As the water finally begins to recede, those who make their living along the Ohio River are just starting their long journey to recovery. The floods were unforgiving for numerous bars and restaurants that dot River Road. So, restaurateur Chef John Varanese made the decision to rally the Louisville community in support of its food community. The Ohio River flooding cut off revenue for several days and now significant resources will be spent to cleanup and rebuild the eateries so they can reopen for business. To help fill that financial void, Varanese, owner of River House Restaurant & Raw Bar, Levee, as well as Varanese Restaurant, will host benefit concerts this Thursday, March 8 through Saturday, March 10, for his colleagues in the food and beverage industry. Varanese will also be delivering food and bottled water to employees and volunteers doing clean up at restaurants on Friday.
Spend the evening with Varanese Executive Chef/Owner John Varanese, Chef de cuisine Erik Abraham, sous chef Callie Critchelow, and guest speaker Jason oliver, founding brewmaster of Devils Backbone Brewing Company and enjoy a special beer dinner on Tuesday, February 6. The dinner will start with a devil, end with an angel and feature lots of good eats in between. The reception starts at 6:30, and dinner begins at 7 p.m. The dinner at Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave. is $49 per person. Call (502) 899-9904 for reservations.
Varanese offers their 9th annual Grgich Hills Estate wine dinner on January 23 and 24 with special guest speaker Sean Barrett. Reception for both evenings is at 6:30 p.m. with dinner starting at 7. The dinner pairs five courses with Grgich Hills wines and is $75 per person. Reservations can be made at 502-899-9904 or by clicking here.
Join the Varanese crew — executive chef / proprietor John Varanese, chef de cuisine Erik Abraham, sous chef Callie Critchelow — and guest speaker James Kaiser from Excelsior Wines on Tuesday, December 19 for “Summer in December,” a South American wine experience.
Marking the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition has become an annual event around town, with many bars offering specials to commemorate the United States returning to its senses after a disastrous experiment of social engineering. Tonight, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m., Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave., goes all-out with a grand Repeal Day dinner, partnering with Old Forester and featuring guest speaker Todd Vice of Kentucky Spirits to talk about the history of the national experiment in dry living, and his choices for Bourbon pairings with the 4-course dinner.
The Reception Cocktail will be a Smoked Pineapple Bourbon Cocktail, followed by the first course of lump crab cake with lettuce salad served with a mustard dijonnaise, The first course will be accompanied by tastings of Old Forester 86, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester Statesman and Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbons.
The second course will be a frisée salad with confit butternut squash, toasted pumpkin seeds and goat cheese, with a maple-bourbon vinaigrette.
The third course, fried quail served over buttermilk waffles with a sunnyside-up egg and braised greens, will be paired with a Bourbon Rouge cocktail.
The dessert cocktail with be Old Forester Pear Cocktail, and the dessert will be spiced apple crumb cake with Bourbon caramel frosting and cinnamon marshmallow ice cream.
The dinner and Bourbon pairings will be $60. Calling (502) 899-9904 or email email@example.com.
Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m., Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave., will host a Fall Harvest Feast, a special dinner with seasonal wine pairings chosen by sommelier John Johnson of The Wine Rack who has chosen different varietals to match Chef de Cuisine Erik Abraham’s 6-course menu, and who will be at the dinner to talk about his selections. Continue reading Fall Harvest Feast At Varanese
Tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug. 29, at 6:30 p.m.Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave., is hosting a Tour de France Wine Dinner featuring six wines from different regions of France paired with a 6-course dinner. The special guest for the evening will be Jason Wyatt, Certified Sommelier and Fine Wine Portfolio Manager at Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, who will be on hand to talk about the qualities and attributes of his selected wine pairings.
The menu, created by the Varanese team led by Chef Erik Abraham, will consist of chilled oysters on the half shell with smoked bacon and jalapeno mignonette, paired with Whispering Angel Rosé, from Provence; white peach gazpacho paired with Simmonet & Febvre , a Burgundy Chablis; cold smoked duck breast with roasted sweet potatoes, served with Gerard Bertrand Pinot Noir, Languedoc; braised pork belly and house-made sausage cassoulet, served with a Rhone wine, Ogier Lirac; braised lamb neck ragout topped with sliced Spinella ribeye steak with crispy bone marrow, paired with Chateau les Trois Croix Fronsac, Bordeaux; and dessert of fried beignet with caramelized apples served with honey comb and lavender ice cream, and with Trimbach Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Alsace
The cost of dinner and wine pairings is $65. Call (502) 99-9904 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next week or two will see a number of special dinners, restaurant celebrations and openings. Continue reading A busy week for special restaurant events
The rhythms of special dinners continue next week with two wine-focused meals, one on Tuesday, July 18 at Varanese, and the other Thursday, July 20 at Proof on Main. The dinner at Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave., will feature the wines of BOS vineyards in Napa Valley, while Proof will build its Fork + Bottle series dinner around the wines of Stoller Family Estates in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
The Varanese dinner begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m., with the dinner at 7. The featured guest speaker will be David Bos the vineyard manager who has been working for a decade with biodynamic and organic farming practices to heal and restore played out farmland. For the menu created by the Varanese team led by Chef Erik Abraham, go to http://varanese.com/events/event/bos-wine-dinner/.
The cost of the dinner and wine pairings will be $65. Calling (502) 899-9904 or email email@example.com.
At Proof on Main, 702 W. Main St., the 4-course dinner crafted by executive chef Mike Wajda will feature special guest Melissa Burr, Director of Winemaking at Stoller Family Estate, who will lead tastings of each pairing.
The menu will feature an oyster shooter with tomato water, lemongrass and Calabrian chiles; head-on tiger prawns with lardo and garlic scapes; and Amish-raised rabbit cannelloni with ramp butter. The entree will be a whole roasted wild boar served table side with pickled corn, foraged mushroom jam and house sausage.
Featured wines will include 2016 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir Rose, 2016 Dundee Hills Reserve Chardonnay, 2015 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir and 2015 Single Acre Syrah.
The Stoller Family Estate Vineyard dinner will be $115. Call (502) 217-6360.
When local strawberries are in season, it is advisable for anyone who is a fan of real local freshly-picked strawberries to eat as many as possible. Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave., is doing its part to make that happen with its Strawberry Dinner tomorrow, Tuesday, June 6, at 6:30 p.m. Continue reading Strawberry Dinner at Varanese