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Sweet Changes in store at Black Mountain Chocolate in WS

Hi, foodies!

Well I kind of felt it was inevitable that little Black Mountain Chocolate might be thinking “bigger and better”. And here we are. The folks at BMC have just announced that they will be moving their Trade Street operations to Bailey South in the Innovation Quarter.

They’ll be doubling their square footage, adding hours, events, a bar and jobs! We’ll also see a slight name change. Keep reading for details. We just love these folks and we are truly excited for them.

Service Counter

Here’s the hot off the presses announcement:

Black Mountain Chocolate Factory today announced a move from its current Trade Street location to Bailey South in downtown Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter. Along with the move, Black Mountain Chocolate Factory will be rebranded as Black Mountain Chocolate Bar and add coffee and cocktails during extended morning and late night hours at its new 4,800 square foot location.

Black Mountain Chocolate Bar is excited to offer a unique culinary experience in the Winston-Salem area, with a desserts-focused menu that will attract Winston-Salem visitors and locals alike. The expanded lounge will accommodate 75 guests indoors, with additional seating outside and place an emphasis on offering hospitality, fostering community, and showcasing the excellence of the fair-trade craft chocolate created at the factory.

The new space will almost double the Chocolate Bar’s square footage, include a generous and inviting seating area for guests, and enhance the ability to host chocolate tasting events and classes. This move is also expected to double Black Mountain Chocolate’s workforce to approximately 20, creating new jobs for both back and front of house employees.

“We can’t wait to share with the community our inviting gathering space, featuring rich experiences like truffle classes, chocolate tastings, wine pairings, and cocktail labs,” say Black Mountain Chocolate Bar co-owners, Brent and Millie Peters. “From morning coffee to an afternoon cookie treat to an evening cocktail, the Black Mountain Chocolate Bar will offer sweet fun for every age at every hour.”

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The anticipated move will happen in early summer. Black Mountain Chocolate has been a key member of the thriving Arts Scene on Trade Street since 2014. They will continue to support Winston-Salem’s thriving arts culture from their new location while also connecting with the heartbeat of the Innovation Quarter. “There are so many exciting developments happening in downtown Winston-Salem right now,” says Marissa Joyce, marketing director at Black Mountain Chocolate. “We are proud to be a part of what makes this city unique and enjoyable, and we plan to continue to be a sweet spot in Winston-Salem’s culinary culture.”

“From morning coffee to an afternoon cookie treat to an evening cocktail, the Black Mountain Chocolate Bar will offer sweet fun for every age at every hour.”

– Brent and Millie Peters, Black Mountain Chocolate Bar Owners

Black Mountain Chocolate Bar will be a unique establishment in the city, with a sophisticated gathering space and a menu that caters to coffee, sweets, and spirits.  Their commitment to creating fair trade, organically sourced chocolate will continue.  Their chocolate is distributed to over 100 retailers across the country. The new location will be located in the Bailey Power Plant complex at 450 N Patterson Street, across from Bailey Park and adjacent to the Coal Pit.

“The more people who come here to live, work or learn, the more places we need where people can gather, unwind and enjoy great food and drink,” says Graydon Pleasants, head of development for Innovation Quarter. “Black Mountain Chocolate Bar is the perfect mix of all those elements you’re looking for when building a sense of place, and we look forward to their opening later this year.”

Black Mountain Chocolate has been working with STITCH Design Shop, Eastern Restaurant Supply, Sunnyside Millwork, and Designer Alice Webb in the creation of their new space. Construction has already begun, with an anticipated completion in late May. Black Mountain Chocolate Bar is looking forward to joining and contributing to the thriving nightlife and special events that already occur in the Innovation Quarter community.

Get your tickets to our Chef’s Table at Sophie’s Cork & Ale

Hi, foodies…

We’ve been on a bit of a reunion tour of sorts with our 2020 Chef’s Tables. We’ve been going back to some of our favorites by popular demand. January-Meridian Restaurant; February-Vin 205 Wine Bar and next month-Sophie’s Cork &  Ale!

Read about Chef John Wilson and get details on our event here. 

