A new chef, a new vintage and a dining room reopening just in time for Valentine’s Day lead this week’s Buzz Bites.
Keswick Hall’s new chef
Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten will be in charge of culinary operations for the renovated Keswick Hall. The big reveal for the inn’s extensive renovations is expected in spring 2020.
Keswick Hall’s renovation plans include a new signature restaurant — a bistro-style venue surrounded by an herb garden. The restaurant will seat 130 diners indoors, 70 outdoors and another 20 at the bar.
Vongerichten and his team will serve regional cuisine with organic, sustainable ingredients from family-owned farms and food suppliers. While having cocktails before dinner, guests can use the pétanque court.
Also planned are a new guest wing with 42 guest rooms; a spa and wellness center; a redesigned infinity pool; and a variety of updates to the resort grounds. Keep up with the changes at keswick.com.
Valley Road vintage
Valley Road Vineyards will release its new 2017 Cabernet Franc from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the Tasting Room.
Here’s how the vineyard describes the wine experience: “An aroma of violets, with tart cherry and red currant on the palate, is followed by a hint of white pepper.”
The previous Cab Franc vintage sold out, so don’t wait too long to give the 2017 a try. The vineyard is at 9264 Critzers Shop Road in Afton. Learn more at valleyroadwines.com or (540) 456-6350.
Back to The Fountain
The Fountain Room at The Mark Addy Inn will reopen Thursday for Valentine’s Day, and Sunday brunch will be available starting Feb. 17. Learn more at mark-addy.com/the-restaurant, and call (434) 361-1101 for reservations, which are required.
Thursday’s event is the four-course Valentine’s Craft Pairing Experience, which pairs dishes with selections from Loving Cup Organic Vineyards, Bryant’s Cider and South Street Brewery.
Prices will vary, depending on your choice of entree. Choices include linguine marinara, pork tenderloin, seared salmon and bacon-wrapped filet mignon. Appetizers include butternut squash bisque, hopped strawberry wings and crab cake with pear compote; Cool-B raspberry and grilled chicken Caesar are the salad options. For dessert, choose Key lime pie, chocolate torte or apple tart.
When you’re making your reservations, be sure to mention any dietary restrictions you may have. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free fare may be requested in advance.
Live music also is on the menu, served up by Small World Records. Listen for Baobab Trio from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Terra Voce from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 15 and Bobby Read and Randy Johnston from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 16. Jen Tal will provide the brunch music from noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 17.
Seated flights of fancy
DuCard Vineyards is offering Shenandoah seated wine flights, which focus on collections of DuCard’s red and white wines. Guests also can choose from a variety of artisanal cheese, charcuterie and dessert platters.
The current cheese board menu, $20, includes Monastery Gouda from Crozet, Grayson and Mountaineer from Meadowcreek Dairy in Galax and Simply Cheddar from Waynesboro, accompanied by sliced baguette from Albemarle Baking Company, smoked almonds and fresh berries.
The charcuterie board choice, also $20, includes Boar’s Head Sweet Capocollo, Prosciutto Rivera Stradolce and Honey-Smoked Turkey; Olli Toscano Salami; dried apricots; an olive medley; and slices Albemarle Baking Company baguette.
The $125 dessert board offers Cville Candy Company’s Almond Toffee Crunch; truffles by BaTer Chocolates filled with DuCard wine; petite rum cake by DuCard’s chef, Kris Krammes; and fresh seasonal berries. It comes with DuCard C’est Trop, a port-style wine.
Learn more at ducardvineyards.com.
Say it with doughnuts
Duck Donuts is offering its Love Assortment of doughnuts through Feb. 28. The selection includes Valentine’s Day-themed sprinkles, a limited-time Heath toffee crunch topping and two large candied roses.
The Cozy Combinations Assortment and the seasonal Winter Roast coffee, which has hazelnut and butterscotch notes, remains available through March 31. Learn more at duckdonuts.com.
Holiday breads and pastries
Great Harvest Bread Co. is presenting a Knead & Sip event on Thursday. Space is limited, so call (434) 202-7813 to register.
The bakery also will be serving a variety of treats for Valentine’s season, including White Chocolate-Cherry Swirl Bread, Chocolate Chop Pumpkin Bread, pink-frosted sugar cookies and a selection of brownies, cinnamon rolls, muffins and scuffins, which are a cross between scones and muffins.
It also isn’t too early to pick up cinnamon-swirled King Cake, a Mardi Gras tradition iced in purple, gold and green. Don’t forget that the person who finds the tiny plastic baby in the cake will enjoy good luck — and is the designated King Cake provider next year. King Cake season ends March 5. Get all the details at greatharvest.com.
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