Monday, December 13, 2010

Bring on the Braise

Local Food: Nose to tail is a mantra to some, indicating the careful use of very traditional techniques to prepare every cut of meat available. Our pork braise is inspired by these traditions and the slow cooking used in kitchens around the world to get the most flavor and the lightest texture. Pork cheek from Pete's Greens is unique, a rich cut of meat that is often found smoked or cured. Steven marinates it in Shelburne Vineyard's NuMondo red wine, then adds a dry rub of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, mace, coriander and star anise. With the flavors absorbed, he braises the meat in red wine and apple cider from Harvest Hill Farm in Walden. It is then sliced and served with jus from the braise as well as cranberry and house made mustard sauce. Purple cabbage from Surfing Veggie Farm marinated with apples and onions in the NuMondo wine and red wine vinegar accompany the pork cheek, along with mashed potatoes and sunflower sprouts.

At the Bar: Savor the flavors of the holiday season with a Gingersnap Appletini. A pop of ginger flavor comes from Domaine de Canton liqueur, which is mixed with your choice of vodka. Apple cider from Harvest Hill brings out a little holiday sugar. Shaken vigorously to incorporate the flavors and give it a chill, the Gingersnap Appletini is served up, with the rim dusted with crushed gingersnap cookies from Vermont Common Foods.

Music Notes: Hardwick's own The Butterbeans return for their hometown gig this Thursday, December 16 at 7:30. Support local music and enjoy the sounds of their fiddle, guitar, banjo and mandolin on jazz, blues, swing and original tunes.

Local Events: Celebrate the newly renovated Hardwick Inn at 4 South Main St on Wednesday, December 15 from 4-6 during the Open House hosted by Lise and Larry Hamel. From 3-4 on the 15th, Santa will welcome families and children. Refreshments will be served. Also on the 15th, S & J Fitness will be offering special deals including 15% off all memberships and gym services. Visit them on the second floor of the Hardwick Inn from 2-7.

Getting Ready for the Holidays: Buy a gift certificate now through the new year and we will donate 10% of sales to NOFA-VT's Farm Share Program.

Book a Holiday Party at Claire's now and you'll be entered to win a $30 gift certificate. For groups of six or more we will offer a $25 prix fixe menu.

We will be closed December 24 and 25 so our staff can celebrate the holidays with their families and friends. Our annual closing will be after "blunch" service on January 2, reopening Monday, January 17.

Reminders: We are open daily after 2:30 for coffee, bar service, and baked goods, and free WiFi, with dinner reservations available from 5-9, Sundays from 5-8. We serve our special Blunch menu Sundays from 11-2. Claire's is closed every Wednesday.

We appreciate it when you reserve a table with us, as it helps us plan a relaxed and hospitable experience for you and all our guests. To show our appreciation, when you call, email, or stop by to make a reservation, you will be entered into our weekly drawing for a $20 gift card for your next visit.

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