a slightly more minimalist outdoor experience, “The New Trailside Cookbook” (Firefly,

$19.95) offers more of a traditional approach to campfire cuisine. Written by canoe enthusiast Kevin Callan and dietitian Margaret Howard, the book includes tips on dehydrating, living off the land and at-home steps for meal preparation to cut down on the packing list. It still has some more extravagant recipes as far as camping cuisine goes — slow-cooked pulled pork, lamb chops with rosemary and grapes — but feels more realistic in terms of what can be accomplished campfireside. The common thread — and key to using any of these cookbooks successfully — is planning. All three books stress crafting meal plans ahead to cut down on extensive packing lists.

Don’t Pass by Drop Anchor at The Inn Wide variety of broiled or fried seafood dishes

Take a Tour of Italy Explore the Artisan Entrees created by First Generation Sicilian Chef Franceso

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10417 Warwick Blvd. Newport News, VA 23601

(757) 594-1355 All major credit cards accepted

Located in beautiful Historic Hilton Village




A taste for sports food

Served at Wimbledon

Cricket and tea

Across the pond, strawberries and cream are as predictable at Wimbledon as members of the royal family.

In the British Commonwealth, cricket tea is still quintessential to the whole ritual of village cricket.

Taste of the Derby

Baseball and food

For racing enthusiasts, the hot Brown, named after the Brown Hotel in Louisville, is as much a part of the Kentucky Derby as oats and hay are to the horses.

“Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks ...” For generations baseball fans have been singing that line during the seventh-inning stretch.

Fan-favorite football food

Sports, food and drinks are as much a part of our cultural tradition as, well, peanuts and Cracker Jack. Here are some photos of great sports/food combos.

The best of Augusta

Nothing says Augusta National in the spring more than ... the pimiento cheese sandwich from the Walton Way Deli in Augusta, Ga., rumored to be one among many providers of sandwiches to the Masters Tournament. It contains garlic pepper and a pinch of sugar.

Wings- Buffalo has always been credited for inventing wings (hence the name). One of the most popular snacks for football fans from coast to coast.








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Rich quiche requires a wine that cuts through fat By Bill St. John Special to Tribune Newspapers

No lemons in this recipe, but you can still make lemonade. Together, cheese, half-and-half and eggs sport a fair amount of fat. When paired with wine, fat is a formidable, albeit delicious, barrier to wine flavor getting through. (That is one reason more people around the world drink white wine with their cheese; it has less to lose.) A red wine would be terrific with this dish, but the key is significant tannin to bind that fat and breach its walls. For white wine, be sure it is good and lean, its acidity like a squeegee sweeping away the same. CHICAGO TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO

We at 3 Amigos Mexican Restaurants pride ourselves on providing our customers with a unique and pleasurable dining experience. Our mission is simple: to serve you the best authentic Mexican food and drinks at a comfortable price. So come on by and relax, we are here to serve your family and friends.


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$4 off lunch with purchase of two meals and two drinks. $5 off dinner with purchase of two meals and two drinks.

THE FOOD Quiche with arugula and mushrooms Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 large eggs, 1 1/2 cups half-and-half, 1 teaspoon each dried Italian herb blend and salt, and cayenne pepper to taste; stir in 1/2 cup each baby arugula and sliced mushrooms.

From Corporate Events . . .

Line a 9-inch pie pan with a prepared crust; sprinkle with 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend. Pour egg mixture into pan to two-thirds full. Set pan on a baking sheet. Bake until quiche is set, about 35 minutes. Makes: 8 servings

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A field blend mishmash of five hearty red grapes (mostly the gritty yeoman carignan) for juicy dark berry aromas and flavors but also suedelike tannins for cleanup. $15

Bodegas Hidalgo-La Gitana Manzanilla de Sanlucar de Barrameda, Sherry, Spain Unsung hero of Spanish food whites, all taut acidity, lengthy saline, white almond and chamomile scents and savors. $18 for 500 milliliters

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The fall Town Point Virginia Wine Festival in Norfolk is one of the region’s largest festivals.

