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A week of interesting themed dinners

I keep listing the special themed dinners that restaurants host because I think they are especially good values, ways to experience more of a chef’s (and his staff’s) creativity, and a fine way to be introduced to new wines, beers or cocktails. In the next week there are at least four such dinners to consider joining.

  • On Wednesday, Oct. 19, Equus & Jack’s Lounge, 122 Sears Ave., will host a dinner to celebrate Wild Turkey’s Master Distiller Jimmy Russell, who has been in the Bourbon business for over 60 years. The 3-course meal will be paired with Wild Turkey cocktails, and Russell will be available to talk with his fans.

The dinner will start at 6:30 p.m., with passed hors d’oeuvres of mini crab cakes and tomato bruschetta, along with a “Dark and Bloody Mary” with Wild Turkey 101. The first course will be a Bibb salad with bourbon-poached peaches and warm bacon vinaigrette, served with a Kentucky Cider” made with Russell’s Reserve. The second course will be diver scallops with saffron risotto, paired with a “Bourbon Shakeup” with Wild Turkey 81. A filet with bourbon-braised kale, and crispy sweet potatoes will be the entrée, served with an “Old Fashioned” with Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Dessert will be mignardises, an assortment of small confections.

The dinner and cocktail pairings will be $55. Call (502) 897-9721.

  • Brasserie Provence, 150 North Hurstbourne Pkwy., will present a 4-course Southwest France Wine Dinner on Thursday, October 20 at 6:30pm. Colette Comeau, French Ambassador for Aquitaine Wine Company, will be on hand to discuss the pairings of wines from the Bordeaux and Cahors regions of Southwest France.

The dinner will start with scallop ceviche canapés, followed by pike croquette with artichoke fricassée. The second course will be confit of Guinea fowl leg with butternut squash and duck foie gras ravioli. The main course will be Bouef et Cèpes bordelaise: grilled hanger steak with porcini mushrooms. The dessert will be pumpkin crème brûlée with honey roasted pineapple.

The dinner and wine pairings with each course will be $65. Call (502) 883-3153 or go to www.brasserieprovence.com.

  • Also on Thursday, Oct. 20, Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave., will host a Samuel Adams Beer Dinner, with special guest Andrew McHale of the Boston Beer Company, to talk about the pairing of food and beers.

At the reception at 6:30 p.m., guests will be served a Boston Lager. The first course beer will be an Octoberfest to accompany a crispy whitefish over griddled hash. Soup will be the second course, a roasted pumpkin bisque served with 20# of Pumpkin beer.

The third course will be 72-hour braised beef brisket served over spinach risotto with sautéed wild mushrooms, paired with a cream stout. Dessert will be cherry crisp with streusel topping, toasted marshmallow and pistachio ice cream, served with a Cherry Wheat beer.

The dinner will be $49. Call (502) 899-9904 or emailing letsdine@varanese.com.

  • Closing out the week of special dinners will be an Oktoberfest in the Bluegrass dinner at The Wine Studio of 610 Magnolia, across the street from the restaurant at 610 W. Magnolia Ave. This will be 610’s first “sumptuous tribute to the world’s largest beer fest.” 

There will be two of these family-style dinners, on Saturday, Oct. 22 starting at 6:30 p.m and Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. The menu will include German-inspired food including schnitzels, bratwursts and hasenpfeffer all paired with local beers as well as beers from Germany.

This casual dinner will be $45, with beverages additional. Call (502) 636-0783 for reservations. This is a ticketed event