Connect with us

Food

ViNoVA opens its doors to a tour of European cuisine and beverages

Published

on

ViNoVA Chef and co-owner Chris Kenworthy – Photos Courtesy ViNoVA

A new restaurant with a distinct European flavor, ViNoVA, has opened its doors at 124 East Main Street in downtown Front Royal. For the first time in the area, tapas and exclusively wines and beers from Europe and basic foodstuffs fresh from the fields of Warren County are featured.

To the uninitiated, by the way, tapas means servings of ever changing foods from oysters to cheese to pates and other delicacies on small plates that accompany the many wines ranging from inexpensive ($25 to $30) to high end ($50 to $100) per bottle. The restaurant offers a Happy Hour (4 p.m. – 6 p.m.) daily, however, promising three tapas and wine or beer for about $15.

The hostelry, which had a “soft” opening a couple of weeks ago, isn’t so new, however. Nor is one of the owner-operators, Rachel Failmezger. The property signals her return to 124 E. Main where the old Vino E Formaggio wine and cheese shop – later re-named Vino 124, a full service restaurant – was situated and run by the same Rachel Failmezger along with her husband Christian.

A Happy Hour special: three tapas and beverage of your choice

After a decade, the couple closed the Vino124 and repaired to a broken down gas station on Commerce Avenue that they turned into a successful destination restaurant, The PaveMint Tap & Smoke House, now two years old. The PaveMint continues to operate under Christian Failmezger, who also has an informal hand in ViNoVA.

Rachel and Christian Failmezger

In a sit down interview with the Failmezgers on a Tuesday “closed for business day,” the couple introduced a co-owner of ViNoVA, chef Chris Kenworthy. After 15 years in the restaurant business, including a notable period in the Philippines where he consulted and helped build a restaurant in a Filipino jungle community, he’s demonstrating his flair for unusual cuisine at ViNoVA.

My first question of the interview was about the close proximity (next door, in fact) of another new Main Street bar, the popular Front Royal Brewing Company which I suggested ViNoVA would be in competition with.

“Not competition,” responded Rachel, “the words are ‘complementary to.’ ”

The front entrance and small outside seating area

And there followed a description of the unique-to-the-region cuisine, the vintage wines from countries such as Italy, Spain, France and Germany, and exclusively showcasing Pilsners from Czech, Trappistes from Belgium, stouts from Britain, cocktails, fashioned by barkeep Chris Carboni, seemingly have jumped from the pages of Hemingway or Fitzgerald.

Beverages with a dash of European culture, including a very dressed drink below, to compliment the tasty tapa dishes

“They will be a perfect complement to our colorful food menu,” Rachel promised of the beverage selection.

Chef Chris’s promise was “a journey through the Mediterranean with stops in Italy and Spain in spring and summer (with) fall and winter menus touring Europe’s comfort cuisine of Belgium, France and Austria.”

The much-changed from years past decor, a muted black and white motif, and controllable subdued lighting, lends an ambiance perhaps unequaled in the area: think date night rendezvous!

The two “soft opening” days by invitation only resulted in packed houses and an exciting evening of new experiences and meeting friends from the old days of Vino124, much in evidence both days.

A very tasty-looking tapa dish – Chef Chris, I want one of THOSE!

Share the News:

Food

Farmers markets: the best place for locally sourced goods

Published

on

For many people, the mention of a farmers market brings to mind stalls packed with fresh fruits and vegetables. However, these bustling spaces offer an abundance of other regional goods. Here’s a sampling of what you might find.

Ornamental plants
Bring your backyard to life or add a pop of color to your garden with a wide selection of flowers, plants, and shrubs. Ask growers on-site about the best choices for your shaded, sunny, or damp yard.

Organic goods

While it can sometimes be a challenge to find fresh organic produce in grocery stores, there’s no shortage of it at farmer’s markets. Many small-scale cultivators and breeders specialize in organic farming practices. Take your pick from organic fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, eggs, and more.

Craft beer, wine, and spirits
Little pairs are better with a locally-sourced meal than a glass of wine, cider, or craft beer that was made just down the road. Discover the flavors of your region at the stalls of local producers. If you fancy an aperitif or digestif, sample the offerings of a nearby micro-distillery.

Artisanal goods
Farmers markets aren’t just about eating and drinking. Among the tables laden with the food you’ll find an array of unique creations. These often handcrafted products range from soaps, creams, and essential oils to candles, clothes, and linens.

For these local products and more, take a stroll through a farmers market near you.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Food

Revitalizing green smoothie

Published

on

Do you need an energy boost? This delicious and refreshing smoothie is the perfect solution.