Summer months abound with food and wine festivals By David Nicholson

Warm summer months followed by the cool fall each offer their own charm in the many food and wine festivals that pop up each year in Hampton Roads. Here are a few to mark on your calendar. Details for some events will be announced at a later date.

Bayou Boogaloo & Cajun Food Festival When: Friday-Sunday, June 20-22. Noon-10 p.m. FridaySaturday; noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Where: Town Point Park, downtown Norfolk Details: Norfolk’s annual “second line” with New Orleans’ spirit and culture takes place along the Norfolk waterfront. The festival seeks to recreate the best of Louisiana. Two stages featuring national recording artists provide musical entertainment for the weekend. Arts and crafts and authentic food will also be part of the fun. Admission: Thursday and early Friday admission is free, but Friday night through Sunday requires paid admission. A threeday ticket is $20. Single day admission is $10. Information: 757-441-2345 or

Gwynn’s Island Festival When: Friday-Saturday, June 27-28. 4-7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.4 p.m. Saturday. Where: Gwynn’s Island Community Building and grounds, Mathews County 22


Details: Activities include Friday night chicken dinner, music, food, arts and crafts and family activities. Admission: Free. Information: 757-725-7577 or

Smithfield’s Olden Days Festival When: Friday-Saturday, June 27-28. Where: Downtown Smithfield Details: Classic car shows, farmer’s market, ghost walks, vendors, arts and crafts, and the Pagan River Raft Race. Admission: Free, but some activities are ticketed. Information: 757-357-5182 or

Latin Fest When: Friday-Saturday, June 27-28. 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. Where: Virginia Beach Oceanfront, at 24th Street Details: A celebration of Latin culture, with lots of food, activities and live music. Among the highlights is a Zumba workout marathon. Admission: Free Information: 757-491-4866 or

Summer BrewFest When: Friday, July 11, 5-9 p.m. Where: Town Point Park, downtown Norfolk Details: The Summer BrewFest, sponsored by AT&T, will help folks end the work week with an extended happy hour

and live music. Sample a variety of summer beers from local, regional, national and international brewers. Admission: Free, but beer sampling tickets will be on sale. Information: 757-441-2345 or

Pork, Peanut and Pine Festival When: Saturday-Sunday, July 19-20. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. Where: Chippokes Plantation State Park, Surry County Details: Lots of good food, including a barbecue cook-off, all presented in an outdoor setting at one of the area’s historic plantations — a 1,400-acre farm established along the James River in 1619. Live entertainment both days. Admission: $5 per person, but 10 and under are free. Information: 757-294-3728 or

Hampton Bay Days


When: Friday-Sunday, Sept. 5-7. Where: Downtown Hampton Details: One of the Peninsula’s biggest annual events, a celebration of the Chesapeake Bay. Live music from top acts. Featuring games, rides, food, fireworks, crafts, environmental displays and children’s activities. Downtown Hampton. Admission: Free Information: 727-1641,

Wine festivals are plentiful across the region.

Ribtoberfest When: Saturday, Sept. 20. Noon-8 p.m. Where: Town Point Park, Norfolk Details: A day of beer and barbecue, with live music and competitions among local restaurants. Admission: Free Information: 757-441-2345 or See Page 25

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Fall Festival of Folklife When: Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 4-5 Where: Newport News Park, Jefferson Avenue and Fort Eustis Boulevard, Newport News Details: Southeast Virginia’s biggest crafts show featuring nearly 200 vendors, folk musicians, craft demonstrations and children’s activities. Admission: Free, but $10 per car parking fee will be collected Information:

An Occasion for the Arts When: Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 4-5 Where: Merchants Square, Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg Details: Annual event features nearly 140 artists in various media, juried art show, children’s activities, entertainment on several stages and food. Admission: Free Information:

Virginia Beach Craft Beer Festival When: Friday-Saturday, Oct. 18-19. 1-6 p.m. each day.