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Chef John is one of the most creative and talented chefs in the Triad and he’s truly doing his thing at Sophie’s and getting that restaurant all kinds of recognition.

Join us on Monday, March 16 at 6:30 at Sophie’s in Lexington.

Your Heart’s Desire For Valentine’s Day

A version of this blog post ran as an article in the Food & Drink section of YES! Weekly. Read this and my other food articles here. 

Taking your sweetie out for the most revered or dare I say, dreaded day of the year gets some extended love this year as Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday. So you know that means most restaurants are offering multiple days of multiple courses of all things date worthy. I’ve done some research and compiled a list of some notable spots to suit your fancy. 

Providence Restaurant, 5790 University Parkway, Winston-Salem

What’s not to love about Providence Restaurant and its mission of changing lives with Second Harvest and its Providence Culinary Training program.

Tuna Tartare, Roasted Beet Salad, a choice of a beef filet, pork osso bucco or snapper for your entree and a choice of dessert. At $80 per couple, it’s one of the best deals in town and a fine looking menu. You can view the menu and make your reservations at providencews.org/valentinesday

Vin 205 Wine Bar, 205 South Stratford Road, Winston-Salem

One of the hidden gems in Winston-Salem, Vin 205 will offer a three-course prefix menu all week leading up to a sold out Chef’s Table on Sunday, Feb. 16th. And don’t just consider the Valentine’s Day meal, Vin205 also offers Saturday and Sunday brunch from 10am-3pm. 336-765-8175

Spring House, Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar, 450 North Spring Street, Winston-Salem

For one of the sexiest spots in town, enjoy lighter fare in Spring House’s Library Bar. Pop in a couple of days earlier for their White Tiger Noodle Shop on Wednesdays this winter or enjoy the main house for a truly elegant experience with approachable food to match. A St. Valentine’s Day Love at First Bite and an early winter menu was just released. Call Spring House for info and to reserve for any of the above. 336-293-4797 springhousenc.com

Di Lisio’s Italian Restauarant, 301 Brookstown Avenue, Winston-Salem

That’s Amore! Italian is always a favorite for Valentine’s Day and DiLisio’s is one of the best spots to consider. You and your sweetheart are invited to a four course wine dinner especially curated by Tony and Maria DiLisio. This is a reservation only event and DiLisio’s will have two seatings available, 5:30 and 8:30. Price $75 per person. You must call to reserve your seat. 336-546-7202.

Undercurrent, 327 Battleground Ave, Greensboro

Always a go-to for a special occasion, once again Undercurrent Restaurant is offering special prix fixe four-course menu on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15. Price is $140 per couple and includes a bottle of wine. Visit undercurrent.com to view the menu and for reservations. 

Gia, Drink, Eat, Listen, New Garden Road, Greensboro

We’ve always thought Gia as a great place for a cozy date night. Chef Anders Benton says he is adding an aged steak for two, a shareable scallop dish, and heart shape dessert to their existing menu Feb. 14-16. Reservations always recommended. 336-907-7536

 

Sophie’s Cork & Ale, 23 West 2nd Avenue, Lexington

Getting a jump on things, Chef John Wilson is offering a 5-course (yes, five) wine dinner on Monday, Feb. 10 at 6pm. Cost is $80 per person. Call for reservations. 336-300-7338

Your Dinner Awaits

Literally. Perhaps you’d rather go a different route this year and let a personal chef come to you. Chef Angelica Dantzler offers a personalized experience in your own home and takes care of all the clean-up and customers say your kitchen will look better than before they arrived. Your Dinner Awaits. Find Angelica at Your Dinner Awaits on Facebook for information and to contact. 

Chef Dion Sprenkle is also offering a Valentine’s Day special with his Table ‘0 on February 14 from 6:30-9:30. Cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, multiple course dinner with wine pairings. Space is very limited so please call for your reservation, 336-343-9314.

Roselli’s To Go & Dessertery, 2190 Boone Trail Road, North Wtilkesboro

John Roselli will have your favorite Italian dishes or even pizza ready for you to take home but what he’s really loving this year is his heart-shaped Red Velvet Cheesecake. We suggest you call ahead for your order 336-818-4343.

