De La Torre’s Restaurant, 1606 Bardstown Road, will highlight the traditional Spanish dish paella with four varieties throughout March.
“Miguel and I are thinking of retiring, and there are quite a few dishes that we want to pay tribute to before we go,” says De La Torre’s/La Bodega Tapas Bar owner Maggie de la Torre.
“Miguel has made over 50,000 paellas in the nearly 25 years we have been open, and there are many variations of Spain’s national dish,” Maggie de la Torre says. “We have offered quite a few over the years, starting with the most traditional, paella Valenciana.”
On offer this month: paella de carne, which is made with marinated pork, chorizo and chicken; arroz negre, a squid ink paella; paella de verduras, a vegetarian version with saffron rice cooked with a variety of fresh vegetables and buttery white beans; and paella de langosta, which is made with lobster, shrimp, calamari, jumbo sea scallops and mussels.
“We are especially excited to offer arroz negre again,” says Maggie de la Torre. “It is a seafood paella made with squid ink, which gives the rice an incredible flavor. Years ago, very few people would try it, so we took it off the menu. Now I think Louisvillians are much more adventurous about food, so hopefully they will come and try it while they can.”
More information: www.delatorres.com or (502) 456-4955.
Porcini celebrates 21 years
To celebrate 21 years in business, Porcini, 2730 Frankfort Ave., is offering a special three-course dinner for $21 inspired by items from its original menu, select $21 bottles of wine, and $7 specialty cocktails from Monday through Thursday.
The menu features a choice of zucchini fritti, capellini basilico or Caesar salad; choice of veal Milanese, chicken marsala or grilled salmon; and a “Happy Birthday Torte” of hazelnut with Frangelico buttercream.
“It’s sort of a throwback,” says owner Tim Coury.
Cocktail specials include raspberry lemonade with raspberry vodka, pear-pomo martini, Manhattan, orange Cosmo, chocolate martini, Old Fashioned and a daiquiri martini.
To what does Coury attribute the restaurant’s lengthy run? “We’ve pretty much stuck with what we set out with,” he says. “Our menu changes periodically, and we changed a few cosmetics, but other than that we’ve stuck with our plan.”
The chef, John Plymale, “has been with us since day one — it’s kind of unheard of in our business,” Coury says. “We have a great relationship. It makes the restaurant consistent. And not only has John been here, we have some servers who have been here well over 10 years as well as a bartender … one server has been here almost 20 years. Our customers see familiar faces — that obviously helps.”
More information: www.porcinilouisville.com/ or (502) 894-8686.
BLU to host Caymus Vineyards Wine Dinner
On Thursday at 7 p.m., BLU Italian Grille, 280 W. Jefferson St., will hold a five-course Caymus Vineyards Wine Dinner with the Wagner Family of Wine. Ed Murray, the regional representative for the Wagner Family will decant an Imperial bottle of Caymus, a Special Selection cabernet sauvignon 2010.
“We’ve done wine dinners before, but we pulled out all the stops on this one and tried to merge the California and Italian cuisine that we do,” says chef Graham Weber. “It’s a slam dunk. We’re very excited.”
The menu features California products and Italian-style West Coast recipes, beginning with grilled Monterey Jack flatbread and brick oven baked homemade focaccia and ciabatta paired with Conundrum White 2011.
Cioppino — shrimp, clams, mussels and scallops in a tomato wine sauce — follows, served with Mer Soleil Silver unoaked chardonnay 2011. A roasted portobello mushroom salad is accompanied by Meiomi Belle Glos pinot noir 2011.
With the main course, a grilled Sonoma lamb T-bone with sun-dried cherry demi glace and mascarpone risotto, the Special Selection cabernet sauvignon 2010 is served. A warm honey-corn torte and chocolate truffle are up for dessert, paired with Conundrum Red 2010.
“It’s going to be a great night,” says Weber. “Caymus came through with some fantastic wines, and we pulled out some of the best dishes that we’ve done, and we’ve ramped them up even more.”
The dinner is $65 (plus tax and tip). Reservations are required; call (502) 671-4285.
Dairy Kastle, 575 Eastern Parkway, reopened for the season this week.
The Mayan Cafe, 813 E. Market St., is offering a tapas menu in March, with several small plates priced at $8 meant to be shared between two people.
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