Craft beers from over 50 breweries will be available for sampling at the Virginia Beach Craft Beer Festival Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 18-19, 2014, at the 24th Street Park at the Virginia Beach oceanfront.

Where: Virginia Beach Oceanfront, at 24th Street Details: More than two dozen craft beer makers will be offering their products up for samples. Lots of food and live

music as well. Admission: Tickets required. Fees not yet announced. Information: 757-491-4866 or

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Food, Fun & Spirits!

Poquoson Seafood Festival When: Friday-Sunday, Oct. 17-19 Where: Poquoson Municipal Park, 830 Poquoson Ave., Poquoson Details: A weekend celebrating the men and women who work the bay and harvest its bounty. Features arts and crafts vendors, live entertainment, children’s activities, dozens of food vendors, watermen’s heritage display and fireworks. Lots and lots of fresh seafood. Admission: Free, but a $5 per car parking fee will be collected. Information:

Town Point Virginia Wine Festival When: Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 18-19 Where: Town Point Park, downtown Norfolk Details: One of the region’s largest gatherings of Virginia wineries Admission: $25-$35 on Saturday,


Hampton Bay Days means good food, good music and entertainment while learning about the Chesapeake Bay. Here, Rooster” Roberts, of Arcadia, Fla. , chef at Skin and Bones BBQ grills up ribs at Bay Days. Roberts participated in the barbecue contest.

$20-$30 on Sunday. Group rates available. Information: 757-441-2345,

Urbanna Oyster Festival When: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 7-8 Where: Throughout the town of Urbanna Details: Parade, arts and crafts, oysters cooked many different ways at this annual feast and celebration. Admission: Free Information: 804-758-0368,

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14 romantic movies to share By Mod Content Dinner and a movie has been a dating staple for generations. Couples often opt to stick with what works and dine out and then catch a flick -- either at the theater or curled up on the sofa at home. Choosing the right movie may take some compromise. He may believe a sexy James Bond-type girl dodging explosives and sports cars is the ultimate in cinematic excellence. She may believe it isn’t a good movie unless you’ve used a full box of tissues. However, the movie industry and others may have their own thoughts on what constitutes an ideal movie for date night. Here are 14 movies deemed very romantic. See if they will be the right fit for your movie night. Plus when you go out to eat try one of the movie inspired dishes or drinks to set the mood. 1. Dirty Dancing: This 1980s flick stands the test of time 25 years later. Baby, a good girl from an affluent family, falls in love with Johnny, a drifter dance instructor, while she’s on a family vacation at a Catskills summer resort. This movie showcases that sometimes love transcends prestige, personal status and well-meaning fathers. Movie inspired drinkAsk your bartender for a watermelon cocktail. 2. Titanic: In another classic movie where love trumps social class, Rose and Jack fall in love aboard the doomed ship. Their passionate connection survives a tragedy and the ultimate separation. Movie inspired dishFilet mignon topped with foie gras and truffle butter. 3. The Princess Bride: A Rob Reiner movie, this fairytale tells the story of Buttercup and Wesley, a poor farm boy who wins the love of his employer. When Wesley is presumed dead and Buttercup becomes engaged to an area prince whom she doesn’t love, viewers are taken on an adventure that shows that even death cannot stop true love. Movie inspired dish- Screeching Eel Salad (not sure you’ll find this on most menus). 26