Start to finish: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

• 1 banana, sliced and frozen
• 2 kiwis peeled, sliced and frozen
• 1/2 cup pineapple peeled, diced and frozen
• 2 cups baby spinach
• 2 cups vegan milk
• 1/2 cup coconut water
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
• 1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions
1. Use a blender to purée all the ingredients.
2. In 2 glasses, evenly pour the smoothie.
3. Garnish with berries.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Food

Pomegranate and feta salad

Published

on

This simple summer salad is packed with nutrients and perfectly marries sweet and salty flavors. The pomegranate seeds add a nice pop of color.

Start to finish: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

• 1 head curly endive or frisée lettuce, chopped
• 1 radicchio, chopped
• 1 red onion, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cucumber, cut in semi-circles
• Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
• 7 ounces feta cheese, diced
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1 tablespoon Dijon or old-style mustard
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
1. In 4 bowls, equally divide the lettuce, radicchio, onion, cucumber, pomegranate seeds, and feta.
2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Mix well and drizzle over each salad.

If you find the taste of raw red onion to be overwhelming, soak the slices in cold water for up to 1 hour before assembling the salad. This will mellow their flavor.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Food

Prosciutto, fig and goat cheese crostini

Published

on

If you want a simple yet sophisticated starter to serve at your next dinner party, look no further than this classic Italian appetizer. Your guests are sure to love the pairing of salty prosciutto with the sweetness of figs.

Start to finish: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

• 4 slices Ezekiel or multigrain bread
• 3-1/2 ounces soft goat cheese
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 4 fresh figs, sliced
• 8 thin slices of prosciutto
• 1 cup arugula
• Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
1. Use a toaster or barbecue to grill the bread.
2. Spread a quarter of the goat cheese on each slice of bread, and top each with half a tablespoon of honey. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Atop each crostino, lay a quarter of the fig slices and 2 slices of prosciutto.
4. Garnish each crostino with a few arugula leaves. Salt and pepper to taste.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Food

How to eat locally all year long

Published

on

If you favor food produced in your region, you’ll help protect the environment and support the local economy. Plus, you’ll gain access to fresh and affordable ingredients. Though it’s often more associated with summer, eating locally can be done year-round. Here’s how.

Learn about the region
Start by familiarizing yourself with what foods grow in your area and when they’re harvested. A seasonal food list will make it easier to plan your meals. Keep in mind that some growers use greenhouses to ensure that their fruits and vegetables are available year-round. Consult online resources or speak with growers at your local farmers market to learn more.

Prepare for winter

Good food storage practices allow you to enjoy a wide range of products throughout the year. Apples, onions, and various root vegetables, for example, will keep for months if stored in a cool, dark place. Other summer produce can be purchased in bulk and then canned, frozen or pickled. This will allow you to diversify your meals in winter without buying out of season.

Embrace seasonal substitutes
Eating locally year-round requires creativity and a willingness to adapt your diet to the season. Start with simple changes. Swap spinach and lettuce for nutrient-rich alternatives like leeks and cabbage during the winter. Pick up a seasonal cookbook at your local bookstore if you need a bit of inspiration.

With a little planning and effort, you can enjoy locally sourced meals year-round.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Food

Greek chicken brochettes

Published

on

Serve up these tasty brochettes at a Greek-inspired feast or as an alternative to burgers at your next family barbecue.

Start to finish: 1 hour 20 minutes (25 minutes active)
Servings: 4

Ingredients

• 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons oregano, fresh or dried
• 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, fresh or dried
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cubed
• 1 large zucchini

Directions
1. In the sink or a large bowl, soak four wooden skewers in water for at least 1 hour. (Skip this step if you’re using metal skewers).
2. In a large bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and spices. Add the chicken and mix well. Make sure the chicken is evenly coated in the marinade. Chill in the fridge for 1 to 3 hours.
3. Chop off the ends of the zucchini and use a peeler to cut fine strips. Salt generously and lay the strips flat (without overlapping) on a clean cloth or paper towel. Place another cloth or piece of paper towel and a heavy object, such as a wood cutting board, overtop. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
4. Uncover the zucchini and use a clean cloth or paper towel to dab away excess salt and water. Roll up each strip.
5. Assemble the brochettes by alternating cubes of chicken and rolls of zucchini. Cook on a barbecue or in a grill pan until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with tzatziki sauce.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

King Cartoons

Front Royal
59°
Clear
7:09am6:54pm EDT
Feels like: 59°F
Wind: 3mph S
Humidity: 70%
Pressure: 29.84"Hg
UV index: 0
WedThuFri
min 52°F
70/46°F
64/41°F