Stay for awhile….

Butcher & Bull, 425 N. Cherry Street, Winston-Salem

The restaurant is featuring a Valentine’s Day menu in addition to their regular menu Thursday, Feb.13-Saturday, Feb.15. And if you want to make it a little mini-getaway, the restaurant, along with the Downtown Marriott, are offering a deluxe room package.  It includes:

-Deluxe Room

-Bottle Champagne & Chocolate Covered Strawberries upon arrival

-$100 Food & Beverage credit for Dinner in Butcher & Bull

-Breakfast for 2 the following morning 

$229 plus tax

(The package is available Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15)

You can reserve the room at Winston-Salem Marriott 336-725-3500. Dinner bookings can be made at Butcher & Bull 336-722-5232.

Have a sweet time with your sweetie, foodies! And comment below so our friends might learn where you love to go on Valentine’s Day. 

Sir Winston Restaurant & Wine Loft

It’s time you all tried Sir Winston!

Years passed as many walked by wondering what is going to become of the The Pepper Building, a 1928 art-deco landmark ,when several years ago, it was announced that the building had been sold and would become a boutique hotel and restaurant.

Indigo Hotels, owned by IHG, like to spring up in areas that provide their guests with a more local experience. As you walk into the hotel, you’re at once in the Sir Winston Restaurant & Wine Loft and immediately are immersed in a local experience. From the walls adorned by local artists, to Sunnyside Millwork’s handcrafted banquettes, tables, chairs, in fact all of the new woodwork in the restaurant, the focus on those local details are quite obvious.  The restaurant was at one time in the basement of the Pepper Building and the new Sir Winston is a nod to its predecessor of the 1960s and its inspirational namesake, Sir Winston Churchill. People who have eaten at Sir Winston in the 60’s, will see familiar quotes as well as light fixtures found in the sub-basement that have now been repurposed in the bar and dining room. The attention to detail is impeccable.

I mean it’s just lovely. Go upstairs in the loft and enjoy the view. I first enjoyed Sir Winston right after it opened on a date night with my 10-year-old.  Chef sent out a few things for us to try, a boiled egg appetizer, a flat bread with lamb meatballs. My seared scallop dish with pickled local melon was outstanding.  I knew David would kill it at at a Chef’s Table.

I spoke with him for my podcast, “At the Table with Triadfoodies” which you can hear here. 

David was hired to design the menu and lead the kitchen of the new Sir Winston, which opened in the spring. Swing, was born in Winston-Salem, grew up in Wilmington, gained his culinary skills in New York City and worked his way back to the City of Arts and Innovation several years ago. He says to build the menu, he had to go all the way back to the late 60’s. “I was given the original Sir Winston menu. I took some ideas from that, but I had to assure management that I would not implement that pricing structure,” David joked.

For context, prime rib back in the day was $2.25.  Sir Winston endeavors to take you back in time enough to appreciate classic details and flavors but bring you back to today’s modern techniques and flair and Swing’s influence of southern cuisine.

Chef took the popular items like seafood and prime rib and put his own spin on it. “Shrimp cocktail was very popular, so I came up with Sutler’s gin pickled-shrimp, which is on our small plates menu as well as on our NC trout dish.” David says they didn’t want to be a steakhouse but did want red meat options on the menu. “To play off the prime rib, all of our signature steaks come off the rib loin, which we break down in-house, including my personal favorite, the cap steak which is featured in the Bulldog’s cut.” He says this steak made the menu after he got his hands on Sir Winston Churchill’s personal cook’s cookbook. Between researching original menus and Churchill’s indulgences, writing and re-writing menus, Swing says he spent at least two months preparing for this gig.

Chef Swing introduced a few new ideas to the guests that will be featured on the upcoming fall menu, but the tasting courses were a great balance of the tastes of summer and a nod to the spiciness of fall.

Course One

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Squash Blossom, Apricot Mango Chutney

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I love the delicate texture of a stuffed squash blossom that’s been flash fried and it seems like they were made for pimento cheese. This appetizer tasted like summer in the South.