4. Gone With the Wind: If a classic romance is what you desire, look no further than this epic film. Scarlett O’Hara is a conspiring woman who wants to choose her own husband, but ends up in the arms of rascal Rhett Butler amid the drama of the Civil War. Menu item- Look for Peach Trifle or Strawberry Shortcake for dessert. 5. Pretty Woman: Despite a controversial storyline that puts Richard Gere and Julia Roberts together -- he’s a businessman and she’s a prostitute -- the theme of the movie is how love has no social boundaries, and sometimes it’s better to look beyond one’s own backyard for the love of your life. Menu item- Escargot, of course, those “slippery little suckers”. 6. Legends of the Fall: A tragic but inspiring tale of three brothers who all fall in love with the same woman, Susannah, for different reasons, although only one eventually marries her in the end. Family strife and complications show the darker side of love. Menu item- elk, moose or deer. 7. A Room With a View: Lucy vacations in Italy, where she meets people who are more passion-driven than those in her native Britain. When she


meets Julian, a Brit who has been in Italy a while and has learned the wiles of romance, she is drawn into a liaison that she soon regrets. Menu item- When in Florence- try a pasta dish. 8. Sleepless in Seattle: Sam loses his wife Maggie and has to raise his son, Jonah alone in their new hometown of Seattle. Annie, a Baltimore reporter, hears his heartbreaking tale when Jonah calls into a self-help radio talk show on Christmas Eve. Annie becomes fascinated with Sam’s story and wonders if they should meet. Menu item- Fish or seafood 9. Bridget Jones’s Diary: A modern day “Pride and Prejudice,” Bridget is a single woman in her 30s who has a poor self-image and is also in a pseudo-relationship with her scoundrel boss, played by Hugh Grant. Bridget is consistently thrown into circumstances that involve a family friend, Mark Darcy, whom Bridget sees as uptight and boring. Eventually, however, she sees a different side of the supposedly boring lawyer. If you prefer the original tale, watch “Pride and Prejudice” starring Keira Knightly. Menu item- You can try to find “Blue Soup” on the menu, but a better option might be a bloody mary. 10. 50 First Dates: This quirky movie tells the tale of Henry, a bachelor and player who meets Lucy, a person with short-term memory amnesia who forgets everything from the day once she goes to sleep. Reliving day after day, Lucy starts to fall for Henry, who does his best to be memorable. Menu item- Go out for breakfast and a movie, and then do it again, and again…. 11. An Affair to Remember: Handsome playboy Nicky falls in love with Terry, a nightclub singer, while on a cruise from

Europe to New York, despite each’s engagement to other people. They agree to reconnect in six months atop the Empire State Building to see if they should continue their relationship. But Terry experiences a situation that keeps her from their meeting, leaving Nicky to wonder if her love has waned. Ask the bartender for a champagne cocktail- pink champagne of course. 12. The Notebook: Allie and Noah meet at a carnival and fall in love but are kept from each other by Allie’s disapproving parents who move her away. Allie waits several years to hear from Noah before getting engaged to another, but then must satisfy her curiosity whether Noah is all right. Movie inspired menu- a simple southern crab boil. 13. The Holiday: Two women from different parts of the world agree to swap homes for Christmas and enjoy a vacation from their own lives. Iris travels from London to Beverly Hills, while Amanda goes from her opulent life to Iris’ small cottage in Surrey. Both eventually meet their romantic matches in their new locales but fret over what to do once the holiday ends. Menu item- Sushi 14. Ever After: An interpretation of the classic Cinderella story, the movie follows Danielle, who is treated poorly by her stepmother and stepsisters after her father suddenly passes away. A bit of a hellion, Danielle catches the eye of Prince Henry, who believes her to be a countess and not the lowly servant girl she really is. Movie inspired dessert- see if pumpkin cheesecake is on the menu.

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For the love of ricotta By Joe Gray Tribune Newspapers

