Bite and Sip

Binge-Watching and the Big Thaw for Valentine-Presidents Weekend

2014-02-13T10:00:00Z 2014-02-13T19:07:08Z Binge-Watching and the Big Thaw for Valentine-Presidents WeekendBy Pat Colander nwitimes.com
February 13, 2014 10:00 am  • 

Imagining multi-course chef’s choice romantic meals worth indulging and to binge or not to binge on Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and especially my fave Kate Mara in House of Cards.

Some Meals Worth Eating Now: Just my opinion but with temperature soaring into the 20s, possibly 20s this weekend, everyone will be hitting the streets. There is this pre-Spring aspect of crowd surges that is joyful. One of the most romantic restaurants in Northwest Indiana is Ciao Bella in Schererville. I have never tired of the cozy bistro thing and Paul Scalzo’s place is loaded with that type of charm, plus excellent Northern Italian cuisine. Similarly, the Bistro on the Boulevard is never better (or less crowded) than during this time of year. Diners can soak up the ambiance, select a moderately-priced but excellent bottle of wine from the list, gaze out the window and thoroughly enjoy the meltdown.

There are Valentine’s Day reservations also available at the Miller Bakery Café starting at 5 pm. Featured food and wine pairings include for starters a known aphrodisiac --- fresh oysters, on the half shell or made Rockefeller style with shallots. Suggested beverage --Brute Rosé, Cuvée Jean Louis (France) Next mushroom bisque and with a Shiraz from Australia and a hearts of palm salad combined with a German Riesling. The entrée choices are rack of lamb and surf and turf both with California reds you have no doubt heard of, I need to stop here being very susceptible to this type of well-thought-out dinner plan. The dessert has chocolate. Starting at 8 pm Vocalist Patti Shaffner and Waz will be performing. Just perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Another possibility is dinner at Fernwood tonight, depending solely on the luck of a cancellation. The reservation deadline has passed.

Prepared by Chef Tim Carrigan, this Valentine’s Day at Fernwood in Buchanan, includes shrimp cocktail, fresh baby greens salad with dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and herb dressing, a choice of filet of beef with a mushroom demi-glace or stuffed chicken breast served with a roasted garlic jus, and mini dessert platter. Dinner is accompanied by champagne and a rose for each couple. $90 per couple. Fernwood is another terrific off-season spot for a romantic evening in February.

Binge Watchers Get Ready for Another Season of House of Cards: I watched the entire BBC series a couple of years ago, so I thought I wouldn’t care about the American-ized version of the story. But knowing what happens, as it turns out, is not as distracting as you might think. I did not binge watch however and somehow I would much rather just watch it every week. At least that’s what I’m saying now, not in the thick of the story. This is something worth discussing over a romantic dinner at a wonderful restaurant.

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