Course Two
Texas Pete Dust Cinnamon Maple Smoked Pork Rind Encrusted Chicken Lollipop

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This beautiful chicken drummie was a conversation starter at most tables. The sauce was rich and robust and the pork rind crust added another crispy dimension. I could see this dish on a menu anywhere and it would be a fun lunch item. And Swing must think so too. “I’m playing with smoking Cornish hens and preparing them the say way, with bacon jam and the pork rind crust.”

Course Three
Seared Scallop, Pork Belly, Beet Purée. Pickled Watermelon

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Our very own version of surf and turf. I’ve enjoyed scallops, which are currently on the menu at Sir Winston, and the culinary team prepares them to perfection.

Course Four
Seared NC Grouper, Black Truffle Risotto, Raspberry Mole, Blood Orange Purée

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Sea dwellers…twice in one night? What a lovely treat. 

Course Five
Cheerwine Braised Boneless Short Rib, Chipotle Grits, Gremolata

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This course was the most comforting of the night. And Swing says there is a variation currently on the menu.

Course Six
Orange Ginger Cake, Wasabi Mousse

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Beautifully presented, the orange and ginger on this petite little cake were definitely reminiscent of the coming season. The mousse on top was definitely adventurous to say the least.

Sir Winston is a hotel restaurant but Swing says he appreciates the company’s approach to embracing the local story. “It does have this corporate backing, but the fact that it’s a chef-driven restaurant and that they said to me, ‘alright chef, here’s very little direction and the ball is in your court,’ was something that I’d been looking for a long time.”

 Sir Winston Restaurant & Wine Loft is located at 104 W. 4th Street, Winston-Salem.

sirwinstonrestaurant.com.

I fed my family for a week with Farmer’s Market Goodies for $82

A High Country Food Hub/Local Farm Meal Challenge!

This is a tad lengthy, but I feel worth it, so stick with me!

Often times, one of the stumbling blocks of shopping for locally produced ingredients is the so-called expense of feeding one’s family. Granted, it can be more expensive to shop at the farmer’s market for locally-raised meat and produce. It’s not always the case, but it’s to be expected.These are big time corporations here, these are small farms with a few employees, sometimes it’s just the farmer himself/herself. I try to be intentional about my shopping. I like to shop from local farmers, because my purchase could help send their child to dance lessons or to a math tutor. I know whose hands have touched that food and I know that it’s absolutely as fresh as can be.We also budget our grocery shopping (we use the Dave Ramsey “cash method” to stay in budget). But being 30 minutes away, going to the farmer’s market isn’t easy for me on Saturday, so I love the convenience of shopping online at the High Country Food Hub. Purchasing online uses our debit card, but we adjust accordingly. If you haven’t heard of the High Country Food Hub, I invite you to check out their website. They’re a part of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and they provide online access to local farmers to make it easier for you and me. I just love the service and they do so much to bring the community together with local agriculture with shopping, events, etc.  By the way, this post is not sponsored…this truly was my own  idea.

The challenge: Shop for a week’s worth of local goodies and make meals for my family. with it.  Budget: $100. I did my shop and it was $82 and some change.
Of course, I used some pantry/fridge ingredients to supplement like rice, onions, garlic, sauces to help stretch that budget but that’s to be expected. I did not go to the grocery store for any components I needed for my meals, only for random items like milk, avocado, snacks that I like to have on hand every week anyway. And I did swing by a local farm stand to get peaches one day because summer. Incidentally, the food hub does sell delicious whole creamery milk, but my son, the primary drinker, prefers 2%. And I placed my order too late to get Owl Creek bread.

Here’s my order:
Mixed cherry tomatoes, A Bushel and a Peck Farm
Heirloom tomatoes (red slicers)  Against the Grain
Heirloom tomatoes (mixed) New Life Farm
Purple potatoes, Blue Ridge Naturals 
Summer squash/zucchini, A Bushel and a Peck
Arugula, Full Moon Farm
Spring salad mix, Full Moon Farm
Shishito peppers,  Full Moon Farm
Mixed red/yellow sweet peppers, New Life Farm
Cucumbers, New Life Farm
Blueberries, Moffitt-Toolan Family Farm
Boston Butt, BRG Farms
Ground beef (2 lbs), Moffitt-Toolan, BRG Farms
Beef stew meat, Chestnut Grove Farms
Garlic brats, CS Farm
Chorizo sausage, Moffitt-Toolan

Here are the meals I prepared, with the local goods in italics. A recap of the recipes is coming soon is not up! 