Most of the ricotta in this country is probably baked into lasagna. And that’s delicious. But ricotta aspires to so much more. Its fresh flavor shines when treated lightly, its creamy texture soaring as well. The new vegetables of spring — the greenest peas, tiny, tender fava beans, earthy beets — make companionable partners. It can go savory or sweet. If your relationship with ricotta is limited to enjoying it baked into lasagna or manicotti, consider its many other guises. No less a champion than cheese authority Laura Werlin, who has written extensively about cheese (six books, including the James Beard award-winning “The All American Cheese and Wine Book”) and teaches regularly at the Cheese School of San Francisco, extols ricotta’s versatility. “This is what I like about ricotta: It can be a chameleon and it can be the star,” Werlin says. “It can be a conveyor of flavor; it can be the flavor itself.” Werlin has used it in brioche bread pudding and in ricotta

cake, on top of pasta and pizza. As a simple dessert, drizzled with a little honey, with candied walnuts or almonds or toasted pistachios. One of her favorite recipes is to mix ricotta into a spring pea and basil puree to spread on crostini. “You don’t taste the ricotta, but you sense it because you have that creamy texture,” she says. “The ricotta lightens it and makes it a little more ethereal.” Basically, wherever you might think of using fresh goat cheese, you can use ricotta, Werlin says. The key to the best flavors in any of these applications is the same when making any dish that relies on the ingredients to do the most of the work: Buy the best you can find. In the case of ricotta, look for a fresh aroma and taste and creamy texture. (And, we would argue, whole milk ricotta to get the full richness.) Traditionally, ricotta is made from whey leftover from making another cheese, but it should still taste of milk, Werlin says. Handdipped is a good phrase to look for, she explains: “It is handled more gently; a lightness to it that ricotta absolutely should have. It shouldn’t be dense.” “Traditional basket-drained ricotta almost quivers like panna cotta or a custard. Get as close as you can (to that),” Werlin says.

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Some makers with national distribution to seek out are Calabro Cheese Corp., made in East Haven, Conn., and Lioni Latticini, Brooklyn, N.Y. If you have a cheese shop nearby, it might carry ricotta from an artisan maker. Italian grocery stores and supermarkets with a good cheese selection often have fresh, hand-dipped ricotta. When you bring it home, try it in one of the recipes or ideas here, or perhaps the simplest way is the best. This one from Werlin: Just drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with finely chopped fresh basil or rosemary. “It’s just a way to get the full essence of the ricotta and gussy it up a little,” she says. “Maybe sea salt on top.”

Ziti with ricotta Adapted from “Tasty,” by Roy Finamore. We’ve added fresh thyme for the freshness it brings. Cook: Heat a large pot of well-salted water to a boil; stir in 1 pound ziti or penne rigati. Cook until al dente. Mix: Meanwhile, whip 1 pound ricotta and 2 ounces fresh goat cheese (both cheeses should be at room temperature) together with a fork in a large serving bowl. Combine: Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the cooking water. Return pasta to the pot. Stir in the cheese mixture, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves; season with coarse salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper. Stir in enough of the pasta water — a little at a time — to make a

smooth sauce. Serve with grated pecorino cheese. Makes: 4 servings

Dish it up Laura Werlin offers a host of ways to use ricotta. Among them: On fresh melon: Mix ricotta with a little sugar and a little milk to extend it, then dollop it on along with fresh mint. On pizza: Dollop it on. It will soften in the oven, fanning out, but won’t melt. Mix fresh chopped herbs first, if you like. On vegetables: Steamed asparagus, with a little extra-virgin olive oil and pepper. Also zucchini, fava beans and artichokes; even thinly shaved raw artichokes. Add another cheese for saltiness, if you like, such as pecorino or Parmesan.

And from other cooks: Stuff pancakes with ricotta, says Anna Della Conte in her new book, “Italian Kitchen.” Crostini: The small slices of toasted bread are a frequent vehicle for ricotta. “Franny’s Simple Seasonal Italian” has two ideas: ricotta with olives and pistachios, and roasted cherry tomatoes with ricotta. A breakfast crostini from Michele Scicolone’s new “The Italian Vegetable Book”: Whip ricotta with honey, spread on the crostini and top with fresh halved figs and toasted sliced almonds. Dip: One of our favorite recipes is a simple ricotta and herb dip: Place 1 cup drained ricotta in a bowl; stir in 2 tablespoons

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finely chopped herbs (a mix of any of these: basil, thyme, parsley, chives), 1 to 2 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil, and coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Allow to rest at least 30 minutes for flavors to mingle. Serve with crudite, crackers or toasted bread.

