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Special dinners feature champagne, West Coast wines

Two more special wine-focused dinners from premier restaurants offer great value, off-the-regular-menu dinners and the chance to sample a range of interesting value-oriented wines, along with easy-to-swallow discussions of how the wines are made, and why they pair well with the dishes. Tomorrow Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave., will offer its first-ever Champagne dinner, and on Thursday, April 7, Brasserie Provence will pair wines from the Sean Minor family with dishes by chef Laurent Geroli.

The Varanese dinner tomorrow, March 23, will showcase G.H. Mumm Champagne in three varietals and in three champagne cocktails. Jean de Castelanu, Global Brand Ambassador for G.H. Mumm who will be on hand to answer questions, and to demonstrate how to saber a champagne bottle – always a silly, if entertaining, event.

The Varanese menu will include white tuna crudo with ancho-dusted corn nuts and sriracha aioli; arugula and frisée salad, tossed with a brut le rose vinaigrette; cornmeal-battered house-made sausage and wasabi mustard; capellini pasta tossed with uni butter and paddlefish caviar; pan-seared duck breasts served over caramelized onion and spinach risotto; and olive oil gelato and straccettella cheese with pickled peaches and mustard seeds.

The cost of this dinner and champagne pairings will be $65. Call (502) 899-9904 or

email letsdine@varanese.com

At the Sean Minor Wine Dinner at Brasserie Provence, 150 N.Hurstbourne Pkwy., the special Guests will be Larry Soble, Winery Ambassador and Dale Raymond Wine Specialist at Vanguard. The wines will be representative of the range of the Sean Minor production, from Napa Valley and the Oregon Coast.

The dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. with reception canapés of mahi-mahi apple ceviche, avocado-tomato gazpacho and blue cheese-walnut stuffed dates. The appetizer will be gnocchi with forest mushrooms and lemon mascarpone sauce, followed by the entrée of roasted pork loin with pearl onions and green pea purée. There will be a cheese course, and a goat cheese soufflé, followed by chocolate ganache tartlette.

This dinner and wine pairings will also be $65, with the presented wines available at 15% discount through Westport Whiskey & Wine. Call Guy Genoud (502) 883-3153 or go to www.brasserieprovence.com