Meal 1: (served 6) Paella Fried Rice using chorizo, some leftover chicken, leftover rice from a previous meal, peppers, onion, cilantro.

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Meal 2:  (served 8) Cincinnati Chili (This was enough for another meal of leftovers days later (without the spaghetti the second time). This counts as 2 family meals.
Beef was the only local item in this meal.

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Meal 3: (served 5) Pulled Pork using the Boston butt, Rainbow Veggies using the zucchini, peppers, shishitos, Purple Mashed Potatoes

 

Meal 4: (enough for 4) Mediterranean Night with garlic brats, peppers, blistered tomatoes (leftover rainbow veg) and Fried Feta w/ pita and hummus

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Meal 5: (served 5) Southwest Bowls w/Chorizo & Chicken, peppers & pico de gallo  (using tomatoes) on local grits

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Meal 6: (served 4) Korean Beef Bowls w/ Instant Pot stewed beef, zucchini, mushrooms

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Meal 7: (served 2) Arugula & Spring Mix Caesar Salad 

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Meals 1-6 (including leftovers from the chili) were were enough to feed my entire family. Paella fried rice gave us leftovers for 2 people. SW Bowls gave us another leftover meal for 1 (I turned it into breakfast), then there were a number of smaller meals, like salads, BLT’s.  Take a look.

Arugula salad with peaches, blueberries, burrata (served 2)

Arugula with figs, pancetta and burrata (served 1)

Spring mix salad with tomatoes (served 2)

Everyday cucumber salad with tomatoes (served 1)

BLT (served 2) using spring mix, arugula and tomato

I used the blueberries in smoothies, as well as snacking.

The eggs were used in a couple of different breakfasts including one that used the leftover pulled pork into an omelet. We still have half dozen eggs left.

 

Foodies, that means for my $82, I was able to make 40+ plates of food with those staples and every family meal included a locally-raised meat (6 meals that fed all 4 of us, a salad for 2, plus leftovers and individual lunches).  I shocked even myself with the ability to extend my dollar. And what’s more…my husband and son both went on a trip a few days into the “challenge”, putting it on hold, and the salad, peppers, zucchini were all still fresh two weeks later. I bought the food on Aug. 7, started the meal portion of the challenge on Aug. 9, stopped family meals Aug. 11 and restarted on Aug. 16 and completed Aug. 19. While they were away, I made salads for myself and ate leftovers with my daughter. It’s probably the healthiest I’ve eaten in a long time with well-balanced, colorful local goodness.  The other takeaway is that we don’t have to be nervous about using up these ingredients. None of the produce went soft or bad and it took me almost 2 weeks to eat it all.

Guys, I’m nothing special, I made a meal plan of items I know my people like and bought ingredients from the Food Hub based on my meal plan, which is nothing different than I do if I’m typical grocery store shopping. My habits are usually Food Hub every 2 weeks, then I fill in with a grocery shop, and when I go down the mountain to Winston-Salem, I usually hit Trader Joe’s (once a month). Every now and then, I shop a local market or Earth Fare, but we have a cash budget and we stick to it as much as possible (sudden trips for ice cream or chocolate chips don’t count, do they?).

I want to make it clear that this is not a sponsored post. Items were purchased with our own money. This really was a challenge….to see how I’d do.

As for the recipes, some are tried and true and found online, some are mine and most of the salads are seriously just thrown together. Recipes coming at you Thursday!

By the way, if I’ve kept you to this point, on Friday, the Hub is having a Fill Your Freezer sale with lots of great locally raised beef. There will be presentations at the Ag building (address is on the flyer below) all day long beginning with ME at 11:30 when I demonstrate how to sear and carve a flank steak. Come see us and maybe you can get a taste of the flank steak with a delicious corn and tomato salsa that’s perfect for tailgating at App’s first home game! presentations