Sugar snap peas with ricotta, mint and lemon Adapted from “Franny’s Simple Seasonal Italian” (Artisan, $35) by Andrew Feinberg, Francine Stephens and Melissa Clark. Drain: Place 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta in a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth or a clean dish towel; set over a bowl and refrigerate overnight. The ricotta will lose much of its water content and thicken. Mix: Whisk the drained ricotta in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil until smooth. Whisk in kosher salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to whisk until the ricotta is fluffy and creamy. Blanch: Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water and salt it generously. Blanch 2 cups sugar snap peas (about ½ pound) in the boiling water until bright green, 30-40 seconds. Drain; immediately transfer peas to the ice bath. Let stand until chilled. Drain the peas; spread them on a clean dish towel to dry. Toss: Combine the peas in a bowl with 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions, 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint, 2 tablespoons fresh

lemon juice, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and pepper to taste. Serve: Smear 2 tablespoons ricotta on each of four plates. Mound 1/2 cup of the peas on each plate. Drizzle with more olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Makes: 4 servings

Sweet ricotta pudding This recipe is adapted from one by Melissa Roberts at She serves it with roasted grapes (2 cups seedless red grapes, halved, tossed with 1 tablespoon melted butter and 2 tablespoons sugar, roasted at 425 until tender, 10 to 12 minutes). We’ve opted for yellow raisins inside the pudding instead. Also, we used cookie crumbs to coat the pie plate instead of the breadcrumbs she calls for. Prep: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Soak 1/2 cup yellow raisins in hot water (or sweet marsala or rum) to cover until plumped, about 15 minutes. Butter a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate with about 1 tablespoon melted butter; spread 1 to 2 tablespoons fine cookie crumbs in plate to coat. Mix: Blend 1 2/3 cups whole-milk ricotta (15 ounces), 2 large eggs, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons sugar in a blender until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in the drained raisins and 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted pistachios. Pour batter into pie plate. Bake in middle of oven until puffed, golden, and just set, about 25 minutes. Cool pudding on a rack.

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Walker’s Dam Grill is a cozy fine dining Italian restaurant tucked away in the Rockahock Campgrounds in Lanexa.

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NO CORKAGE FEE SUNDAYS* BRING YOUR OWN WINE, ENJOY OUR FOOD. *Call for details. Certain restrictions apply.

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Reader Showcase: SHOW US YOUR FOOD By Felicia L. Mason

We asked readers to show us your food photos on Eyewitness. Several have taken up the challenge, and we’d like to showcase them here. Eyewitness user LisaSadler posted Chicken Soft Corn Tacos saying, “Cheesecake Factory has it going on with these tacos!” A later posting was of Fried Avocado found in Yorktown. LisaSadler said of that dish, “Sliced and French fried Avocados can be found at the Water Street Grille in Yorktown overlooking the York River. Avocados are very soft and delicious. The side sauce should be something more of a white Mexican baha instead of a mixed MORE ONLINE ketchup. Overall, the food See a photo gallery of more was good.” reader food pictures at dailypress. Eyewitness user Wilecat com/food. And be sure to post had a scrumptious dinner at your food pictures at eyewitness. Cafe La Trois Rivah. On the Look for the menu was Baked Chicken Show Us Your Food assignment. with a Pepper Beer Sauce featuring “long-grain and wild rice with lemon, and braised spinach and Swiss Chard at the Café La Trois Rivah. Don’t go looking for this because it’s what we call our kitchen in West Point,” Wilecat said. “My wife and I got into raising our cooking game about 12 or so years ago. It might not be pretty, but what’s pretty if it don’t taste good?” “These are some of my favorite cookies,” Eyewitness user Jrawls wrote of homemade cookies. “The name of the recipe is Drop Sugar Cookies, but it’s not the sugar that defines them. It’s the raisins and orange peel. Delicious! And such a nice winter treat, when oranges are in season.” Of Homemade Cupcakes Eyewitness user LisaSadler says, “Can you think of a better way to spend a cold winter day?” Whether you cooked it yourself or ordered it from a menu, share what you’re eating and enjoying. For a chance to see your food photos in the Daily Press, upload them with a short description at And be sure to check out all of our Food content at The Dish, a blog by Daily Press food writer David Nicholson at food. Like and review us on Facebook at Hampton Roads Food & Drink for up-to-the-minute foodie news, contests and more.

