Just because winter still has four weeks to go doesn’t mean you need to hibernate. The lean, mean season has some classy culinary opportunities. Here are a few top acts.
* Chef Brian Gaultieri and his staff at Piccola Italia, 837 West Park Avenue in Ocean Township (Monmouth County) will present a cooking class accompanied by dinner starting at 7 pm on Thursday, Feb. 23. Cost is $49.95 per person, not including tax and tip. The bill of fare includes a baby arugula and watercress salad with black pepper-seared pears, spaghetti carbonara, slow-braised pork shanks and tiramisu. Reservations recommended. 732-493-3090. piccolaitalianj.com.
Also coming up at Piccola Italia: House-infused Vodka and Food Pairing, starting at 7 pm on Thursday, March 9, and a Game and Wine-Pairing Dinner starting at 7 pm on Thursday, March 30. I’ll give you details as soon as they’re available.
* The food and wine society La Chaine des Rotisseurs will stage a red-carpet-themed dinner and awards ceremony in the Green Room and Screening Room of Resorts Casino Hotel at the north end of Boardwalk, Atlantic City, from 7 to 10:30 pm on Friday, February 24. Modeled on the Academy Awards, the evening starts with a variety of hors d’oeuvres and follows with entertainment and La Chaine’s own “Best of” awards program. The finale is a four-course dinner highlighted by a Wagyu strip steak. Attire is Hollywood black tie. The cost is $135 per person, including tax and tip. Reservations: 609-317-0077 or email [email protected].
* La Cipollina, 16 West Main Street in Freehold, will offer a cooking class with dinner starting at 7 pm Friday, Feb. 24. The menu includes stuffed mozzarella, cavatelli with pork shank, Alaskan salmon with mussels and fennel broth, flatiron steak and ricotta cheesecake. The cost is $50 per person or $75 per person with wine pairings, not including tax and tip. Space is limited and reservations are recommended. 732-308-3830. lacipollina.com.
And in celebration of Bacon Week, from Tuesday, February 28 through Tuesday, March 7, La Cipollina will offer a special five-course menu: 1) Nueske’s Pork Belly, Sautéed Onion and Bacon Jam, Sunny Side Egg; 2) Smoked Gouda, Bacon and Truffle Mac and Cheese; 3) Romaine Hearts, Slab Bacon, Kumato Tomato, Bacon Basil Aioli; 4) Bourbon-Glazed Stuffed Pork Chop, Apples, Pancetta, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Bacon Risotto; 5) Bacon Cone, Candied Bacon, Spiced Pecan, Bacon Vanilla Ice Cream. The price is $60 per person, not including tax and tip. Reservations: 732.308.3830. lacipollina.com.
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