Monday, February 6, 2012

Plenty of Polenta

Local Food: According to Punxsutawney Phil, we have another six weeks until spring, but Steven's rustic polenta will help keep us cozy along the way. Inspired by cornmeal from Butterworks Farm, Steven's recipe slowly cooks it along with milk from Strafford Organic Creamery. To this he adds lightly salted and cultured butter from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, red peppers from Pete's, and places this on a base of onions and garlic from Sandiwood Farm. Pete's kohlrabi is roasted and flavored with onions, sunchokes from Arctic Acres and rutabaga from Blackwell Roots to accompany the creamy polenta, along with a layer of tomatoes Steven preserved last summer.  The plate is topped with Landaff cheese, which comes to us from the Erbs of Landaff, New Hampshire, by way of aging in the cellars of Jasper Hill, lending a bright buttermilk tang and savory brown butter notes. The polenta is then baked to a hot, golden goodness.  Look for it on the menu later this week!

At the Bar: Remember our Sunday and Monday drink specials. Sunday, February 12 we offer a $2.50 pint of Wolaver's and a $4 glass of East Shore Vineyard Traminette or Cabernet Franc.  Try our Rubacuori, made with Green Mountain Organic Vodka, Caledonia Spirits Sparkling Mead, Vermont Cranberry juice and ginger liqueur, offered for $5.

Around the Galaxy: Thanks to everyone who came by to warm the bookstore on Friday evening and to DJ Lesson One for creating a great atmosphere. New books are arriving daily. For those of you reveling in Winter, get lost in The Snow Child, a novel by Alaska writer Eowyn Ivey. For those of you looking ahead to Spring, Galaxy has The Beginner's Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables. The Science of Yoga, just out and much in the news this week, has arrived at Galaxy and is also available as an ebook.

Music Notes: Jay Ekis joins us this Thursday, February 9 at 7:00.  Support local music and be sure to catch the songs that Anaïs Mitchell says "get in your blood and make their way to the heart before you notice what's happening."

Local Events: Vermont winemakers are hosting a statewide Wine and Chocolate Weekend on February 11 and 12 in honor of Valentine's Day.  Caledonia Spirits and Winery will be open both days from 12-5pm.  Joining them are Magic Spoon Bakery of Hardwick, Eden Ice Cider of West Charleston and Jasper Hill Farm of Greensboro. For more information call Caledonia Spirits and Winery at 472-8000.

Valentine's Day approaches, so plan to woo your sweatheart or celebrate your friends and family by making dinner reservations now.  Tell us why you love Hardwick on the Claire's Facebook page, and you will be entered to win Valentine's dinner for two! Thank you to the many folks who have already participated- we love hearing what you have to say!

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 use cash or a check - credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up. Thanks to many of you we have been able to significantly reduced those fees.

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