Eyewitness user Wilecat Baked Chicken with a Pepper Beer Sauce

Eyewitness user LisaSadler Chicken Soft Corn Tacos at the Cheesecake Factory

Eyewitness user Jrawls Homemade Drop Sugar Cookies

Eyewitness user LisaSadler Fried Avocado at the Water Street Grille in Yorktown

Eyewitness user LisaSadler Homemade Cupcakes 32



Easy Gluten Free Blueberry Pie Courtesy of Williamsburg Pottery INGREDIENTS*


Gillian’s Gluten Free Pie Crust (in the freezer section)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Baker’s Natural Blueberry Pie Filling Blosom French Vanilla Whipped Topping Enjoy Life Vanilla Honey Graham Cookies

Bake pie crust for 10-15 mins or golden. Fill with Blueberry pie f lling, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Top with Whipped topping, garnish with cookies and serve.

* All ingredients are available in the Gourmet Kitchen Marketplace at the Williamsburg Pottery.



STORY BEHIND THE RECIPE Shakshouka is a nostalgic dish for Chef Ika Zaken, Executive Chef of the Café Provencal and Gabriel Archer Tavern. “It’s a dish that I grew up eating for brunch,” says Zaken. “It’s quite a simple plate, which makes it absolutely necessary for all of the ingredients to be fresh and f avorful.”

Shakshouka Courtesy of Williamsburg Winery INGREDIENTS ¼ cup canola oil 3 red bell peppers, large dice 3 garlic cloves, minced 8 ripe globe tomatoes, large dice 1 bunch cilantro, chopped 1 tbsp. smoked paprika 8 eggs DIRECTIONS Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add canola oil. Once the oil is heated, sauté the red bell peppers. Once the peppers are tender, add the garlic. Cook for about a minute being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes and cook for about an hour. Add the cilantro and smoked paprika. For individual portions, add shakshouka mixture to an 8” non-stick sauté pan and bring to a simmer. Crack two eggs atop the simmering mixture and cook until the whites are set but the yolk is still runny. yields 4 portions 34


Chef Ika Zaken was born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1972. His mother taught cooking at a local culinary school and his father was in shipping. His parents had both immigrated from Morocco as young children just after the statehood of Israel was established in 1948. “I learned to cook from my mother,” proclaims Zaken. “She taught me that less is more and quality over quantity is the key to successful cooking.” “Shakshouka, is something that all young Israeli women and men learn to cook during their time in the army, explains Zaken. “People take a lot of pride in who can make the best version – everyone knows how to make it, and each has their own unique way of preparing it.” Shakshouka is frequently offered as a “special of the day” at the Gabriel Archer Tavern, one of the two restaurants on the farm at Wessex Hundred, which is also home to the award-winning Williamsburg Winery and the boutique hotel Wedmore Place. When asked if customers are familiar with the dish when it’s offered, Zaken claims that “most people have never heard of it in America, but once we describe it, usually someone at the table will order it.” Shakshouka is often served as a vegetarian dish, but it’s common for chefs to add a spicy sausage like Chorizo. PHOTOS COURTESY OF WILLIAMSBURG WINERY

Discover French-Inspired Creations In Wedmore Place, the country hotel at The Williamsburg Winery on Wessex Hundred. Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 5:30–9:30pm


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5800 Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185 • 757.229.0999 • • •

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